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These references are not construed as providing medical/legal advice nor endorsements. These represent the positive experiences and practical knowledge collected and updated as data becomes available. The local area covered is Alameda County.

Mental Health Parity Act: Not all illnesses or health plans are covered.

  • Blue Cross Trust exempts itself from the Parity Act because it is a Trust entity.
  • For Medi-CAL and SSI, you need a diagnosis of "serious and persistant mental illness" to get in the door. Medi-CAL services for Minors under 21 from your health care provider:
    • EPSDT (Early Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment)
    • Individual, Group, Family Therapy
    • Crisis counseling, Case management
    • Medication for Mental Health
  • One family reported that Kaiser initially avoids a DSM-4 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition) diagnosis or "labeling" of a patient to avoid costly mental health services. Doctors also move frequently around the system making it difficult to maintain continuity of treatment. However the Kaiser staff at Pleasanton Mental Health have been long-term for the past few years (see below).

Crisis Phones


If you need help and the police won't or can't 5150 a loved one, call:

  • A phone evaluation can be done before an ACCESS team comes out - Mon-Fri 2p-10p
  • South Alameda County ACCESS Mobile Crisis Unit - 1-800-491-9099 - Mon-Fri 9a-5p
  • North Alameda County ACCESS Mobile Crisis Unit - 1-800-489-1811 - Mon-Fri 9a-5p
  • After hours: John George Emergency Mobile Crisis Unit - 24-hour - 510-481-4141
  • Crisis Support Service (Alameda County) - 24-hour - 925-449-5566 or 1-800-SUICIDE
  • Kaiser Mental Health - 925-847-5585 (Can be busy)
  • Santa Rita Jail mental health - 925-551-6740
  • Sausal Creek Outpatient Stabilization - 510-437-2363

Local Area Information

  • ACCESS - Alameda County Mental Health Program Information - 800/491-9099 Referral Line
    2035 Fairmont Drive - San Leandro
    Mental health diagnosis and assessment; Crisis intervention; referral to County programs. Best resource for Medi-Cal patients
  • Behavioral Health Care Services (BHCS) - (click here) for their IE or NS7 web site
    2000 Embarcadero Cove #400 - Oakland
    Dr.Richard Singer, MD, Medical Director
    Marye Thomas, MD - 510/567-8100
    A department of Alameda County Health Care Services Agency. Vehicle License Fee is major source for mental health services - $2 million of BHCS budget
  • Best Now! - Coordinator Steven Bucholtz - 510-652-7451
    Nine-month training prepares mental health clients for human service jobs and leadership positions in Alameda County mental health system. Replaced "Jobs Now!" program. Applications required for the nine-month training (begins each October)
  • CHADD of Northern California - Alameda County - 510-291-2950
    CHADD works to Improve the Lives of People with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder through Education, Advocacy, and Support
  • CRIL- Community Resources for Independent Living - 510-881-5743
    Office open in Livermore on Mondays: M-F 9a-5p
    3311 Pacific Ave, Multi-Service Center - Livermore - 925-484-1481
  • East Bay California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
    Mental Illness Resources Advocacy
  • La Familia Counseling Service - 510-881-5921
    26081 Mocine Ave - Hayward
    Bilingual, bi-cultural mental health counseling.
  • Mental Health Association of Alameda Country M-F 9a-5p 510-835-5010
    954 60th St., Suite# 10 - Oakland - NEW LOCATION
    Stanford Avenue Business Center, Corner of 60th and Lowell
    Nearest Bus-Stop: Market at 59th (AC Transit Bus #88)

    PROGRAM: Mental Health Advocates - 510-835-5532
    Helps get benefits and services
    (Tri-Valley family found staff competent and knowledgable)

    PROGRAM: Patients Rights Advocacy - 800-734-2504
    Advocacy for people seeking/receiving mental health care

    PROGRAM: Family/Caregiver Advocate -
    Advocacy for family members looking out for their loved ones welfare

    PROGRAM: NAMI Alameda County/Family Alliance for the Mentally Ill
    That's us! To get on our Meeting Notice e-mail list,
    ...send E-Mail with "FAMImeetingnotice" in subject line
    Click Subscribe to get monthly "Familes Advocate"

