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Mental Illness in Southern California: Frequently Asked Questions

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With teen mental health in crisis across the nation, many families in Southern California are seeking support for their children’s behavioral problems. And they often find it difficult to access reliable information about teen mental health treatment in their community. Here we provide answers to frequently asked questions about teen mental health services in SoCal, rates of teen mental illness in Southern California, and how to access clinical and emotional support for teen depression, anxiety, trauma, and other mental health needs.

What Is the Mental Health Rate in Southern California?

According to 2023 statistics from Mental Health America, 15 percent of California teens have had at least one major depressive episode in the last year. Moreover, 9 percent of California teens had a severe depressive episode. And 70 percent of those adolescents did not receive any mental health services in Southern California or in Northern California.

In addition, a survey conducted by California Health Care Foundation found that 1 in every 14 children in the state has an emotional disturbance that limits functioning in family, school, or community activities. And the majority of these children do not receive counseling services to address their mental health needs.

How Do I Access Mental Health Services in Southern California?

Newport Academy provides mental health assessments for Southern California families at no charge, in person at one of our locations or virtually. Our expert clinicians and local Clinical Outreach Specialists help families and referring professionals find the right mental health treatment center in Southern California or in another location, depending on the adolescent’s needs.

We provide various levels of care at our Newport Academy teen outpatient programs in SoCal and residential Southern California treatment centers. If Newport isn’t the right fit for an adolescent, we will help you find another treatment option.

Another important step in accessing mental health services in Southern California is insurance verification. Depending on your policy, insurance typically provides coverage for teen mental health services in SoCal and nationwide. Newport Academy works with most major insurance companies to optimize access to care for teens and families.


All calls are always confidential.

How to Find Teen Mental Health Treatment Centers in Orange County

Websites such as and provide lists of treatment centers in Orange County as well as other mental health services in Southern California. Newport Academy’s Orange County teen treatment centers provide both outpatient care and residential treatment in beautiful SoCal locations, for teen girls and boys.

Families should look for Orange County teen mental health treatment that has the following indicators of high-quality care:

  • Accreditation by a respected healthcare accrediting body
  • Affiliations with other healthcare and mental health organizations
  • Insurance partnerships in Southern California
  • Published outcomes research providing evidence of the positive impact of treatment
  • An integrated approach that encompasses both clinical expertise and psychiatric care, including individual therapy, family therapy, group therapy, and medication management

What Are the Best Insurances for Mental Healthcare in Socal?

Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of California, HealthNet, and Kaiser Permanente are some of the best insurances for mental healthcare in Southern California. Newport Academy’s teen mental health programs in California work with insurers and families to cover as much of the treatment cost as possible through insurance.

Our Utilization Review team is highly experienced in working both in and out of network with Southern California behavioral health insurance policies. We are experts in negotiating Single Case Agreements for families in need of care. A Single Case Agreement is when a provider, such as Newport Academy, negotiates a special contract so that out-of-network providers can work with your insurance company on an in-network basis. 

Are There Teen Mental Health Treatment Programs in Bakersfield, CA?

Yes, there are teen mental health treatment programs in Bakersfield and in surrounding cities and Southern California counties. Moreover, there the mental health rates in Bakersfield are worse than in other SoCal counties. Data from the California Department of Public Health shows that the overall suicide rate in Kern County, where Bakersfield is located, is 13.6 per 100,000 people. That’s higher than the overall state suicide rate, which is 10.5. As a result, Bakersfield teen mental health treatment programs are increasingly needed.

However, families seeking Bakersfield teen treatment programs and mental health resources can also access care outside of the area. In fact, there are several important benefits of traveling outside your local area to receive treatment. For example, some families may find that available Bakersfield mental health services aren’t the right fit for their teen’s mental health needs.

Is San Diego’s Teen Mental Health Rate Worse Than Other Cities?

Local data found that rates of depression and other mental health symptoms have been steadily increasing among teens in San Diego over the last decade. Specifically, the number of San Diego high school students reporting persistent sadness rose from 26 percent to 35 percent between 2009 and 2019. The prevalence of sadness and depression in San Diego teens was highest among younger adolescents, teen girls, and LGBTQ youth.

These San Diego teen mental health stats are slightly lower than the national rates for adolescent well-being. National research shows that 29 percent of teen boys and 57 percent of teen girls report persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness. In addition, the number of teens admitted to children’s hospitals as a result of suicidal thoughts or self-harm behaviors has more than doubled during the last decade.

What Is the Suicide Rate in Southern California?

Recent research shows that 7 per 100,000 adolescents in California die by suicide. And many more adolescents are at risk for suicidal behavior. Every day in the United States, there are more than 3,000 suicide attempts by high school students, according to the Jason Foundation.

Furthermore, the number of teens admitted to children’s hospitals as a result of suicidal thoughts or self-harm has more than doubled during the last decade. Moreover, half of LGBTQ teens considered suicide in the past year, and 18 percent made a suicide attempt. These national statistics are on trend with the youth suicide rates in Southern California.

What’s the First Step to Accessing Teen Treatment in SoCal?

Contact Newport Academy to access a mental health assessment at no charge, at one of our teen treatment centers in Southern California or virtually. Our experts can assess your teen’s mental health symptoms and recommend the best behavioral health services for your child and family members, whether that’s a residential SoCal treatment center or an outpatient treatment center in Santa Monica, Costa Mesa, or our other Southern California locations.

If Newport’s Southern California mental healthcare services aren’t appropriate for your teen or family for any reason, we’ll help you find an option that will work. Our goal is to support young people and families from SoCal and around the country to access the highest-quality treatment. Here’s how to start the healing journey.