Campus Represents First Visible Sign of Systems Change for Mental Health Care in Orange County; Provides OC’s First-Ever Sobering Station
Orange, California – Be Well OC, today unveiled its first mental health and wellness campus located in the City of Orange, via a virtual ribbon-cutting celebration. This is the culmination of a public-private partnership that began with the Orange County Board of Supervisors Mental Health Ad Hoc Committee in 2015, comprised of Supervisor Lisa Bartlett and Supervisor Andrew Do, examining behavioral health services in Orange County. The event was streamed online and featured remarks from prominent community leaders from the Board of Supervisors, Orange County Health Care Agency, CalOptima, District Attorney, Sheriff and local health systems. Located at 265 Anita Dr., the 60,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art facility will provide best-in-class mental health and substance use disorder services to all County residents who are referred for care.
“The Be Well OC Campus in Orange will serve as a cornerstone in building a world-class system of mental health care and a new reality for our county,” said Chairman Andrew Do of the Orange County Board of Supervisors, First District. “COVID-19 has certainly exacerbated mental health struggles within our community, and I am deeply honored to be part of the ongoing endeavor to help ensure Orange County provides vital care to those who need it most.”
The first of three planned campuses, the facility in Orange features a crisis stabilization center for mental health needs, and the County’s first recovery station for substance use disorders. Other services include withdrawal management, adult residential treatment (transitional, co-occurring and substance use), and an integrated support center. The campus features 93 beds and has the capacity to treat about 100 people each day. While the facility will primarily treat adults, it will feature limited youth and adolescent crisis stabilization services, and strong partnerships with Children's Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) and other community-based organizations to assist with further treatment needs.
“This first Be Well OC Campus is a major step in creating a mental health system for our community that treats co-occurring disorders,” said Vice Chairman Doug Chaffee of the Orange County Board of Supervisors, Fourth District. “We’re excited and hopeful that the campus will transform mental health and substance use care in Orange County, while helping lift people out of, or prevent them from falling into poverty, illness, isolation, incarceration and homelessness.”
This will include a recovery station and residential programs for withdrawal management, substance use treatment, and treatment for co-occurring disorders.
“Everyone deserves a chance to live a full life,” said Orange County Supervisor Donald P. Wagner, Third District. “With Be Well OC, we are working together as a community to remove the stigma of seeking mental health treatment. We hope the Be Well model serves as an inspiration for healthier, happier communities throughout California and the country in the years to come.”
Additionally, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Warmline, a free and confidential telephone service, providing emotional support and resources to Orange County residents, will be located at the campus. The co-location of NAMI’s services within the physical location of the campus will create synergy around the partnership between Be Well OC and NAMI, helping both offer stronger and more efficient services to OC residents.
Integration of additional support services are planned for the future as well. Co-locating community-based support services honors whole-person needs and a whole-systems approach, improving outcomes and reducing recidivism.
“I am very excited that we have a project that has come online and will truly have a positive impact on the quality of life for all those struggling with mental health issues,” said Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, Fifth District. “I am very proud of the work our County and many partners have been able to accomplish on behalf of all Orange County residents. This is a big leap forward in providing a much-needed comprehensive approach to mental health.”
“Be Well is about systems transformation, and this is a significant step forward. Hospital emergency rooms aren’t designed to effectively address mental health crises,” said Marshall Moncrief, CEO, Be Well OC. “So, we’re adding the equivalent of urgent care for mental health and substance use into a comprehensive care facility. Patients and families experiencing a mental health crisis deserve the best care, at the right place, and at the time they need it most. This also helps ER doctors re-focus on physical health emergencies, which in the midst of a pandemic is more important than ever before.”
The Orange County Board of Supervisors committed $16.6 million for the development of the campus, in addition to investments from CalOptima, Kaiser Permanente, Hoag Presbyterian, MemorialCare and Providence St. Joseph Health (St. Jude Medical Center and St. Joseph Hospital).
Additional Stakeholder Quotes:
“Congratulations once again to Be Well Orange County. What you have done is to establish, what I believe to be, the model for mental health care in California. Your fundamental idea that we must have an integrated approach and that no one sector, private or public, can solve this problem alone is both simple and unique. I look forward to seeing how your effort blossoms even more and how we can look back and say, Be Well OC has started a movement that will lead to people living better lives, to safer and healthier communities, and to a better California and Country. Thank you so much for your leadership,” Mayor Darrell Steinberg, City of Sacramento and founder, Steinberg Institute.
