While NAMI Santa Clara County (NAMI SCCo) does not offer direct services (support groups, education classes, peer support, etc.) to children and adolescents under age 18, the NAMI Warmline Help Desk is often contacted by parents and caregivers of children and adolescents in this age group. Also, NAMI recognizes that Transition Aged Youth (TAY) between the ages of 16 – 26 often have issues and needs that differ from those of older adults. This document addresses mental health concerns and resources for children, adolescents and TAY.
- NAMI Services for Children, Adolescents and TAY
- Crisis Psychiatric Services
- Non Crisis Psychiatric Services
- County Services (Medi-Cal/Medicare)
- School and Special Education
- Transition Aged Youth
- Local Child & TAY Services
- Digital and Online Resources
- Mental Health Apps
Children and Adolescents – people under the age of 18 years. Mental health treatment laws and services for this group are very different from those for adults. Involuntary treatment laws also apply to children and adolescents, but parents and legal guardian may admit their child or adolescent to a locked psychiatric facility (technically, this is a “voluntary admission”).
TAY (Transition Aged Youth) – adolescents and young adults, usually between the ages of 16 and 23-26 years. This group, which is “transitioning” to adulthood, has unique mental health issues and needs, and mental health services are often targeted to them specifically.
NAMI Services for Children, Adolescents and TAY
While NAMI SCCo does not offer direct services (support groups, education classes, peer support, etc.) to children and adolescents under age 18, it does offer the NAMI Basics Class to parents and caregivers of this age group. Note: In some cases, parents and young adults between 18 and 23 may attend Family Basics (if their child/adolescent has an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and has not graduated high school). NAMI SCCo also has support groups for Families/Caregivers of the TAY group, and a school mental health outreach program for middle and high schools (Ending the Silence). Families and Caregivers of children, adolescents and TAY are welcome to contact the NAMI Warmline Help Desk for support and assistance with resources.
Crisis Psychiatric Services
Families who feel their child (of any age) is at immediate risk of harming themselves or someone else should call 911 and ask the dispatcher to send a Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) officer.
- Free 24-Hour Suicide Hotline – Phone: 855-278-4202
- UPLIFT Family Services’ Mobile Crisis Team: Phone: 1-877-412-7474/ 408-379-9085
Psychiatric staff from this unit may evaluate a child/adolescent and determine that they require hospitalization.
- Alum Rock Counseling Center’s Mobile Crisis Response & Counseling (MCRC): 24/7 Crisis Hotline: 408-294-0579 Office: 408-294-0500
A 24/7 mobile support line which provides linguistically & culturally sensitive support to youth and families in immediate crisis located in East San Jose.
- Bill Wilson Center’s SOS Crisis Hotline: 408-278-2585
Crisis hotline for parents, teachers and community support persons working with children and youth who may be experiencing behavioral or mental health crisis
- Bill Wilson Center’s Contact Cares Helpline: 408-850-6125
- Confidential helpline for Depression, Anxiety, Grief, Loneliness, Parental Stress
- Bill Wilson Center 24/7 Teen Line: 888-247-7717
- Santa Clara County Child Abuse Hotline (24/7): 1-833-722-5437, San Jose: 408-299-2071, Palo Alto: 650-493-1186, Gilroy/Morgan Hill Area: 408-683-0601
- Community Solutions’ SOS Crisis Hotline: 408-683-4118
Community Solutions serves Gilroy, Morgan Hill and surrounding areas.
Non-Crisis Psychiatric Services
- Families with Medi-Cal or no insurance:
Santa Clara County Mental Health Services Call Center : 1-800-704-0900
For assistance during a mental health crisis, help accessing County mental health services, and referrals to local community resources.
- Families with private insurance:
Contact private psychiatric facilities and hospitals that offer inpatient and outpatient services for this age group (i.e., El Camino, Good Samaritan, Stanford, and San Jose hospitals). Contact your insurance company to ask for their Provider List, and look forchild psychiatrists, therapists or clinics covered by your plan.
County Services (Covered by Medi-Cal/Medicare)
- Mental Health Call Center: 1-800-704-0900
Hours: 24hr/7days (crisis)
Office hours: Mon-Fri 8am-5pm
This is the centralized entry point for all Santa Clara county mental health services if you have Medi-Cal/Medicare or no insurance. They provide crisis intervention, direct callers to programs suitable for their needs and authorize fee-for services Medi-Cal visits.
- Gateway Call Center (Substance Use Treatment):1-800-488-9919 Hours: Mon-Fri, 8 am-5pm
- Santa Clara County Behavioral Health Services for Children, Youth and Family:
- KidConnections Network of Care (KCN): Birth-5 years old. Provides developmental and behavioral health services with focus on the caregiver/child relationship and a team approach. Therapists, Family support specialists work together to give assessments, therapy services, parent coaching, development interventions and other services. Referrals are accepted through Behavioral Health Call Center.
- Child & TAY Full Service Partnership (FSP): 1-800-704-0900
- Full Service Partnership (FSP) Programs are for children (6-15 years) and Transition Age Youth (16-25years) who need a higher level of care but do not qualify for inpatient hospitalization. FSP programs provides a comprehensive and intensive outpatient treatment service to both the individuals and their family.
- Family & Children Outpatient & Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP): For Medi-Cal patients. Referrals for this service are through the Mental Health Call Center. It includes assessment, individual and group therapy, case management, medication services, rehabilitation, ethnic specific services, integrated behavioral health and substance-use treatment, drop-in centers for adolescents and young adults.
