Where to Look for Mental Health Resources in Santa Clara County

Find help from these websites, telephone hotlines and organizations.

PUBLISHED SEP 29, 2022 12:00 A.M.
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Many organizations in Santa Clara County can lend a helping hand.

Many organizations in Santa Clara County can lend a helping hand.   Lightspring   Shutterstock

In January of 2022, San Jose Spotlight reported that—according to local lawmakers—Santa Clara County was experiencing a mental health crisis. With both mental illness and substance abuse coming in at a high rate among county residents, Supervisor Susan Ellenberg announced a future coordinated response effort.

“I am certain that my colleagues will all agree the current fractured system of care is unacceptable,” Ellenberg said, adding the county must consider the policy and resource barriers preventing people from receiving better care.

Mental health is a necessity in our world today, but also unfortunately something that isn’t nearly as accessible as it should be. Unlike physical ailments, mental and emotional struggles are not always covered by insurance, which makes it out of reach for so many. Fortunately, in Santa Clara County, there are some resources available.

1. NAMI Santa Clara County

The National Alliance on Mental Illness has a chapter in San Jose. The local chapter offers a variety of resources, including the following: 

NAMI Connection Recovery Support GroupFor adults living with mental illness who wish to share and support each other.

NAMI Peer to Peer ClassesThis is a nine-week course focusing on recovery for individuals aged 18 and older. It is available in both English and Spanish. Email ptp@namisantaclara.org for information.

NAMI Family Support Group & ClassesThis family group-therapy style program is available in four languages: English, Spanish, Mandarin and Korean. There is also an eight-week course for family members of those battling mental illness, also available in all four languages.

NAMI BasicsThis six-week course is for parents and caregivers of minors who struggle with mental illness. It can be completed online instead of attending in person.

Other Community Support GroupsNAMI provides a wide variety of support groups for those struggling with specific issues. For a current roster of groups, visit the NAMI Santa Clara County website.

2. Momentum for Health

The largest nonprofit mental health provider in Santa Clara County, Momentum for Health focuses on treating mental illness and addiction. These are some of the services: 

  • Addiction treatment services 
  • Youth acute care
  • Youth outpatient services
  • Early intervention
  • Youth drop-in center
  • Adult crisis stabilization unit
  • Adult acute care 
  • Adult outpatient services
  • Adult residential services
  • Employment services 

The organization also offers training for youth mental health workers.

3. Santa Clara County Behavioral Services

The Behavioral Services Call Center is the starting point for all Santa Clara County services. The center provides assistance to all ages, including families in crisis, those experiencing suicidal thoughts and urges, and those struggling with mental health and substance abuse issues. To get started, call (800) 704-0900. Through the county, clients can get the following services:

Central Wellness and Benefit Center—This outpatient support program can be reached at (408) 885-6220 and is located at 2221 Enborg Lane in San Jose. The Mental Health Urgent Care Center, located in the same building, has both walk-in and scheduled appointments for those experiencing a mental health crisis.

Emergency Psychiatric Services—The county’s only 24-hour locked psychiatric emergency room serves all residents of the county in crisis.

4. Help for Young People

The Bill Wilson Center serves young people aged 5-17 experiencing debilitating behavioral issues. Reach the center at (408) 278-2585, or via the Bill Wilson Center website. The Bill Wilson Center has been a huge presence in the lives of emotionally disturbed youth for generations, and continues to serve the population through not only the crisis line but many in-person programs and events. This organization also offers a wide spectrum of support groups, including grief groups, LGBTQ+, addiction & recovery, and parenting classes.

Embark Behavioral Health is a residential program for teens. Located in Campbell, Embark provides a diverse array of services for teens and young adults, from outpatient to intensive residential treatment centers at several different locations. Embark also has family intensives, partial hospitalization programming, and unique programs like wilderness therapy. The latter is available to at-risk teens and young adults who are struggling with a wide range of emotional and behavioral issues; the typical stay is 2-3 months. Contact Embark at (855) 599-6779.

5. Help for Indigenous People

The Indian Health Center of Santa Clara Valley offers support and guidance to clients and their families as they work to overcome difficulties that compromise their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. The Counseling Department staff encourage individual self-reliance, stronger family connections and harmonious fellowship among all living things.

The CalHOPE Red Line, is a peer support group overseen by the California Consortium for Urban Indian Health. It is a trauma-informed support resource in the form of phone, online chat rooms and video counseling for Native Americans.

6. Help for the LGBTQ+ Community

The Billy DeFrank LGBT Community Center is a resource hub and promoter of health and inclusivity. The center provides a large array of programs, courtesy of a caring staff and many dedicated volunteers. There are recovery groups, peer counseling, meditation, and more.

7. Help for Black and African American Residents

Ethnic Specific Outpatient Services serves adults aged 18-59, and 60+ who are experiencing behavioral and mental health issues. Ethnocentric counseling services are available free of charge through this county program.

8. Help for Veterans

The San Jose Vet Center provides help and resources for vets and their families free of charge. They assist with those suffering from depression, post traumatic stress disorder, and the psychological effects of military sexual trauma.

The United Veterans Council of Santa Clara County is home to a crisis hotline, as well as veterans struggling to get back onto their feet due to PTSD and other mental struggles. The council also helps with housing, physical wellness, and more.

9. Warmlines, Hotlines and Lifelines

Sometimes when an individual is struggling with mental health, it can seem daunting to attend a support group or reach out in person. That’s why Santa Clara County is home to many different hotlines where help can be reached anytime of the day or night.

NAMI Warmline—(408) 453-0400. Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. 

Mobile Crisis Response Team—(800) 704-0900. Press 2.

Santa Clara County Suicide & Crisis Hotline—(855) 278-4204

National Suicide Prevention Helpline—(800) 273-8255

Crisis Text Line—Text RENEW to 741741

Mental Health Services Call Center—(800) 704-0900

Bill Wilson Crisis Line—(408) 850-6125

10. Mental Health Support Groups

There are many support groups available to those struggling with their mental health and living in Santa Clara County.

ACT For Mental Health—(408) 287-2640

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance—(650) 326-6313

Hair Puller and Skin Pickers Support Group—(408) 323-9022

South County Self Help Center—(408) 686-2365

Body Image and Eating Disorders Support Group—(408) 356-1212

Lutheran Social Services: Turning Point Center—(408) 363-1963

Bay Area Hearing Voices Network—bayareahearingvoices@gmail.com

11. Substance Abuse Support Groups

AlAnon and Alateen—(408) 379-1051

Alcoholics Anonymous—(212) 870-3400

Narcotics Anonymous—(408) 998-4200

SMART Recovery of Silicon Valley—(408) 832-1506

12. Bereavement Support

Kara Grief Support—(650) 321-5272

Centre for Living with Dying—(408) 243-0222

Hospice of the Valley Center for Grief and Loss—(408) 559-5614

Compassionate Friends—(408) 249-9570

13. Before You Dial 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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