VA Northern California Health Care System
Mental Health Support
The Mental Health Service at VA Northern California Health Care System provides treatment* and consultation for a variety of issues that can impact emotional well-being. We offer outpatient mental health care at all VANCHCS locations, and inpatient psychiatric services in Sacramento and Fairfield. We conduct research and training to ensure state-of-the-art treatment. All services are recovery oriented; although the alleviation of symptoms is paramount to good mental health, the focus of services is assisting the Veteran to live a meaningful life as defined by him or her.
Mental health services provided at our health facilities include treatments for —
- depression, sadness, grief
- anxiety, worry, nervousness
- addictive behaviors
- relationship problems
- stress from medical problems and/or pain
- post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- emotional problems, such as managing anger
- vocational issues
- troublesome thoughts or ideas
- confused thinking
- aggressive or self-harming behaviors
- memory problems
* It should be noted that our services are focused on treatment and we do not provide evaluations for compensation and pension or disability. If you need a C&P exam, please refer to the Compensation Website.
How to Access Care
In most cases, Veterans seeking mental health services should call the appointment line for the nearest outpatient mental health clinic to schedule an intake with a licensed mental health provider. (For Veterans closest to Mare Island or Fairfield Clinics, Mental Health intakes are scheduled by electronic consult request.) During the intake appointment, the Veteran and his or her provider will discuss mental health concerns and treatment options. Available treatments may include education and psychotherapy groups, psychiatric medication evaluation and management, individual psychotherapy, and peer support. If appropriate, Veterans will be considered for referral to one of our specialty programs, such as PTSD, Neuropsychology, or psychiatric inpatient care.
Outpatient Mental/Behavioral Health Clinics
Other Ways to Access Care
Veterans whose closest clinic is Martinez, Mather or Oakland, and who are seeking treatment for addictions or substance abuse, may attend a Foundations Group at one of those clinics. Martinez Foundations Group meets Mondays 9:30 - 10:30. Mather Foundations Group meets Monday through Friday 9 - 10am (Friday is a Step Study Group). Oakland Foundations Group meets Mondays and Wednesdays at 9am.
Providers in other VA clinical areas, such as primary care physicians, may request a mental health appointment for a Veteran by submitting an electronic consult request. This is required for Veterans to be scheduled an intake at the Mare Island and Fairfield Mental Health Clinics.
Mental health clinicians are stationed on a full or part-time basis within most VANCHCS primary care clinics, and they provide rapid triage and treatment for patients who, during a primary care visit, are found to require mental health care, but are unwilling, unable, and/or unlikely to complete referral to the mental health clinic.
Veterans experiencing a life threatening emergency should dial 911 for immediate medical or mental health attention. Veterans who are having thoughts of harming themselves should call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 (press 1) or visit the Veterans Crisis Line Website.
Mental health services are confidential. We will not talk to anyone outside of your VA healthcare team about information you share unless you give written consent. Under federal and state laws, a few exceptions to this rule exist. If you have questions, please ask your mental health provider.
Veterans who are interested in participating in any program, please refer to the “How to Access Care” section above. Program contacts are intended to assist professionals in the community with information and referrals and should not be used for making appointments or seeking services.
Mare Island OPC
Hours of Operation
Monday - Friday
8:00am - 4:30pm