    PROGRAM: Family Information Referral Service (FIRST)- 510-835-0188
    Telephone referral service
  • Protection & Advocacy, Inc - 510-430-8033
    433 Hegenberger Rd, Suite 220 - Oakland
    Legal Advocacy for people seeking/receiving mental health care
  • Social Security Administration
    Here is how the SSA defines disability: Disability Planner
    Local Tri-valley office moved to: 24301 Southland Drive, 5th Floor, Hayward
  • Tri-Valley Human Services Directory (2002 Edition)
    Human services are most needed in a crisis when time is of essence. This directory is a critical resource to connect with non-profit service providers. Download this 1 Megabyte PDF (Acrobat Reader) file for help to residents in Livermore, Pleasanton, Dublin, and San Ramon.
  • ValleyCare Consumer Health & Medical Library - 925-734-3315
    5725 W. Las Positas Blvd, Suite 270 - Pleasanton
    Second floor of new Medical Plaza at Stoneridge and W. Las Positas
    Near the Courthouse - Open to the Public
    M/F 10a-2p - T/W 10a-5p - Th 10a-8p

Local Area Hospitals and Treatment Centers

There are only a few nearby private psychiatric hospitals: John George (San Leandro), Herrick House (Berkeley), and Mt.Diablo (Concord).

  • Alta Bates Hospital - Herrick House - Berkeley - (5150's and longer care)
    Bipolar Support Group - Thursday evenings
  • Arbor House Community Services - 925-455-1290
    486 South K Street - Livermore
    Mental health needs for all ages. Relationship counseling: families, couples, children, parenting, and individuals. Psychotherapy offered including dreamwork, sand tray, and play therapy. Group therapy and support groups: parenting,women's groups, various topics during year
  • Axis Community Health (Do not confuse AXIS with ACCESS)- 925/462-5544
    See also: Valley Community Health Center
    4361 Railroad Ave - Pleasanton
    Of available basic health care since 1972, AXIS provided 2,200 mental health counseling visits in 2004, especially for uninsured. There are over 12,000 adults and 5,000 children in Tri-Valley in or near poverty.
  • BACS - Bay Area Community Services - Creative Living Centers - 510-654-7355
    3900 Valley Avenue, Suite B - Pleasanton - 925-484-8457
    Agency provides day rehabilitation services to adult with severe and persistent mental illnesses. Services include training in daily living skills and symptom management with an emphasis on pre-vocational and employment skills training and employment placement.
  • Bonita House, Inc - Berkeley
    Rick Crispino, Executive Director - Dual diagnosis ONLY
    Residential Treatment - 15 residents up to 5 months - Long wait list
    Supported Independent Living
    Creative Living Center
  • Children's Hospital - Oakland
  • CRIL - Community Resources for Independent Living - 510-881-5743
    Office open in Livermore on Mondays: M-F 9a-5p
    3311 Pacific Ave, Multi-Service Center - Livermore - 925-484-1481
    Benefits support; housing referrals; personal assistant services; information and referral; assertive technology; peer support; individual and systems advocacy for persons with disabilities of all ages.
  • Fairmont Hospital - John George Psychiatric Pavilion - 510-481-4141
    2060 Fairmont Dr - San Leandro
    24-hour crisis line 510-481-4141
    This is our LOCAL Psychiatric Hospital (5150's and short term)
    Right hand entrance as climbing the hill from freeway - Parking behind hospital. At crest of the hill is the courthouse, continue past that to get to the parking lot.
  • Fremont Hospital - Fremont (juvenile 5150's and adult)
  • Kaiser Residential -
  • Legends Unit - Valley Memorial Hospital - 925-373-8038 or 1-800/884-8038
    1111 E.Stanley Blvd - Livermore
    Seniors short term - E-Mail
  • Medicine Shoppe - Pleasanton - Helpful Pharmacologist
  • Regional Center of the East Bay (RCEB) - 510-383-1200
    7677 Oakport Street #300 - Oakland
    State-funded program for individuals with mental retardation, autism, epilepsy, or cerebral palsy which provides case management services, advocacy and coordination of services. Although not directly serving needs of mental illness, the RCEB has useful web links. Also included are disabling conditions closely related to mental retardation or requiring similar treatment.
  • Sausal Creek Outpatient Stabilization - 510-437-2363
    2620 26th Ave - Oakland - MAP (26th Ave is in segments)
    23-hour stabilization unit - Voluntary admission
    5150 admits are an option
  • Tri-City Adult/Child Outpatient - Fremont 925-795-2434
  • Valley Children's Services - 925-462-3010
  • Valley Community Health Center (VCHC)- 925-462-5544 M-F 9a-9p
    See also: Axis Community Health
    3922 Valley Ave - Pleasanton
    3311 Pacific Ave - Livermore
    Mental Health Services - 4361 Railroad Avenue - Pleasanton
    Drug & alcohol recovery services, counseling services for children, teens, adults and families. ADD/ADHD, assessment and treatment for children, teens, and adults.
  • Valley Mental Health Services - 925-462-3010
    3730 Hopyard Road, Suite#103 - Pleasanton
    (Located across parking lot from the DMV)
    Services for both adults and children, including individual psychotherapy; referrals for psychiatric hospitalization and placement; medication; education; behavior management; consultation; AB-3632 outpatient services. Information and referral to public.
  • Valley Support Services (BACS) - 925-484-8457
    3900 Valley Ave - Pleasanton
    157 Main Street - Pleasanton, 925-484-8457 - Tues, Wed, Thurs 9:30a-2:30p
  • Villa Fairmont

