Santa Clara County begins construction on Child, Adolescent, and Adult Behavioral Health Services Center


Hannah Saunders


On Wednesday, community members, healthcare leaders, and Santa Clara County supervisors celebrated the start of construction on the Child, Adolescent, and Adult Behavioral Health Services Center. The facility will be located on the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC) campus in San Jose, with construction expected to be completed by the fall of 2025.

Since access to services in Santa Clara County are currently limited, children and adolescents have had to travel to Alameda, Contra Costa, Solano, and Sacramento counties to receive short-term psychiatric hospitalization. The 207,000 square-foot facility will offer inpatient mental health treatment to children and adolescents in Santa Clara County.


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“This is the kind of acute care facility we’ve long needed in Santa Clara County for young people in crisis—a sanctuary where they can safely begin to heal, close to home,” County Supervisor Joe Simitian said at the event. 

Simitian, who chairs the county’s Health and Hospital Committee, first proposed the child and adolescent facility in June of 2015. 

“It’s clearly better for these kids to be close to their community when they’re in crisis—close to their family, their friends, and their own local mental health providers,” Simitian said. “This is about troubled teens at risk of doing damage to themselves or others; this is about families, struggling through the hardest thing they’ll ever face, and being torn apart at precisely the time they need to be together. This goes to the heart of community health and wellness.” 

The $422 million facility will be the first county-operated inpatient facility that is specifically for children and adolescents who are in need of behavioral healthcare, but it will also include a separate floor for adults. 

The upcoming Child, Adolescent, and Adult Behavioral Health Services Center will provide inpatient and outpatient medical and psychiatric care, emergency psychiatric services, intake and assessments, crisis care, and urgent care. 

The center will consolidate and integrate behavioral health services that are currently provided elsewhere throughout the SCVMC campus all into one new building. Within the building will be 77 in-patient beds, including 14 beds for children and 21 beds for adolescents, and emergency psychiatric services for children and adolescents. 

The building will also host 41 adult in-patient psychiatric beds and services, including emergency psychiatric services, and urgent care services that will be in a separate and secured part of the building. The center will have a pharmacy and a new parking structure. 

The executive director of the Santa Clara County chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Rovina Nimbalkar, said the center was a welcome and crucial new advancement for mental health treatment in the South Bay. 

“This new center provides something that NAMI’s members have long looked forward to—easier access to life-changing services,” Nimbalkar said. “Now our youth can get the help they need close to home, close to the support networks they have and need to achieve better mental health.” 

Construction of the center was approved in 2017, and at that time, 689 Santa Clara County youth were admitted to out-of-area psychiatric hospitals, with the average stay in a facility being for six days.