Our mission and values: Bay Area Clinical Associates, P.C., (BACA) is a physician-owned and operated organization offering evidence-based mental health services to youth and their families in the San Francisco Bay Area. We believe that all youth, regardless of socio-economic status, should have access to gold-standard mental health interventions. We strive to cure mental illness in our patients so they may develop into healthy, productive adults and realize their full potential. We believe that every individual’s mental health is an essential component of the overall well-being of our community.
Addressing the state of our current mental health care system: There is evidence indicating that most mental illnesses originate in childhood, however many youth remain undiagnosed or inadequately treated until much later in life. There are solid, evidence-based treatments to alleviate the suffering associated with mental illness, yet there are many obstacles to getting available services to the children who need them the most. Did you know that 1 in 4 adults and 1 in 5 kids will be diagnosed with mental illness in their lifetime?
Stigma against mental illness still exists. This bias manifests itself in many ways – from lack of available care, over-prescribing of medications, and discrimination in funding research and clinical support for individuals with mental illness. For example, three times as many youth die from suicide than from cancer, and suicide is now the second leading cause of death in 5-24 year olds. Yet funding for research and treatment on pediatric physical illnesses continues to exceed that for mental illness. While life-threatening physical illness in a child is traumatic for families, death from suicide or homicide due to mental illness is just as tragic.
There is an overwhelming shortage of youth-focused mental health services. As such, navigating the mental health system can be a frustrating, confusing process for parents. Many psychiatrists do not accept health insurance; those that do may be “full” and not accepting new patients. Often psychotherapy is provided by another clinician in a different office, creating communication barriers that may impede coordinated care.
To meet the needs of the community, BACA has sought and secured in-network contracts with several major health insurers. We offer a generous financial assistance policy for those in need. We offer highly integrated care with psychiatrists and psychotherapists working together under one roof. We have developed a series of specialized Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs) to provide youth and families increased intensity of services when clinically indicated. Our IOPs can serve as “step-down” care for youth who have recently been hospitalized or, in many instances, provide sufficiently intensive care such that inpatient hospitalization may be avoided.
Since 2007, BACA’s clinicians have provided innovative mental health services to youth and families from across the Bay Area. A lean and nimble organization, BACA has clinics in San Jose, Oakland and Menlo Park with other cities currently under consideration for future expansion.