The Ventura County Behavioral Health Department (VCBH) offers a multitude of services to the community, including mental health services to address one’s emotional, psychological, and social well-being.

Often the importance of mental health is ignored due to the stigma surrounding it, and because of a lack of education on it. VCBH works on overcoming these barriers by reaching out to the community and providing a “no wrong door” approach.

Adult Mental Health Services Oxnard Regional Manager Salvador Manzo said to VIDA Newspaper that anyone who is seeking mental health services could just show up at one of VCBH’s clinics and be assessed.

“You don’t need to know which door to come in through, we will figure it out,” Manzo said to VIDA Newspaper. “As long as you come in through any door, our policy is to make sure we get you to where you need to be.”

Manzo also says that the best way to seek services is by calling the Screening, Triage, Assessment & Referral (STAR) team at VCBH. They can be contacted at 1-866-998-2243. This number can be called to receive immediate services as well.

VCBH treats and helps patients with depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, and more.

Youth & Family Mental Health Services Oxnard Regional Manager Zandra Tadeo says that VCBH has a multidisciplinary team throughout their clinics, and 85 percent of their staff are bilingual and bicultural.

“We have clinicians that have masters level education, we have case managers that have a bachelor’s level of education,” Tadeo said to VIDA Newspaper. “The clinicians provide the psychotherapy, and our case managers offer a lot of linkage to services and a lot of collaborative work with our families.”

VCBH also has psychiatrists that offer medication and psychiatry, and psychologists that do testing.

Manzo explained how there is a lack of knowledge and understanding of what mental health is within in the community, specifically in the Latino community and says that educating the population is one of the most important ways to overcome it.

“I’ve always called it a lack of psychological mindedness. How do you understand that something can be helped by mental health services?” Manzo said to VIDA Newspaper. “It comes with understanding what mental health issues are and educating the community.”

VCBH also offers services to the youth and families and have incorporated wellness centers into  a number of schools throughout the Oxnard school district.

“We work with the community and other agencies such as the school districts, we work in collaboration with the human service agency, child and family services, juvenile justice and with other community groups that are constantly working and doing that outreach,” Tadeo said to VIDA Newspaper.

There are wellness center for students at Pacifica High School, Oxnard High School, Channel Islands High School, Hueneme High School and more. A child as young as 12 years old can utilize the services offered at these wellness centers.

One of the outreach programs that VCBH works with is Logrando Bienestar. This program was designed to help the Latino community understand the importance of mental health.

“We help our community learn about what mental health is and address any of the stigmas or concerns of what it means to have a mental illness, and try to normalize the conversations around seeking services,” Cynthia Salas, Equity Services Manager for Logrando Bienestar, said.

VCBH has two clinics in Oxnard located at 1911 Williams Drive and 2500 South S. C Street.

“You don’t have to suffer in silence and there is help for you or someone you know,” Manzo said to VIDA Newspaper.