NAMI Santa Clara County cannot recommend specific psychiatrists, therapists and other clinicians.  However, we can give you information and suggestions on how to search for behavioral health professionals, programs and on-line and in-person peer support groups that deal with a variety of mental health concerns and issues.

Note: If you are experiencing an emotional crisis, family crisis, or are having suicidal thoughts:

In a life-threatening EMERGENCY, call


And ask for a CIT officer (Crisis Intervention Team)



* Only for area code 408, 650 or 669. For all other area codes, call

800-704-0900  and press 1


Text RENEW to 741741 (Crisis Text Line)

Contents on this page:

Finding Treatment

Watch this video below from to learn about symptoms of mental health conditions. Knowledge of the symptoms and warning signs will help you determine if you need to speak to a professional. Unlike other medical conditions like diabetes or cancer, there is not diagnostic test that can accurately diagnose a mental health condition. A mental health professional, usually a psychiatrist, will use the Diagnositc and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), published by the American Psychiatric Association, to assess symptoms and make a diagnosis.

Getting an accurate diagnosis is the first step in a treatment plan. After diagnosis, a health care provider can help develop a treatment plan that could include medication, therapy or other lifestyle changes. Treatments vary by diagnosis and by person. There is no “one size fits all” treatment. By working together with a treatment team, you can develop a well-rounded and integrated recovery plan. Recent innovations in the evidence-based medications, therapy and social support through acceptance, education and support from family and friends have made wellness and recovery a reality for people living with mental health conditions.

We have compiled a list of resources and how-to instructions below to help you develop your own path to treatment and recovery.

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Resources for Locating Mental Health Care

The following resources can be used to help you find mental health treatment services in your community, including affordable treatment for those without insurance or who want to go outside their insurance provider list.

In accessing health care, it’s important to identify what health insurance you (or your family or friend) may have.  This will help determine how to locate a mental health professional covered by your insurance. (If you are willing to pay out-of-pocket for therapy, see item #3 “Private Pay” below). If the insurance is:

  1. Medi-Cal/Medi-Care – Your local County will provide psychiatric services.To learn about steps to receiving Medi-Cal and different health plans options and their coverage, click here.
    1. If you’ve never been seen by a County Mental Health professional, call the Santa Clara County Mental Health Call Center (800-704-0900) to get a referral for psychiatric services
    2. If you have the Santa Clara Family Health Plan, call (800) 260-2055 and ask for a list of “providers” (medical and psychiatric professionals who are covered by that health plan)
    3. If you have the Anthem Blue Cross California Medi-Cal Plan, call (800) 407-4627, and ask for a list of “providers” (medical and psychiatric professionals who are covered by that health plan), or go to the Anthem Blue Cross California Medicaid Find a Doctor page.
      or, use the  Anthem Blue Cross Medi-Cal Find a Doctor online search
    4. If you have Medicare, the Medicare Physician Compare web page can assist you in finding a physician or other clinician who is enrolled in Medicare.
    5. If you have both Medi-Cal and Medicare, you may be eligible for extra, integrated services via the California Medicare Medi-Cal Plan​​ (Medi-Medi Plan). Download the factsheet​ about Medi-Medi Plans. There are three ways to join a “Medi-Medi” Plan:
      1. ​If already enrolled in a Medi-Cal plan, call the plan directly and ask about their Medi-Medi Plan option
      2. Call Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE
      3. Call Health Care Options at 1-844-580-7272 (TTY 1-800-430-7077).​
  2. Other Private Insurance – Call your insurance company’s customer services number. You should be able to obtain list of providers that take your insurance.  Also, see the “Resources for Locating Therapy” section below. Some online search engines allow you to specify insurance in search criteria, so you limit search results to people who take your insurance. Also, you can ask a professional if they accept your insurance. If you have been denied coverage for treatment, use SAMHSA’s Mental Health and Addiction Tool to find out how you can resolve the issue with your insurance.
  3. Private Pay – If you want to pay directly for psychiatric professionals, you can use the information listed below.
  4. Mental Health & Autism Insurance Project: Mental Health & Autism Insurance Project is a non – profit organization which assists families of children are living with autism spectrum disorders and/or mental health conditions, to obtain medically necessary treatments (including residential or outdoor therapy treatments) through their health plans. Their website has a wealth of information for families. They assist with obtaining single case agreements, writing appeals and requesting regulatory intervention and through seminars to the public on laws related to mental health and autism care. They are open Mon-Fri 9 AM – 5 PM. Ph. (925) 388-0892

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You have a right to file a complaint with your health plan. You might want to try talking to your doctor about the problem first.

