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Where to Look for Mental Health Resources in Monterey County

Find help from these websites, telephone hotlines and organizations.

PUBLISHED JUL 26, 2022 12:00 A.M.
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These organizations in Monterey County provide lifelines to those in crisis.

These organizations in Monterey County provide lifelines to those in crisis.   pogonici   Shutterstock

According to a study published by Mental Health America, the number of people with severe depression—as judged by standard scoring on a common depression assessment tool—was 213,718 out of those 2.6 million. The average rate across all U.S. states came in at 65 per 100,000. This is just the latest report on how the U.S. is in a state of mental health crisis—and much of this information was gathered before the pandemic. Life after seems to have an even dimmer ray of hope.

However, the country is working at both state and national levels to reform mental healthcare and make it more accessible. Monterey County is a good example of a region of California currently offering resources while working to provide more. If you live in Monterey County and are struggling with your mental or emotional wellbeing, there is help available. 

1. NAMI Monterey County

The National Alliance on Mental Illness has a chapter in Monterey County. Outside of mobile crisis support, NAMI runs a number of ongoing support groups that are either free or extremely low-cost to attend. One of the most powerful aspects of NAMI is that many of its offerings are run by individuals who have overcome mental health and addiction challenges—they truly come from a place of understanding and life experience. 

Besides serving up a wealth of information and referrals for other mental wellness programs in the region, NAMI Monterey County runs these support groups:

NAMI Peer-to-Peer—A free eight-week session for adults aged 18+ that are struggling to cope with their mental illness. This program is led by trained leaders who have all come out of personal mental health situaions, and/or live with daily management. 

De Familia a Familia de NAMI—This Spanish-language 12-week course is for friends and family members who have a loved one struggling with mental illness. It is designed to further advocacy and understanding while equipping participants with tools they can use to help the mentally ill person in their life.

NAMI Family Support Group—Like other NAMI groups, this group is peer-to-peer. However, it contains more structure and is designed to ensure everyone is heard and has a chance to share. 

NAMI provides a wide variety of support groups for those struggling with specific issues. For a current roster of groups, visit the NAMI Monterey County website.

2. Monterey County Behavioral Health

Monterey County Behavioral Health offers outpatient services for children, adolescents, and adults who are experiencing psychiatric issues and emergencies. These ACCESS locations can be found in Salinas, Marina, Soledad, and King City. Recepients of MediCal can participaate in the orientation group that will place them into the appropriate ongoing services. ACCESS services might include up to six months of counseling and medication support. Residents without Medi-Cal will be connected to non-county services via ACCESS. 

Crisis Team—Located via telephone or in person at the Natividad Emergency Department, the Crisis Team offers immediate assessment and assistance to all ages. It is available 24 hours a day and can be reached at (831) 755-4111. 

Mobile Response Team—Available for young people aged 21 and under, the Mobile Response Team provides help throughout the community as well as via phone. It offers assessments and connect young people to services during times of mental health crisis. Call (831) 687-4379.

MC Hopes—Monterey County has also started a suicide prevention initiative called MC Hopes. While still in development stages, the program hopes to reduce suicide rates in the region to 0%. In the meantime, those needing help can text HOME to 741741 to receive immediate help.

3. Help for Youth

The Ohana Center for Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health follows a unique approach to help kids in crisis, and the facility is well-regarded throughout the region. Services include the following:

  • Individual, group, and family counseling
  • Diagnostic assessments and testing
  • Evidence-based therapy services, which may include cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy
  • Education on healthy lifestyle habits and how they can improve well-being
  • Medication and symptom management
  • Building skills and strengths to improve resiliency

Monterey County Children's Services—While assessments and treatment can be carried out at the county’s various clinic locations, most of the child and adolescent mental health services are school and home-based. Resources include the following:

  • A variety of other hospitals in the Bay Area are used for children under 12 or for youths who require a locked facility.
  • Outpatient services include individual, family and group therapy.
  • Medication evaluation and follow up is provided at each clinic site.
  • Case management
  • Day care services are located throughout the county and serve youths ages 6-22.
  • The Home Partners family preservation program is available 24 hours, 7 days a week.
  • Residential and Dual Diagnosis (Substance Abuse/Mental Health) Day Care Programs are provided through contracts with community agencies and in program for girls 14-18 co-jointly provided with the Probation Department.

4. Help for the LGBTQ+ Community

Intimacy, Sexuality and Gender Center of Monterey—Since 1992, the center has supported the trans community. For information on the monthly support group and other resources, call (831) 375-7553.

Community Human Services—Counseling services that come at no charge to Monterey County residents regardless of health insurance status are available in both English and Spanish, and are applicable for all adults in the LGBTQ+ community, along with a special focus on those affected by HIV. Call (831) 757-7915, ext. 002.

Our Gente—Community and agency trainings, weekly support groups for youth ages 16-24, and community events all steered by the Queer & Trans Youth Collective in Monterey County.

5. Substance Abuse Support Groups

AlAnon and Alateen—(888) 425-2666

Monterey Bay Area Intergroup of Alcoholics Anonymous—(831) 373-3713

California Smokers Helpline—(800) 662-8887

Monterey County Area Narcotics Anonymous—Salinas: (831) 758-1630; Monterey: (831) 624-2055

Community Human Services—(831) 920-1078

Sun Street Centers Recovery for Youth—Seaside: (831)-525-8101; King City: (831) 899-6577

6. Before You Call 911...

As of July 2022, people who are experiencing a mental health crisis and are in need of immediate help can call 988, the new three-digit dialing code, to access the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Advocates pushed for new three-digit number as an alternative to calling 911, which can result in police intervention rather than medical care. The number should be easier to remember for people in crisis. Read more about both 988 and 911 in the story below.

California will soon be getting a new hotline number as an alternative to 911 for mental health crises.

911 and 988: New Mental Health Crisis Line and the Original Emergency Number, Explained

California will soon add a new emergency hotline service with the number 988. Here’s the story behind that new service, and the original 911 number.


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