Skip to main content

Is Sacramento County's New Mental Health Treatment Approach Working?

The Turning Point mental health center in Rio Linda smells faintly of cleaning supplies.

Vacuuming, countertop cleaning and other daily chores are required of all residents, but the routine is about more than just keeping a clean house.

Turning Point is a crisis residential program, created by Sacramento County to alleviate a decade-long shortage in mental health services. It offers  people who are coming down from suicide attempts, panic attacks and other serious mental health episodes a safe place to stay for 30 days.

Crisis residential programs are more intense than drop-in centers, but don’t require psychiatric hospitalization. They’re considered a best practice in the mental health field because they prepare patients to be self-sufficient after release.

Several counties statewide are establishing these programs with grants from the California Mental Health Services Act. Sacramento County opened the Rio Linda facility last year, and plans to launch two more by 2018.

The Rio Linda house isn’t locked - residents can leave and return as often as they like, so long as they attend group therapy three times a day and return by 7 p.m.

George Clark, a 31-year-old Turning Point graduate battling depression and addiction, says the balance of scheduled and unscheduled activities really helped him practice time management.  

Read more