Housing and Residential Programs

  • Berkeley Emergnecy Food and Housing - 2 year maximum - 510-649-4965
  • Phoenix Halfway House - Contra Costa County
  • STARS Community Services - 510-352-9200
    STARS Adolescent Center, 2050 Fairmont Dr - San Leandro - 510-678-5516
    18-23 year olds, Medi-Cal
    (9/2004 Report: Mostly black inner-city youth. Appears underfunded.)

Local Area Mental Health Counselors

Not all counselors are appropriate for all situations nor all age levels. Psychiatrists are doctors who manage medical regimens. Phychologists use various counseling techniques. Both aspects are needed in the mental health field.

"The mind-body-spirit connection is profound. A healthy person can think themselves physically sick (psychosomatic induced illness) but a mentally ill person cannot think themselves well. Health (mental or otherwise) is a balancing combination of psychological and biological assessments. The spiritual element (positive and negative) is mostly limited to anecdoctal evidence but doctors/counselors review it in their case analysis when warranted." - Harry Briley

  • Community Christian Counseling (MFCC, MFT, Phychology)- Pleasanton - 925-846-7768
  • Del Valle Clinic - Livermore - 925-443-2500 - Mon-Fri 9a-5p
  • Elizabeth Compost - Public Defender, Pleasanton
  • Edwards - Creative Living Center - Pleasanton
  • Eloise Fox - Valley Support Services - Pleasanton
    Entry coordinator for Alameda Mental Health services
  • Penny Russell - Santa Rita Jail inmates - 925-551-6740
    Crucial link to Mental Health services
  • Herbert Schrier, MD
  • Stephen Shaw, MD - Pediatrician
  • Illena Soto - Horizons Family Counseling (Phychology)- 925-371-4747 - Mon-Fri 9a-8p
    For families with "Beyond Control Children" (ages 8-17) include running away, disobedience,truancy and behavior problems at school. Located on north side of the Livermore Police Department building.
  • Grant Syphers, MD (Psychiatry) - Pleasanton - 925-463-3527
  • Turning Point - Oakland (and Walnut Creek?) - For dual diagnosis
  • Peggy Wynne - Pleasanton

Local Area Kaiser Mental Health

These Kaiser Pleasanton Mental Health staff are ONLY accessible on a Kaiser Health Plan.
  • Peggy Johnstone, CNS - 925-847-5585
  • Diane Manning, LCSW - Child and Family Intensive Outpatient Coordinator, for children and adolescents
  • Dr. Rathna Rao, MD - Child Psychiatrist
  • Karen Tennebaum, LCSW - Coordinator, Outpatient Therapy
  • Lianne Zerbe, LCSW - Case Manager for children and families


Rev. 9/17/05- Copyright(c)2000-2005, Harry Briley.

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