“The Be Well OC Orange Campus is proof that when organizations pool their talent, resources, and imagination, solutions are within reach. Orange is proud to partner with the County of Orange, our sister Orange County cities, and the many private and non-profit stakeholders. This first Be Well Campus is a significant stride forward in providing help to those who have had nowhere else to turn,” said Mayor Mark A. Murphy, City of Orange.
“We are proud to partner with Be Well OC. Peace officers were never intended to be the first face of government for addressing mental illness and drug addiction. The Campus will provide much-needed services to properly address these challenges and preserve law enforcement and emergency room resources for their intended purpose,” said Sheriff Don Barnes, Orange County Sheriff's Department.
“Prior to the pandemic, one in five people in our community would face a mental health issue each year. Anxiety, depression, substance use disorders and other mental health issues are being exacerbated directly and indirectly by the effects of the pandemic. The Be Well OC movement is more important than ever before. The momentum we have today couldn’t be more important and necessary as we forge ahead. We must meet this moment and continue the great work of systems transformation,” said Dr. Clayton Chau, county health officer, and director, Orange County Health Care Agency.
“Vulnerable populations are disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, and large numbers of CalOptima members live in the low-income neighborhoods hit the hardest by COVID-19. Our members feel the loss and stress of this challenging time. The Be Well OC campus network will be a tremendous resource for those experiencing a mental health crisis,” said Richard Sanchez, CEO, CalOptima.
“This facility reflects another major step in providing world-class mental health and substance disease services to all Orange County residents. The resources provided within this wonderful campus will not only access needed services for our 580,000 Kaiser Permanente members, but will more importantly further support our Kaiser Permanente mission of improving the overall quality of health for all within the cities we serve,” said Mark Costa, senior vice president, area manager, Kaiser Permanente Orange County.
“Providence Southern California is incredibly honored to be a part of Be Well OC. Together we have built upon our shared goal of providing compassionate, meaningful and effective treatment, illuminating that path to wellness. Be Well OC is that beacon that lights the path,” said Erik G. Wexler, chief executive, Providence Southern California.
“The opening of the Be Well OC Orange Campus is a tremendous step forward. And while it is a beautiful facility, it’s the people cared for inside – those who’ve been quietly suffering and will now receive kind and compassionate care without judgment – that will truly make the difference. This new facility is a sterling example of what we can do as healthcare providers, government leaders and passionate experts, when we come together. MemorialCare is honored to support this transformational moment in our community’s history,” said Barry Arbuckle, president and CEO, MemorialCare Health System.
“As the initial concept for Be Well OC was being discussed, Hoag’s real estate and facilities team worked closely with the leaders of Mind OC and the County of Orange to develop the spatial program, design, and interior concepts that serve as the basis of the facility you see here today. Hoag is proud to support this important addition to Orange County’s health care infrastructure,” said Sanford L. Smith, AIA, Senior Vice President Real Estate and Facilities, Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian.
“Justice is not racking up convictions and getting as much jail time as possible. Justice is doing what is right for the individual. And what is right for society. When we help people escape the cycle of the criminal justice system and address the underlying issues that cause them to commit crimes – we are helping create fulfilling lives and safer communities. That is why as a County Supervisor and now as the elected District Attorney I fought so hard to have Be Well here in Orange County. I wanted it in the Third District when I was supervisor because I knew that this building – and the wonderful work that will be accomplished here – is a shining example of how a community should address mental illness,” said District Attorney Todd Spitzer, Orange County District Attorney's Office.
“One of the things I’m most passionate about, and most proud of, is the integrated model for mental health and substance abuse services at the Be Well OC Orange Campus. With the addition of community-based social support services, this honors whole-person needs and improves outcomes. I’m humbled by the incredible work and collaboration of all the talented people and organizations who have come together to make the opening of this first Be Well OC campus possible,” said Dr. Jeff Nagel, deputy agency director, Behavioral Health Services, Orange County Health Care Agency.
About Be Well OC
The vision of Be Well OC is to lead the nation in optimal mental health and wellness for all residents of Orange County. Be Well OC brings together a robust, community-based, cross-sector strategy – public, private, academic, faith-based and others – to create a community-wide coordinated ecosystem to support optimal mental health. For more information visit bewelloc.org and follow @bewelloc on Facebook and Instagram.