New Mental Health Center Opens in San Leandro

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The new Mental Health and Wellness Center is part of a larger Alameda County expansion. It includes enhanced member services and convenience to address growing mental health needs in the community.

A new Kaiser Permanente mental health and wellness center opens October 7 in San Leandro, offering a convenient way for members to access therapy and other mental health services in a state-of-the-art outpatient setting. Pictured, the adult lobby of the new center.

The center is 1 of 3 new mental health facilities Kaiser Permanente is opening in southern Alameda County this year, including a new inpatient hospital medical psychiatry unit and a mental health and wellness center at its Fremont Medical Center. These facilities represent an investment of $80 million in southern Alameda County and are part of a 5-year $450 million investment in mental health facilities to accommodate growth and improve geographic access in northern California.  Together these facilities include 40 new clinical and professional positions, bringing the total to 140.

Kaiser Permanente’s Mental Health and Wellness Center in San Leandro, conveniently located across the street from the San Leandro BART station, will provide services for children, teens, families, and adults. With 47 provider offices and 9 group therapy rooms, the facility will allow Kaiser Permanente to meet the growing demand for mental health services in the area.

In addition to the new facilities in San Leandro and Fremont, mental health services for adults and children, including addiction medicine and recovery services, will continue to be available at the Kaiser Permanente Union City Medical Offices.

“Mental wellness is a key component of a healthy, thriving life,” said Kapil Dhingra, MD, physician in chief at the Kaiser Permanente San Leandro Medical Center. “We are pleased to open the new center in San Leandro to serve the needs of our members and their families where they live and work, and to make Kaiser Permanente the mental health provider of choice for southern Alameda County and beyond.”

Services provided at the new wellness centers will address the full range of mental health and wellness needs of patients, including anxiety and stress, depression, and several disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity, autism, bipolar, psychotic, and obsessive-compulsive disorders.

“We’re offering comprehensive services to our patients in beautiful, dedicated spaces. There is emphasis in creating a relaxing environment because we know that warm accommodations make a difference for our patients,” said Xiu Lowe, MD, chief of psychiatry, Kaiser Permanente Southern Alameda County.

The addition of the 3 new mental health facilities in southern Alameda County bring critically needed services to address a growing community need, mental health advocates said.

“As advocates for mental health care, we applaud Kaiser Permanente for making these investments for greater patient access to care in the face of a critical shortage of qualified professionals,” said Joe Rose, president and CEO of the National Alliance on Mental Illness Alameda County South. “This ensures that our community has access to mental health care and support.”

Kaiser Permanente is currently seeking to hire at least 300 new therapists in California. Under a new initiative, 140 therapists are being trained each year, in addition to 2 psychiatry residency programs in Oakland and San Jose.

In southern Alameda County alone, Kaiser Permanente has distributed $4 million in grants to community organizations providing mental health services or programs that reduce stigma of mental illness. To enhance patient convenience and access, Kaiser Permanente is also greatly expanding the use of technology in mental health care, such as offering video visits with mental health care professionals.

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