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New Crisis Stabilization Unit will Open in Oceanside: A Better Way for Behavioral Health



Crisis Stabilization Units (CSU) being built throughout San Diego County are a better way to provide behavioral health access. Starting later this year, the County of San Diego will open a new CSU in Oceanside. 

In many cases, people experiencing substance abuse and mental health crises are taken to jail or the emergency room, but neither is designed to provide proper support. CSUs, like the one we will open in Oceanside, offer an appropriate environment for people to receive the type of care they need to put them on a path to recovery. 

The new Oceanside CSU will provide behavioral health assessments, psychiatric services, medication, peer support, and transition planning, with stays of less than 24 hours. People will have access to ongoing community care services and coordination after their stay at the CSU. The Oceanside location has outdoor areas and an indoor garden to help provide a peaceful way to receive treatment from expert clinicians and care professionals.  

CSUs are one way Chair Nathan Fletcher and the County of San Diego Behavioral Health Department are working to improve the current system. Placing CSUs focused on behavioral health and addiction treatments across the county will ensure that no matter where someone is, they can receive the right care, at the right time.  

Chair Fletcher has said: “It is about how do we build a system that works…Projects like this, crisis stabilization units are a vital component.  It is so important that we meet people where they are. That we get the right care, to the right person at the right time and get the right outcomes.”

As you can see from the graphic below, CSUs can play a vital role in breaking the crisis care cycle so many San Diegans who struggle with behavioral health or addiction are stuck in. 

If you or someone you know needs mental health or addiction services, the County’s Access and Crisis Line is a great resource. Dial (888) 724-7240 or visit to get connected to services. 

Creating a better behavioral health system has been Chair Fletcher’s highest priority since he was campaigning to be a County Supervisor in 2017 and 2018. Chair Fletcher and the County have taken significant steps since taking office to change the services offered and secure funding to take behavioral health in a new direction.

The Better Way for Behavioral Health Video Series is designed to give you more information about the work we’re engaged in each day to help families, and the unsheltered living on our streets, receive the mental health and addiction-treatment services they need.  To stay informed, subscribe to our YouTube channel, or visit the Better Way for Behavioral Health page at