- Therapeutic Behavioral Services (TBS) : Family and Children Therapeutic Behavioral Services (TBS) are supplemental program service provided if medically needed to clients who have full-scope Medi-Cal.
- LGBTQ Youth Space: Drop-In Center: 408-343-7940 Provides confidential counseling, has activities and other resources for LGBTQ youth in Santa Clara County.
School and Special Education Based Services
Children and adolescents with serious mental health issues (called severe “emotional disturbance” under special education law), that interfere with their learning and education (based on the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA) can often receive free special learning accommodations and support, including mental health services. Two general types of special education services are available under IDEA: Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and 504 plans. In addition, most school districts employ mental health professionals to provide “School-Based Services” to all students, including counseling, evaluation, and therapy in school offices or therapeutic classrooms. See “Special Education” for more information.
Transition Aged Youth (TAY)
TAY refers to adolescents and young adults, usually between the ages of 16 and 23-26 years. This group, which is “transitioning” to adulthood, has unique issues and needs, and often mental health services are target to them specifically:
If are in their late teens, they and their loved ones need to understand and plan for the fact that the laws governing their involuntary treatment will change at age 18, giving them the right to refuse treatment if they do not meet legal mental health involuntary treatment criteria. Young adults with serious and persistent mental health needs can have difficulty finding services to assist them in the transition to adulthood. Because available mental health, employment, and housing services are not always suited to young adults with mental illness, these individuals may not opt to receive these services. They can also find it difficult to qualify for adult programs that provide and/or pay for mental health services, interrupting the continuum of care they require. Finally, navigating the numerous and unique programs that address the diverse needs of these youth can be particularly challenging for them and their families.
Early intervention in psychosis is a clinical approach to those experiencing symptoms of psychosis for the first time. It forms part of a new prevention paradigm for psychiatry and is leading to reform of mental health services. This approach centers on the early detection and treatment of symptoms during the formative years of a psychotic condition (typically, from age 14 to 35). The first three to five years (up to and after an initial psychotic episode) are believed by some to be a critical treatment period. The duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) has been shown to be an indicator of prognosis, with a longer DUP associated with more long term disability. Early intervention programs feature multidisciplinary clinical teams providing an intensive case management approach during these critical years. The goal is to reduce the usual delays in treatment for those in their first episode of psychosis. The provision of optimal treatments in these early years is thought to prevent relapses and reduce the long-term impact of the condition. Early intervention is considered a prevention strategy.
Local Child & TAY Services
- ASPIRE Program: Phone: 866-789-6089
An intensive, six-week, 4-day-week after-school treatment program at El Camino Hospital for teenage youths with significant anxiety, depression, or other mental health symptoms. The group-based acute program’s primary goal is to help adolescents achieve emotional wellness, using treatments such as DBT and expressive arts. The program includes individual therapy, group sessions and activities, as well as family involvement. Accepts Medi-Cal, Medicare with approval, and private insurance (such as Blue cross/Blue Shield).
- Reach Program: Phone:1-855-273-2248
Early Intervention program for youth ages 10-25 years aimed at providing culturally competent and evidence based treatment. Treatment team includes psychiatrist, mental health clinicians, occupational therapist, vocational specialist and mentors. They also provide support to families through family groups, psycho-education and community outreach.
- Teen Therapy Center of Silicon Valley: Phone: 408-389-3538
246 Union Ave, Los Gatos, CA 950232
Private mental health clinic specializing in teenagers. Provide individual, group, family, parent support and in-home teen & family coaching counseling. Approach uses CBT and Family Systems Therapy. Private pay and out of network insurance (billed to clients who submit to insurance).
- Eating Disorder Resource Center (EDRC): Phone: 408-356-1212
15891 Los Gatos-Almaden Road, Los Gatos, CA 95032
Provides help through support groups, education about Eating Disorders. Their website has list of local treatment providers and useful information for those struggling with eating disorders.
- Reach & Rise™ Mentoring Program: A free one-on-one mentoring program offered by YMCA that matches youth ages 6-18years with a trained mentor. The program is aims to help youth develop resiliency. It focuses on youth struggling with social isolation, low self-esteem, family problems, peer conflicts, poor academic and/or poor decision making skills. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Digital and Online Resources for Teens/Adolescents
- Teenz Talk – A global teen community focusing on teen mental health and emotional well-being. Teenz Talk harnesses the power of peer connections and shared stories as a source of support, strength and inspiration.
- Crisis Text Line* – [text HELLO to 741741] Free 24/7 emotional and crisis support for teens (or people of any age). Text 741741 anywhere in the US to talk to a trained Crisis Counselor.
- Strength of Us: is an online community supported by NAMI where young adults living with mental health concerns can provide mutual support.
- Voices4Hope: is a place for teenagers and young adults with mental health challenges to talk with each other and gain access to information that will help them live happily and independently.
- LGBTQ Youth Space: A Program of Family & Children Services, with 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. This web site also has a page of other LGBTQ resources.
Mental Health Apps
SuperBetter: App that helps increase resilience using play. Improves mood, confidence and also reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Mindful PowersTM: This is an app designed for kids using play to teach mindfulness. It is a kid-friendly app focused on helping children build healthier ways to manage stress and anxiety.
Flowy: This app uses game that is controlled by the players breathing. The player guides a captain and his boat on the journey home. This game helps with breathing techniques that have been shown to help in calming anxiety. Available on iTunes and Google Play