To file a complaint:

  • Call the Member/Customer Service phone number for your health plan.
  • State clearly that you want to file a formal complaint and then explain the problem.
  • If your problem is urgent, be sure to tell your health plan. Or call the California State Department of Managed Health Care at 1-888-466-2219 right away.
  • You can also file your complaint by letter or e-mail. Sometimes you can file a complaint through your health plan’s website.
  • You can ask your doctor, or a doctor outside of your health plan, to help you by writing a letter explaining why you need the service.
  • You must file your complaint within 6 months after the incident or action that is the cause of your problem.
  • After you file your complaint, your health plan must give you a decision within 30 days, or 3 days if your health problem is urgent.
  • How to get insurance to cover denied claims – Step By Step Guide

If your complaint is urgent, or if you are not satisfied with your health plan’s response, you can file an external appeal (also called an Independent Medical Review.)   To do this, contact the California State Department of Managed Health Care at 1-888-466-2219, or go to their File a Complaint page.  You can also use this form to lodge a consumer complaint for issues such as qualify of service, cancellation of coverage, or disputes on billing and co-pays.

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Mental Health providers can help you to deal with current stress, heal old traumas, make decisions about medication and develop treatment plans that reflect your goals. Choosing a mental health provider can be challenging, but make sure you match your needs with his or her experience and specialty to get the most out of your treatment.

Over time, many people with mental health conditions say that treatment helps them: feel stronger, have a greater ability to cope with symptoms, and develop skills for building their relationships and pursuing goals. In fact, most people who seek professional help feel better. For example, more than 80 percent of people treated for depression improve, and treatment for panic disorders has up to a 90 percent success rate.

There are many types of mental health professionals. Finding the right one for you may require some research. Often it is a good idea to describe the symptoms and/or problems to your primary care provider first. He or she can suggest the type of mental health professional you should call.

Types of mental health providers:


Job Description


  • Diagnose & Treat mental health condition.
  • Prescribe medications
  • Also monitor effects of mental health on physical health like high blood pressure, diabetes, weight gain, kidney or liver function.
  • Sub-specialties – Child and adolescent, dual-diagnosis
M.D. or D.O
  • Qualified to give counseling and psychotherapy, perform psychological testing & treat mental health conditions
  • In California, psychologists cannot legally write prescriptions or perform medical procedures [1].
  • Often work in association with a psychiatrist.
Ph.D., Psy.D or Ed.D
Psychiatric or Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)
  • Provide assessment, diagnosis and therapy for mental health conditions or substance use disorders.
  • They can prescribe medications.
  • In California, they practice under supervision of a licensed psychiatrist, usually a medical director for a clinic or hospital.[2]
M.S.Nursing or Doctorate of Nursing Practice with specialty in mental health.
Clinical Social Worker
  • Evaluate and treat mental health conditions.
  • Provide psychotherapy. In some case, can also provide case management and hospital discharge planning as well as patient advocate for patients and their families.
Licensed Professional Counselors
  • Evaluate and treat mental health conditions by providing counseling or psychotherapy
MA in psychology, counseling or related field.
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
  • Treat client’s problems in the context of the family.
  • Help find long term solutions to mental health and other behaviors that cause relationship issues such as parent-child conflicts, couple’s counseling, depression and eating disorders.
LMFT and license to practice in CA
Pastoral Counselor
  • Clergy with training in Clinical Pastoral education.
  • Trained to diagnose and provide pastoral counseling.
members of the Association of Pastoral Counselors (AAPC) and can have equivalents to a doctorate in counseling
Certified Peer Specialists
  • Have lived experience with a mental health condition or substance use disorder.
  •  Assist in recovery by helping the person to set goals and develop their strengths.
  • Provide support, mentoring and guidance on a variety of topics including feeling isolated, getting medical benefits, substance-use support and other areas of need.
In Santa Clara County, you can access Peer Support Services through County Behavioral Health system or at Self-Help Centers.

