Where to Look for Mental Health Resources in Nevada County

Find help from these websites, telephone hotlines and organizations

PUBLISHED SEP 26, 2022 12:00 A.M.
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Nevada County residents have options to consider in the pursuit of better mental health.

Nevada County residents have options to consider in the pursuit of better mental health.   Radachynskyi Serhii   Shutterstock

Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the mental health situation in California was rapidly deteriorating. With a distinct lack of resources, law enforcement officers were forced to respond to 911 calls much better suited for mental health professionals. But with none available, the officers have done the best they could.

In Nevada County specifically, a mobile crisis unit was created in October of 2020 by Sheriff Shannan Moon, following in the footsteps of some larger California counties who had gone through similar development processes to help ease the mental health case burden from law enforcement. “People don’t think clearly in crisis,” Moon said in an interview at the sheriff’s office for Capital Radio in March of 2022. “When you have the opportunity to slow down, you are able to come to a really good dialogue about what’s best for someone, and get someone to calm down and really look out for their best interest. But they have to be able to trust you to do that. And that trust is built on that conversation. It’s all about the conversation.”

Nevada County covers roughly 1,000 square miles and plenty of people need help with their mental health, especially in these unprecedented times. The county is also home to some past moments of mental health crisis, including the February 2021 slaying of Sage Crawford. In the wake of her death, a community group was formed and they are working to establish a local crisis hotline.

In the meantime, here are some of the resources available to Nevada County residents.

1. NAMI Nevada County

The National Alliance on Mental Illness has a chapter in Grass Valley. 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 Nevada County runs these support groups:

NAMI Family Support Group—A peer-led support group for any adult with a loved one who has experienced symptoms of a mental health condition. Gain insight from the challenges and successes of others facing similar experiences. The Family Support Group typically meets the second and fourth Tuesday of every month, both in person and on Zoom.

NAMI Basics—This six-week course is a starting point for parents and caregivers of mentally ill individuals under the age of 22. This program is free to participants, 99% of whom say they would recommend the program to others.

NAMI provides a wide variety of support groups at varying times of year for those struggling with specific issues. For a current roster of groups, visit the NAMI Nevada County website.

2. Nevada County Behavioral Health

Nevada County Behavioral Health offers crisis, intervention, and short-term treatment solutions for residents of the county. From acute inpatient care to outpatient services, the county can handle everything from medication to therapy to vocational services for those who are eligible. There are two county clinics to which those in mental health crisis can turn.

The Western County Crown Point Facility is located in Grass Valley and can be contacted at (530) 265-1437. The Joseph Government Center in Truckee can be reached at (530) 582-7803. Find out more through the county website.

3. Laura’s Law

Passed in 2002 by the California Legislature, Laura's Law was first implemented in Nevada County—the home county of the law’s namesake, Laura Wilcox, a 19-year-old who was shot and killed by a man with untreated mental illness. The state law provides community-based, assisted outpatient treatment (AOT) to a small number of individuals who meet strict legal criteria and who—as a result of their mental illness—are unable to voluntarily access community mental health services.

Laura’s Law and similar AOT laws across the country have successfully pushed people with severe mental illness into the treatment they need in their communities. The law has saved Nevada County hundreds of thousands of dollars it would have spent on individuals who would have otherwise been incarcerated without treatment for their mental illnesses.

Learn more about Laura’s Law here.

4. Help for Young People

Teen Line is a program that started out in Los Angeles, but now serves Nevada County youth. When you call or text the phone number, a teen who has received more than 100 hours of training will be there to listen, counsel, and answer any questions. This peer counseling format has been very successful and has proven itself to be a judgment-free zone for youth going through a wide variety of issues.

Call (800) 852-8336 between 6 and 10 p.m. PT, or text TEEN to 839863 between 6 and 9 p.m. PT.

Children's Mental Health Services is a resource available to Nevada County young people. Help is available for children struggling with mental illness and substance abuse, and kids who are involved with the courts or Child Protective Services. Treatment is provided through schools, Family Resource Centers, and other places that are easily accessible to families. Therapy is available in both English and Spanish.

