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New crisis stabilization unit to improve behavioral health care in North County


Last updated 11/21/2019 at 3:04pm

ESCONDIDO – Pre-fabricated walls were put in place recently for Palomar Health’s new crisis stabilization unit.

The new unit delivers several improvements over the existing facility, according to the health care provider. It doubles the number of patients who can be served at any given time from eight to 16; it’s located next door to the Emergency Department on the campus of Palomar Medical Center Escondido eliminating transportation time and costs and is designed following best practices to serve people suffering a mental health crisis.

“We are committed to providing the very best care for all our patients,” Palomar Health chief operating officer Sheila Brown, RN, MBA, FACHE, said. “The CSU will benefit the entire community. It should improve our ability to stabilize patients having a mental health crisis by treating them in a safe environment that’s less restrictive than a hospital and open beds for patients best treated in the Emergency Department.”

The CSU is a short-term, intensive treatment option for patients experiencing severe behavioral health episodes. 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 should provide several community benefits including increased efficiency for law enforcement officers delivering patients, immediate interventions delivered to people experiencing mental health issues and reduced wait times in the Emergency Department for patients seeking non-behavioral health treatment.

Palomar Health is also working with the county of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency to bring inpatient behavioral health services to the Palomar Medical Center Escondido campus to broaden the continuum of care provided to North County residents.

Established in 1948, the award-winning team at Palomar Health provides the most comprehensive health care in North San Diego County through its three medical centers and more than 900 affiliated medical providers serving more than half a million people. For more information, visit

Submitted by Palomar Health.


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