City Heights Location Addresses Growing Need for Mental Health Services

Rady Children's Hospital and Price Philanthropies staff at the Behavioral Health Urgent Care open house.
Rady Children’s Hospital and Price Philanthropies staff at the Behavioral Health Urgent Care open house.

In a coordinated effort to address the growing need for mental and behavioral health services in young people, Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego and Price Philanthropies Foundation have partnered to open a specialized urgent care clinic in the San Diego community of City Heights.

The Behavioral Health Urgent Care clinic is staffed by a psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker and receptionist/registrar and operates from 9am to 8pm, Monday through Friday, with walk-in services available from 4pm to 8pm for children and adolescents requiring immediate mental health assessment or crisis intervention.

Price Philanthropies has awarded Rady Children’s a five year, $1.4 million grant to establish the recently-opened clinic, which is housed within the existing Rady Children’s Urgent Care clinic located in the City Heights Center at 4305 University Avenue in San Diego.

“With approximately 190,000 children in San Diego suffering from a mental or behavioral disorder, the need for these services is immense,” said Robert E. Price, president of Price Philanthropies. “Establishing this clinic in partnership with Rady Children’s is an important part of our holistic approach to helping youth and families in City Heights grow and prosper.”

In addition to providing walk-in services, the clinic accepts patient referrals from healthcare providers, schools, community organizations, and Rady Children’s primary and urgent care centers and emergency department. After being seen at the clinic, patients will typically be referred back to their existing community therapist or healthcare provider and linked to other necessary social support services. Staff are also available to provide follow-up at the clinic, including psychological education for patients and family, assistance making arrangements for on-going therapy or support in the community, short-term crisis stabilization interventions, case management and advocacy services, and monitoring the patient’s adjustment to new medications.

“Rady Children’s has made a long-term commitment to provide comprehensive mental health and psychosocial services to San Diego’s most vulnerable children, who struggle to access timely, high quality care,” said Dr. Donald Kearns, President and Chief Executive Officer of Rady Children’s. “There is a huge need not only to provide care to these young people, but to spread awareness and education about the mental health challenges so many children face. Price Philanthropies shares this vision and we are so grateful for their vital investment.”

The clinic complements the full range of services offered by Rady Children’s for children, adolescents and their families who are coping with mental and behavioral health issues. Rady Children’s offers outpatient services for conditions including depression, anxiety, attention deficit disorders, behavior problems, psychosis, and eating disorders; and inpatient care through its Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Services (CAPS) unit for children and adolescents with psychiatric illness. The CAPS unit includes an Eating Disorders/Medical Behavioral Unit, the only child and adolescent medical/behavioral inpatient unit in San Diego, and a Crisis Stabilization Unit, a short-term crisis assessment and treatment program that assists patients during a mental health crisis. Emergency and crisis intervention is available 24 hours a day at Rady Children’s through the Sam S. and Rose Stein Emergency Care Center.

The renovated space for the new clinic accommodates four offices and a patient waiting room. An open house was held on January 19th.