I am writing in appreciation and support of the high quality psychiatric care that my son, and our family, have received at the Psychiatric Health Facility (PHF) and through Santa Barbara County’s Mental Health out-patient services.

Our family was so confused and worried when our son suddenly started exhibiting signs of mental illness, right after his 18th birthday. Up until then, he was a thriving young man with every indication he would lead a typical, successful, and happy life.

We were so fortunate to find ourselves in the “medical home” of a doctor at the county’s Alcohol, Drug, and Mental Health Services who was consistently respectful with both my son and our family. Even when my son exhibited very antisocial behaviors, the doctor empathized with, and treated him as, the intelligent person he is. The doctor showed that he valued me as the expert on my own child, and in turn, I valued him as a competent expert on the treatment of mental illness.

During the past eight years, my son has been in and out of the PHF many times. Every time he’s there, I visit as often as possible and see firsthand that he receives wonderful care. All of the staff—doctors, social workers, even receptionists—show that they care about my son and his recovery. Social workers, deftly navigating a complex legal/social/medical process, calmed me and helped me understand these daunting systems.

My son is now secured by a safety net of conservatorship and a full range of social services. He is currently at Crestwood Rehabilitation Center in Bakersfield. I have been assured he will be able to come home to psychiatrically assisted housing here in Santa Barbara County as soon as he is well enough.

I believe true healing will only happen within the context of warm relationships and nurturing environments. The services we receive from Santa Barbara County’s Mental Health Services provide just that.


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