Homelessness/Behavioral Health (mental health and addiction) are connected, major issues of concern to the majority of San Diegans.
I’ve had families ask me, what do they do, where do they go if they have a loved one in a mental health crisis? Where can the police take someone having an episode on a street? A Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU) is the place for them, open 24 hours a day/7 days a week, for anyone needing assistance. Think of it as an emergency room, but for someone suffering from mental health issues.
Emergency rooms are great for treament of physical ailments, but they are not ideal settings for someone undergoing mental health breakdown. CSUs are designed to be calming places to calm people down, provide expert care to get them back under control and out of the mental crisis, and then create a plan for next steps for the individual.
Earlier this month, the County of San Diego opened its fifth CSU, three of which are in North County! The newest one is located at the North Coastal Live Well Center on Mission Avenue in Oceanside.
This is a safe place for someone suffering from a mental health crisis and will allow them to get the necessary help they need.
Currently, the number one provider, for those suffering from mental health issues, and addiction, is jail. People left untreated on our streets become out-of-control and desperate, and many ultimately require law enforcement intervention. CSUs provide a more productive and better alternative for law enforcement than jail or emergency rooms.
I'm hopeful we can bring more CSU's online and get people off the street and into the help they need.
A combination of CSUs, drug treatment, affordable housing units, and other efforts combine to make a dent in homelessness.