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San Diego County cuts ribbon on new Crisis Stabilization Unit in Oceanside

CSUs enable a smooth transition from law enforcement engagement to care hand-off, which is less taxing on individuals.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — San Diego County and behavioral health leaders cut the ribbon on a Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU) in Oceanside Monday. 

San Diego leaders said the goal of the CSUs is to provide individuals who are experiencing a behavioral health crisis with more acute care and closer monitoring as part of the regional continuum of behavioral health services. 

"CSUS are a key component to the HHSA enhancement of infrastructure to support the entire behavioral health continuum of care. Without CSUs, as we call them, people who are vulnerable in crisis may otherwise been taken to a hospital—maybe a jail, or even worse and never received treatment at all," said County of San Diego Director Nick Macchione.

Services will provide community based 24/7 walk-in mental health and substance use services for those in a behavioral health crisis, with stays of less than 24 hours. 

In addition to walk-in, community, and mobile crisis team transport, law enforcement may drop off individuals experiencing a behavioral health crisis to CSUs as a safe alternative to jail or a hospital, providing an additional option to connect people to care. 

According to Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA), CSUs will enable a smooth transition from law enforcement engagement to care hand-off, which is less taxing on individuals; allows officers to return quickly to the field; and provides a care plan leading to less recidivism. 

This will be the region's sixth funded by the County. The others are:

  • San Diego County Psychiatric Hospital Emergency Psychiatric Unit (Central Region)
  • Community-Based Emergency Screening Unit for Children and Youth (Central Region)
  • Palomar Health Hospital-Based CSU (North Inland Region)
  • Paradise Valley Hospital-Based CSU (South Region)
  • Vista Community-Based CSU (North Coastal Region)

The CSU is set to open on Monday, April 25. 

WATCH RELATED: Push for smaller police departments in San Diego to receive federal funding (April 2022)

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