Contra Costa opens dedicated youth psychiatric emergency unit

Youth psychiatric emergency unit opens in Contra Costa County
Photos via Pexels.

The Contra Costa Youth Stabilization Unit opened today in Martinez serving youth suffering from psychiatric emergencies. Until now, youth in the county would be treated alongside adults in the Psychiatric Emergency Services Unit (PES) at Contra Costa Regional Medical Center. 

The new 24/7 youth stabilization unit is located at 25 Allen St. next to the Miller Wellness Center. It serves people ages 6-17 for the first 24 hours of a diagnosed psychiatric emergency when they are considered a danger to themselves or others.

Last year, the PES unit saw 1,072 admissions for pediatric psychiatric patients, the majority of whom presented with depression and suicidal ideation or intent, according to the County.

Federal Glover, chair of the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors, said having a dedicated standalone space for young people will provide a safer, more secure and therapeutic environment to heal.

“This is a huge step forward for mental healthcare for youth in our community,” Glover said.

Contra Costa Health contracted with Pacific Clinics to staff the new unit. Psychiatrists, registered nurses, licensed vocational nurses, licensed psychiatric technicians, clinicians and crisis intervention specialists will be included on the care teams. Services will include crisis intervention, mental health assessment, medication assistance, therapy, alcohol and drug screening, case management and peer support.

“The new Crisis Stabilization Unit will give youth experiencing a behavioral health crisis compassionate care tailored to their needs,” said Suzanne Tavano, Behavioral Health director for Contra Costa Health. “It is going to be a tremendous resource for our community.”