By Nicholas Ibarra | OBSERVER Staff Writer

There are two ways to access mental health in the United States: as part of a health care system or through a public mental health program. 

California offers an “access line,” which is a pipeline into services the state offers. Services cannot be accessed unless you have gone through the access line. Most counties, including Sacramento, have adopted this access line, increasing efficiency. Once in the system, you will receive access to all services. 

A number of programs and clinics offer services to low-income individuals on a sliding fee scale. If you cannot afford a copayment because your income is below the average, they’ll accept an “X” amount per session if you’re willing to work with them and explain your situation.

Medi-Cal is available to the jobless. Kaiser, UC Davis, and Sutter are among the health care providers that accept Medi-Cal.

“I would encourage people that are looking for help to call the access line and start there,” Ms. Smith said. 

If you’re anxious, need to talk to somebody or need resources, you can call the warm line. It operates 5-10 p.m. daily. Call them at (888) 448-9777 for English or (888) 448-4055 for Spanish. 

The walk-in urgent care clinic at 2130 Stockton Blvd. offers walk-in appointments for mental health services. Its hours are 10 a.m. -10 p.m. most days and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. weekends and holidays, 365 days a year. It offers groups, programs, and free therapy through publicly funded by the Mental Health Services Act.

“I’ve personally visited and referred people there,” Ms. Smith said. “It is really warm and inviting.”