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  • Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies’ fact sheet “How do I choose a Therapist?” and some of the sites listed below provide detailed information to help you choose a mental health professional and to enable you to better understand treatment options and the treatment process.
  • Psych Central’s Article on 10 ways to find a good therapist has some good tips on best ways to obtain referrals to good professionals.
  • You can also attend NAMI and other peer and family support groups. and ask for recommendations from others in the group.
  • Tips on Finding the Right Therapist for Teens
  • How to get insurance to cover denied claims
  • Checklist to bring to the appointment. Download, complete this useful checklist from Mental Health America before your appointment with your doctor. You can use this to remind you of what to talk to the doctor and help you keep track of your progress.
  • – Offer provide support for people who are dealing with substance abuse and addiction through comprehensive resources and guides. Their website has a searchable database for drug and alcohol abuse rehabilitation resources and information guide to the process, cost and more. This is a good resource for individuals and families who are dealing with dual diagnosis (mental health and substance abuse).

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* Note:  Many online directories are incomplete as professionals must ask to be included.  Try different search methods, or, if you have health insurance, contact the plan’s customer service number for a list of providers.

  • SAMHSA‘s search tool to find mental health and substance abuse care by zipcode. This website also has a lot of useful information on accessing treatment and how to pay for it.
  • Psychology Today’s Therapy Directory Search for mental health professionals in your area, by zip code, city, insurance, specialty, etc. For each provider listed, read about their therapy approach, specialty areas, fee policy (insurance, out of network sliding scale), credentials and contact information. (*Note: Therapist credentials include years in practice and school/trainings)
  • NEW!  Psychology Today’s Find a Teletherapy Therapist – Search for therapist who offer treatment via Phone, Video and Online
  • Web MD’s Find a Psychiatrist allows you to search for psychiatrists by state, city, specialty, insurance, etc.
  • Counseling California offers a searchable directory California-based Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists.
  • GoodTherapy offers a searchable database of over 1600 counselors and therapists worldwide. GoodTherapy is dedicated to promoting healthy counseling and psychotherapy. (*Note: Can search based on “Type of Service”, including “Home-Based Therapy, “On-Line Therapy”, “Group Therapy”, “Individual Therapy”).
  • The Medicare Physician Compare can assist you in finding a physician who is enrolled in Medicare.

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  • Parent Solutions – Ph. 408-292-4357 Offer collaborative behavioral health services for children, teens, adults, couples, families and older adults in Spanish and English at San Jose and Morgan Hill. They take insurance and offer sliding scale. Flyer
  • 211 Santa Clara County – 211 is the dialing code for free, non-emergency community, health and disaster information in Santa Clara County. They also have a Search Database for finding various types of services in this county. Type “Mental Health” in the search bar to find a variety of local mental health treatment resources.
  • The LGBTQ Youth Space – Phone: 408-343-7940.  A community drop-in center and mental health program for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning and ally youth and young adults ages 13-25 who live in Santa Clara County..
  • Sourcewise Resource Connection – Phone: 408-350-3200, option 1.  Offers a comprehensive database of community resources designed to help you locate services available in the Santa Clara County community.  The most complete, up-to-date, and personalized information can be found by contacting Sourcewise Community Resource Specialists at (408) 350-3200, or at
  • Olivos – Phone: 650-781-4148.  San Mateo company offering private pay mental health psychosocial rehabilitation and recovery services focusing on avoiding institutional care.  Services are individualized and tailored to the client and include case management, psychiatry, therapy, vocational rehab, supported education, medication management, life skills development, independent living, housing, or companion services.
  • SAMHSA Mental Health Facilities Locator – A searchable directory provided by the federal government’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Health Information Network that can help you find local community outpatient, inpatient and residential treatment facilities, for mental health and/or addiction issues.  Enter your state and/or county in the upper right “Find Facility” search bar to start.
  • Psychology Today Psychiatric Residential Treatment Centers in California – lists residential mental health treatment facilities.  List is searchable by disorder treated and by insurance accepted.

