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San Francisco VA Health Care System


Mental Health

About the Program

The Mental Health Service at the San Francisco VA Medical Center provides consultation, evaluation, and treatment for a variety of issues that can impact emotional well-being.

The staff work closely together to develop a treatment plan which meets the specific needs of each Veteran we see. To make access to mental health care more convenient to Veterans,  our mental health specialists are also located at VA community clinics in Santa Rosa, Downtown San Francisco and Mare Island in Vallejo.

We conduct research and training to ensure state-of-the-art treatment.

Services Offered

Mental Health services provided at the San Francisco VA Medical Center include:

  • General Psychiatry Outpatient Services
  • Mental Health Research
  • Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) Program
  • Psychological Services
  • Addiction Recovery Treatment Services
  • Mental Health Intensive Case Management (MHICM)
  • Military Sexual Trauma
  • Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Center (PRRC)
  • Outreach to homeless Veterans.
  • Peer Support

How to Initiate Mental Health Services

Urgent Services: Veterans are seen for same-day urgent mental health appointments in Psychiatric Evaluation Services in Bldg. 200, Ground Floor Central Access, located in the Emergency Department. (Open 24/7 for urgent or emergency psychiatric concerns, such as experiencing suicidal thoughts, acute intoxication/withdrawal, or acute psychosis.)

Same Day Walk-in Mental Health Clinic: Open Monday - Friday, 8 a.m.- 6 p.m.  Located in Bldg. 203, Ground Floor, Room GA-28. Go to the Mental Health Access Center front desk and let them know you would like to be seen in the same-day clinic. This clinic will see Veterans who are having issues with stress, anger, depression, alcohol, or drugs, and interested in talking with someone; or are transferring their care from a different medical center and need a refill of a psychiatric medication; or need to establish outpatient mental health care at SFVAMC and want to speak with someone about it; or are interested in learning about mental health resources provided at SFVAMC.

General Outpatient Services: Veterans can be referred by their primary medical providers for general outpatient mental health services. Veterans are then seen at the Mental Health Access Center.

General Psychiatry Outpatient Services: We offer comprehensive services for the full range of emotional problems people can experience. In addition to individual, group, medication and family treatment approaches, we offer specialized programs which include:

  • Women's program
  • HIV program
  • Geriatrics program

Mental Health Research:   We are committed to developing the most effective treatments for emotional disorders. Our clinical research guides and improves the clinical services we offer by carefully examining the effectiveness of the treatments we believe are most promising. Veterans who participate in research studies advance knowledge and understanding, which helps to improve care for other veterans. If you would like more information about the research studies in the Mental Health Service, please call one of the numbers below or visit our Research Study Subject Recruitment page.

Substance Abuse Research: (415) 750-2127
Smoking Cessation Research: (415) 221-4810 ext. 2-5437
Stress and Health Research Program (formerly PTSD Research Program): (415) 221 4810 ext. 2-5437 or visit the website.*

Participants in research protocols may be reimbursed.

Post Traumatic Stress Program:  Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) can develop after a person experiences or witnesses highly stressful and life threatening events. PTS symptoms include nightmares, flashbacks and irritability. Our PTS Program is a special program for veterans who have developed PTS as a result of combat-related experiences or sexual abuse while in the military. Extensive treatment options include:

  • Specialized group therapy
  • Specific medication treatments
  • Stress reduction training
  • Family therapy

Psychological Services: The Neuropsychology and Psychological Assessment Program provides psychological assessment and neuropsychological evaluations. The Health Psychology Program offers services for people suffering from chronic medical conditions. Some of the services offered include:

  • Health Psychology Program
  • Biofeedback
  • Pain Management
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Weight Control
  • Stress Management

Addiction Recovery Treatment Services: This program offers treatment for people who have found their use of alcohol or drugs has caused them significant distress or impairment with negative effects on family, personal relationships, health or work. Our treatment services are structured to care for people through all stages of recovery. Some of our specialized programs include:

  • Combat PTSD Care
  • Addiction Recovery Care
  • Day Hospital
  • Anger Management Classes
  • Opiate Treatment Therapy

Mental Health Intensive Case Management (MHICM): The MHICM is a program serving veterans with psychiatric disabilities who sometimes find it difficult to stay in the community. The Veterans served sometimes also struggle with alcohol or drug problems. The mission of the program is to provide state of the art, community-based care and to empower people to live at their greatest potential in the community. Treatments are provided by a multidisciplinary team. For more information, call (415) 551-7334.

Military Sexual Trauma: Veterans, both women and men, have experienced sexual trauma while they served on active military duty. While some of these Veterans sought counseling and treatment for the aftereffects of the trauma, many have never discussed the incident or their medical or psychological condition with anyone.

VA provides eligible Veterans with confidential counseling and treatment for the aftereffects of sexual trauma, helping them to better cope with the trauma experience, regain their confidence and self-esteem, and improve their quality of life.

Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Center: The San Francisco Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Center (PRRC) supports Veterans who have mental illnesses such as Schizophrenia, Major Depression, and Bipolar Disorder, in developing skills, support systems and wellness strategies to help improve their quality of life. Veterans participate in classes aimed at promoting community integration through effective symptom management, communication, and coping, as well as learning about computer and expressive arts skills. Click here to learn more about this program.

Mental Health services are confidential. We will not talk to anyone about information you share unless you give written consent. Under federal law, a few exceptions to this rule exist. If you have questions, please ask your Mental Health consultant.

Additional Resources

National Center for PTSD 
National Institute of Mental Health*
Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Center  
Research Study Recruitment  
About Face*  
 (*Links will take you outside of the Department of Veterans Affairs website.)

Contact Info


  • Bldg. 8

Contact Number(s)

  • 415-221-4810 Ext. 2-4824

Hours of Operation

  • Monday - Friday
    8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.