Escondido, CA

Facility will expand critical behavioral health services in North County

Palomar Health officially unveiled its new Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU) recently showcasing the two-story, 6,000 square foot pre-fabricated building; constructed offsite, then assembled and attached on location.

When the facility accepts its first patients, it will become the first purpose-built CSU in the county, designed as a place of refuge for people suffering a temporary behavioral health episode. 

The facility is strategically located adjacent to the Palomar Medical Center Escondido Emergency Department, eliminating transportation time from the current site and doubling the number of patients who can be served from eight to 16. The existing CSU is located in the old Palomar Medical Center downtown Escondido campus being vacated later this year to make way for a housing development. 

“This new facility not only meets the needs of our growing community, it also fulfills a promise Palomar Health has made to take care of the most vulnerable residents in our community,” Palomar Health President and CEO Diane Hansen said. 

“The design and increased capacity will enhance our ability to stabilize patients suffering a mental health crisis and either return them home or transfer them to the best place for care,” Palomar Health District Director for Behavioral Health Don Myers said.

CSU’s provide short-term, intensive treatment options for patients experiencing severe behavioral health episodes in a quiet, safe environment. On-site behavioral health experts are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to do assessments, prescribe medications and provide therapy. Patients are stabilized and discharged within 24-hours leaving with a therapeutic plan and suitable housing arrangements. 

“The CSU’s increased capacity and closer proximity will also improve Emergency Department throughput, decreasing wait times for law enforcement officers delivering behavioral health patients, as well as patients seeking medical emergency care,” Palomar Health Chief Operations Officer Sheila Brown said. “The program will enhance care coordination, including connections to ongoing, community-based care and follow-up, to ensure individuals remain connected to treatment.”

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