Call (530) 470-2736.

5. Help for the LGBTQ+ Community

For many years, a PFLAG chapter served Nevada County. When the chapter folded in 2021, various local organizations adopted their programming in order to continue to offer support to the LGBTQ+ community. The first of these is Color Me Human, which works toward this goal: "We Celebrate, Elevate, Educate, Advocate to create a safe, equitable world for Black, Indigenous, People of Culture and LGBTQ+ folks." 

Call this Grass Valley group at (530) 559-4245.

Bright Futures for Youth (formerly NEO) hosts a weekly Rainbow Social, a gathering in Grass Valley for friendship and support for LGBTQ+ youth ages 11-25. Rainbow Social has two groups: one for youth ages 11-14 and a second for youth ages 15-25. For more information about the Rainbow Social, call (530) 265-4311.

Finally, Nevada County Pride holds regular potlucks and events for the LGBTQ+ community and allies. Group members offer community, support, friendship and resources to those struggling. Get involved by sending an email to social@nevadacountypride.org.

6. Help for Indigenous People

Chapa-De Indian Health has a Grass Valley office set up to help Native Americans with social and emotional issues, as well as physical health needs for all ages. All new patients must register before their first appointment, and the center can be reached by callng (530) 477-8545.

Unfortunately, other Native American mental health resources are scarce in Nevada County. Those seeking support can contact the state's Indian Health Services for referrals and resources.

7. Help for Veterans

Welcome Home Vets was established in Grass Valley in response to the need for veterans living with post traumatic stress and other combat-related psychological conditions. With a distinct lack of resources available for veterans in Nevada County, this nonprofit contracts with local therapists who have experience with military culture and specific combat-related traumas. Individual, couples, and family counseling is available, as well as assistance to help veterans file claims and obtain health benefits. Call (530) 272-3300 for information.

In 2020, the Nevada County Veterans Services Office announced that it would offer mental health resources to veterans. 

8. Warmlines, Hotlines and Lifelines

Nevada County residents have access to a multitude of phone numbers to call in times of mental health crisis, as well as non-emergency phone numbers for those who just need someone to listen.

NAMI Nevada County Support—(530) 648-0178

SPIRIT Peer Empowerment Center—(530) 274-1431

California Peer-Run Warm Line—(855) 845-7415

National Veterans Lifeline—(800) 273-8255

Hospitality House—(530) 271-7144

24 Hour Crisis/Mental Health and Suicide Prevention—(530) 265-5811

Mental Health Urgent Care (next to ER at Sierra Memorial Hospital)—(530) 470-2425

Hospital Crisis Line (emergency room for 5150 hold)—(530) 470-2409

Domestic Violence & Rape Crisis Hotline—(530) 272-3467

9. Substance Abuse Support Groups

Nevada County Substance Use Services—(530) 265-1437

AlAnon and Alateen—(888) 425-2666

Common Goals—(530) 265-2914

Granite Wellness Centers—Grass Valley: (530) 273-9541; Truckee: (530) 587-8194

Alcoholics Anonymous—(530) 272-6287

California Smokers Helpline—(800) 662-8887

Marijuana Anonymous—(800) 766-6779

10. Other Targeted Support Groups

Debtors Anonymous—(530) 265-4730

Dual Diagnosis United—(530) 265-1230, ext. 4006

Men’s Christian 12-Steps for Dysfunctional Families—(530) 477-0514

Teen Sexual Assault Support Group—(530) 272-2046

Children’s Domestic Violence Support Group—(530) 272-2046

Grandparents and Relatives Who Are Raising Children—(530) 478-6400, ext. 210

HIV/AIDS Support Group for Women—(530) 265-2053

HIV/AIDS Support Group for Men—(530) 477-5551

Co-Dependents Anonymous—(530) 273-9541

11. Bereavement Support

Hospice of the Foothills—(530) 272-5739

Friends for Survival—(916) 392-0664

Loss and Grief Support Group—(707) 953-8801

12. 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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