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The following table lists other low cost therapists and mental health clinics available within the Santa Clara County.


Santa Clara County Low Cost Therapy options
Phone Number Name Information
408-997-0200 Almaden Valley Counseling Service Provide short and long term counseling for children, adolescents, individual adults, couples and families. Fees are based on a sliding scale and are determined by income.
650-617-8350 La Selva Community Clinic Offers a full spectrum of free mental health services for English and Spanish speaking adults who are uninsured or underinsured.
650-961-9300 The Grownowski Center Provides sliding-scale counseling and psychotherapy services to adults, adolescents, children, couples, and families. Treatment is provided by doctoral-level students supervised by licensed psychologists.
408-292-4357 Parent Solutions Provide parenting coaching, individual therapy in English and Spanish in 2 locations – San Jose and Gilroy. Some insurances are accepted, they also offer sliding scale. Parent Solutions Flyer
650-326-6576 Family and Children’s Services Mental Health Offer counseling for a range of mental health needs, including grief, anxiety, depression, peer and family relationships, dual diagnosis, mood disorders, and trauma. Can provide psychiatric services and medication monitoring as needed. Accept Medi-Cal (with referral from County Mental Health) and most insurance plans, and charge sliding scale fees for clients without health coverage.
408-774-1009 Peace-It-Together Provide prevention and intervention counseling services to at-risk youth, and offers affordable mental health care services to vulnerable populations in our community. They offer lower fee counseling to: individuals, children, teens, couples and the older-aging population. offer sliding scale.
408-716-8101 Lighthouse of Hope Counseling Center – Sunnyvale Non-profit organization provides affordable counseling services to individuals, couples and families.
650-321-3055 Mental Research Institute Treat individual, child, adolescents, couples, and families with creative, solution-oriented therapy. Offer therapy in English, Spanish, Mandarin, French, Japanese, Hebrew, and Vietnamese. Sliding-scale fees are available based on income.
408-924-3074 The San Jose State University Psychosocial Clinic Group and one-on-one Psychotherapy support services offered by student therapists under supervision by licensed Occupational Therapist and SJSU faculty member. Fees are sliding scale. Open Tues/Thurs during Fall and Spring school semesters.
1-800-704-0900 Santa Clara County Behavioral Health Services Department Provide services in several languages to people of all ages in Santa Clara County who suffer from severe behavioral health (mental health/addiction) problems. BHSD’s network of county operated and contracted programs offer outpatient treatment and emergency behavioral health care that includes temporary hospitalization for individuals with severe mental illness. Eligibility for services is based on behavioral health needs. Medi-Cal beneficiaries are eligible for services based on the amount of their coverage.
650-324-3330 The Transitional Program – Palo Alto A community outpatient mental health program offering quality adjunct therapy to clients that have a prescribing physician or may have a primary therapist. They also provide classes on stress-reduction, relaxation, self-care, self-confidence, self-regulation, and more. The program is helpful for people transitioning from isolation and/or more intense mental health programs. Services are all offered on a no-cost/sliding-scale basis.
408-295-4011 YWCA Silicon Valley Counseling Services Offers confidential, short and long term, counseling and support services to clients of all ages including individuals, couples, families and groups. Counselors are Master’s level marriage and family therapy and social work counselors who are supervised by licensed therapists. Services are offered on an income-based sliding-scale. Also accept Victim Witness Compensation.

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  • 7 Cups is a website (and also a mobile app) providing free support to people experiencing emotional distress by connecting them with non-professional listeners trained in active listening. The listener interacts with the person seeking help via anonymous and confidential chat.  Listeners are rated by peers and those to whom they listen. 7 Cups also provides chat support groups and referrals to therapists.  View the 7 Cups Flyer.
  • Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) online Support: Provides free support for people living with depression and bipolar disorder.You can share experiences, discuss coping skills, and offer hope to one another. DBSA support groups are peer-led, meaning they are facilitated by someone living with a mood disorder. You can find groups for peers, young adults, and friends and family members.
  • Postpartum Progress: This website maintains an online forum in addition to providing a list of support groups.
  • Adult Children of Alcoholics World Service Organization: This 12-steps program for children who grew up with alcoholic parents or caregivers also has online meetings.

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