allcove™ Youth Drop-In Centers

Expanding early access to mental health care for youth between 12 and 25 years of age and their families

Integrated Mental Health for Youth

Research studies indicate that half of all mental health conditions begin by the age of 14. It is critical for California to continuously improve its system of care for youth to ensure that the help provided is both relevant and responsive. Young people rarely receive holistic services even though mental health challenges often coexist with other physical, social, and emotional problems. More than 75 percent of mental health challenges develop before a person reaches the age of 25, and early detection and treatment can significantly improve the health of adolescents as they transition to adulthood.

“There’s evidently a need for more support in our community for youth, especially more preventative care within the mental health system. We want to create a space where everyone feels safe and valid, regardless of which services they’re seeking.”
Phebe Cox

allcove™ Youth Advisory Group Member, Santa Clara County


The allcove™ Youth Drop-In Centers aim to increase accessibility to affordable mental health and wellness services for youth between the ages of 12 to 25 and their families, including behavioral health, physical health, housing, education, and employment support, and linkage to other services.

The allcove™ centers will provide culturally competent and relevant services for vulnerable and marginalized youth populations including, but not limited to, LGBTQ+, homeless, and indigenous youth.

The design of these allcove™ centers will be youth-driven with ongoing participation from youth through the establishment of allcove™ Youth Advisory Groups.

The overall goals of these allcove™ centers are to reduce suicide and suicide ideation, homelessness, unemployment, and school failure.


California’s Integrated Youth Mental Health Program builds upon the internationally recognized headspace© model of Australia and a collaboration between Santa Clara County and Stanford Psychiatry’s Center for Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing.

On January 23, 2020, the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission allocated $10 million for grants to expand allcove™ Youth Drop-In Centers. The Commission also made $4.6 million available to provide a Technical Assistance contractor who will support grant recipients with implementation, training, data collection, and youth-driven design strategies, and assist interested counties or program providers in exploring opportunities for starting allcove™ Youth Drop-In Centers in their communities.

Expected Outcomes

This program seeks to establish allcove™ Youth Drop-In Centers throughout the state to provide integrated mental health services for youth 12 to 25 years of age and their families in an innovative, comprehensive, and youth-friendly way. The goal is to reach adolescents and young adults in clinical sites, at school, online, and through other venues. The core components of the allcove™ centers include, but are not limited to:

  • Youth-informed design
  • Addressing mild to moderate mental health challenges, including anxiety and depression
  • One-stop-shop for mental health, physical health, substance use counseling, and educational, vocational, and peer support services
  • Accessible services that are affordable, destigmatizing, appealing to youth, and confidential
  • Staff that includes, but is not limited to, psychiatrists, psychologists, physicians, substance use treatment counselors, and peer and family support
  • Focus on vulnerable and marginalized youth including, but not limited to, LGBTQ+, homeless, and Indigenous youth

Project Milestones

Next Steps

  1. Execute Grant Agreements

    The Commission awarded five grants to the following applicants:

    • Wellnest© Los Angeles
    • Beach Cities Health District
    • Peninsula Health Care District
    • Sacramento County Behavioral Health Services
    • University of California – Irvine (Hub) & Wellness and Prevention Center (Spoke)
  2. Site Implementation Support

    The allcove™ Youth Drop-In Center grantees, Stanford Center for Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing, and Commission will work collaboratively to implement the allcove™ model, maintain Youth Advisory Groups to guide the ongoing service delivery strategy, and develop a data collection system.

  3. Convene allcove™ Learning Collaborative Meetings

    The Commission and Stanford Center for Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing will facilitate statewide gatherings with interested organizations to provide an overview of the allcove™ core components, distribute allcove™ program implementation guidelines, present evaluation results on allcove™ program outcomes, and include stakeholders’ perspectives on allcove™ program effectiveness and quality improvement efforts.”

Reach out to learn more about Youth Drop-In Centers