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San Rafael, California is located in Marin County. Situated in the north end of the San Francisco Bay region, San Rafael offers its 58,500 residents1 moderate temperatures, small-town appeal, and close proximity to major metropolitan areas. The city is home to many companies, including its largest employer, Kaiser Permanente.

Mental Health Statistics
According to California’s Department of Mental Health, the prevalence of serious mental illness among adult residents in Marin County amounted to 5.4% in the year 2000, and serious emotional disturbances in youth amounted to 6.9%2. The department also reported that only 1,360 Marin County residents required a 72-hour hold for psychiatric evaluation during the years of 2008 and 20093.

Substance Addiction is a Top Priority
San Rafael falls under the network of services offered by the Marin County Health and Human Services Department. Through the wide array of programs available on a county level, residents can gain access to valuable assistance to aid them with a variety of mental health issues. A top priority for the region is substance abuse and addiction. The Substance Use Services (SUS) Division of Marin County4 provides comprehensive care to all residents. Developed to be linguistically diverse, culturally empathetic, and all inclusive, SUS is able to attend to chronic psychological problems, crises, and other mental health issues that cause disability and impairment.

SUS partners with the legal, medical, and educational communities to ensure that every area of concern is addressed. Help is available with a sliding-scale method so that even those with economic limitations can receive care. Some of the services provided by SUS include outpatient therapy, detoxification treatment, prevention services, drinking and driving programs, parolee services, HIV intervention and monitoring, and adolescent services5.

Supporting Youth and Families
San Rafael also works through Marin County to reach children and families. The Children and Family Services (CFS) department provides a 24-hour emergency crisis program6 designed to protect children. All calls to the program are immediately responded to and investigated. The goal of CFS is to strengthen families and protect every county resident from neglect, abuse, or maltreatment. Because removal is often the last resort, families and children are able to take advantage of resources that improve conditions before crisis occurs. Families have access to parenting courses and childcare through CFS. Respite care is also available for those in need. CFS offers therapy for individuals and families and uses case workers and case management to assess the progress of those receiving care.

Youth and Family Services (YFS) is a special service designed to deliver intensive care for children and families with mental illness. It accepts all state-insured members and provides bilingual service with a continuum of care that includes therapy, coaching, and even medication referrals.

In addition, Youth Empowerment Services (YES)7 targets at-risk youth within the legal system. Through case management, education, psychiatric and psychological care, and family support, YES aims to minimize behavior problems among Marin County’s youth.

1 U.S. Department of Commerce, United States Census Bureau. (2013). State & county quick facts, San Rafael, California. Retrieved from

2 California Health and Human Services Agency, Department of Mental Health. (2004). Original Prevalence Data Based on the 2000 Census Estimates of Prevalence of Persons with Serious Emotional Disturbance (SED) and Serious Mental Illness (SMI) Marin County. Retrieved from

3 California Health and Human Services Agency, Department of Mental Health. (2011). Adult 72-hour evaluations and treatments by county fiscal year 2008-2009. Retrieved from

4 County of Marin, Health and Human Services. (2013). Children’s services, Children and family services. Retrieved from

5 County of Marin, Health and Human Services. (2013). Mental health and substance use services. Retrieved from

6 County of Marin, Health and Human Services. (2013). Children and family services. Retrieved from

7 County of Marin, Health and Human Services. (2013). Youth and family services. Retrieved from