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Senior Behavioral Health Program

Appointments & Referrals

Inpatient (Hospitalization) Services

Intensive Outpatient Program

  • 619-471-3877
  • 410 Dickinson Street
    San Diego, CA 92103

The UC San Diego Senior Behavioral Health Program is an inpatient, outpatient and community-based program that offers an integrated psychiatric and medical approach specifically designed for seniors. The program helps patients gain new insights, enhance self-esteem and build coping skills while also addressing their physical problems.

The program offers the most advanced psychiatric and medical care based on a combination of individual, group and family therapy, including occupational therapy, exercise groups and education.

Daily Living Activities

While in the hospital, patients are encouraged to engage in daily living activities as part of the comprehensive program and are welcome to bring personal mementos, such as photo albums and pictures. There are also a variety of activities implemented that encourage socialization, such as our gardening group activities.

Group GardeningOur Senior Behavioral Health staff teamed up with the Horticulture Therapy team to help patients make good use of our exterior ashtrays by turning them into beautiful planters.

The gardening group activities stimulate natural socialization between staff, patients and their family members, who often come to visit.

The outpatient clinics provide comprehensive assessment and follow-up treatment, including:

  • Medication therapy
  • Psychotherapy
  • Cognitive evaluations
  • Family education
  • Support services

In addition, geriatric psychiatry consultation services are available in long-term care facilities.

Patients are seen by a multidisciplinary team of specialists affiliated with the UCSD School of Medicine, including:

  • Geriatric psychiatrists
  • Geriatric internal medicine specialists
  • Psychologists
  • Social workers
  • Psychiatric nurses
  • Registered dietitians
  • Occupational and physical therapists

By working together, team members provide a safe, caring and supportive treatment environment, which stimulates independent positive living for each patient. In addition to addressing the behavioral health needs of each patient, the program is specifically designed to manage the medical conditions of older adults.

Family participation is encouraged to facilitate the patient's return to a healthy life. Close family contact with the treatment team provides a better understanding of patient's needs and facilitates a smooth transition back to the home environment or residential care facility after discharge from the program.

Common signs that may indicate the need for help include:

  • Depression
  • Social withdrawal
  • Severe anxiety
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Sleep and appetite changes
  • Loss of interest in appearance
  • Hallucinations
  • Confusion
  • Severe memory loss

Physicians, health care professionals and family members may refer patients directly to the program. A free, confidential screening is available in the patient's home or at the facility. Patients are admitted to the program voluntarily and receive a complete medical evaluation, nursing assessment and psychiatric evaluation before an individualized treatment plan is formulated.