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Treatment Programs

Crisis Stabilization Unit

Short-term crisis stabilization unit for individuals struggling with an acute mental health crisis as an alternative to inpatient hospitalization or other levels of care.

Philosophy of Care

We focus on crisis stabilization during each patient’s stay; our goal is to move individuals to a less-intensive level of care as soon as it is safe to do so. We know this can be a scary time, and for some, this is their first hospitalization due to a mental illness. Our experts are here to help, and serve as a source of guidance and comfort. Plus, we specialize in pharmacological interventions.

Who We Serve

Individuals generally come to our unit for care after experiencing suicidal ideation, a suicide attempt, severe anxiety, or generally unsafe behavior. In general, we treat individuals who are experiencing one or more of the following disorders: major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety, bipolar disorder, a personality disorder, a dissociative disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.



Alter Behavioral Health provides a short-term crisis stabilization program developed as an alternative to inpatient hospitalization where individuals struggling with an acute mental health crisis can come to stabilize either in lieu of being hospitalized or other levels of care. We provide around-the-clock intensive psychiatric/medical care, and onsite 24-hour nursing care including continuous observation, monitoring, and intervention as well as administration of medications. Our mission is to provide a sustainable impact on the individual and family system as a whole.


During our Crisis Intervention Assessment our top priority is that our patients feel safe and secure to discuss their mental health. To qualify for immediate mental health treatment at Alter’s Crisis Stabilization Unit, an individual must be ready for treatment that would otherwise be appropriate for entering a psychiatric hospital.

How To Assess A Crisis

It may be difficult to know if you are in a crisis. Depending on your medical team, a crisis may be evaluated in different ways. At our center, we utilize an in-depth set of assessment methods. These methods allow us to better understand what challenges you are currently facing and whether or not our center will be most effective for your needs. Our assessment methods include:

  • Family history
  • Thorough diagnostic test
  • Complete biopsychosocial assessment
  • PHQ-9 test
  • GAD-7 test
  • Additional tests when necessary

Our 6-Step Crisis Stabilization Plan

After enrolling in our CSU, we work with our clients to establish a plan to help them out of a crisis. Each step is designed to:



  • Define the problem: Our care team works with you to establish the problem or problems at the center of your crisis. Identifying the core of the issue is vital to all healing journeys and allows us to work with a solid foundation.
  • Ensure safety: After we’ve established the core problem, we work with you to create a safety net. Recovery must be built upon a sturdy foundation, and our center can provide that.
  • Provide support: Once we have identified the problem and created a safe space for you, we can begin the treatment process. We understand that no person comes into our CSU for the same reason as another, so we provide a wide swath of treatment options that are designed to provide you with a flexible toolkit for recovery.
  • Examine alternatives: Recovery is never simple. Sometimes, the strategies we come up with may not be enough. At Alter Behavioral Health, our experts help you to identify and prepare for the potential ways in which alternate forms of care and support can be accessed.
  • Make a plan: As our clients prepare to exit the CSU, we spend time creating a customized plan for your future recovery. We work with you to solidify the strategies you’ve learned in our care and transfer them to your home life, ensuring you are fully prepared.
  • Obtain commitment: Finally, we complete your crisis stabilization by obtaining your commitment. At this point, our clients are fully prepared to return to their normal environments.


Want more information? Contact our admissions team for a free consultation or to get more details about any of Alter’s programs.

Your Mental Health Team

The team around you matters in your success, so we’ve packed it with deep experience and a variety of specialties. Our clinical team contains industry-renowned leadership and a diverse lineup of master’s level therapists with expertise in anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, trauma, bipolar, and more.

A Compassionate Approach to Behavioral and Mental Health Emergencies

Our team of dedicated psychiatric professionals will help you through life’s most difficult moments in a compassionate and safe environment. We will work with you to create a plan of recovery that respects your individual choices and empowers you to integrate your needs, wants, preferences, strengths, and goals into a recovery plan that works for you. At Alter, we believe in a holistic approach to recovery that encompasses mind, body, spirit, culture, and community. Our approach to crisis stabilization results in a recovery plan that you can take with you. 

Behavioral health facility

San Diego

Behavioral health facility

San Juan Capistrano

Check Your Insurance Coverage

We work with most PPO insurance’s out-of-network benefits. Our team is happy to help you verify benefits.

Reach Out Today

We understand that choosing the right program can be challenging. By filling out this contact form, our experienced team will review your information and reach out to guide you throughout the next steps.

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Check Your Insurance Coverage

Insurance benefits vary greatly depending on the policy you have, so we obtain a detailed quote of your coverate. It usually takes between sixty to ninety minutes depending on how fast we can connect with your insurance company and the time of day.

Insurance Verification Information Please complete the following information for the person seeking treatment. We will check your insurance coverage and benefits to see if you’re covered. This insurance verification is entirely free and no obligation.

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