We Are Mental Health Systems

James c callaghan jr ceo and president with dr wendy broughton chief operating officer

by Dr. Wendy Broughton, COO


As our community has been faced with unprecedented times, Mental Health Systems (MHS) understands the need to come together to provide care for the most vulnerable. This pandemic has perpetuated feelings of anxiety, uncertainty, and isolation. It has exacerbated mental health symptoms among those already predisposed, and triggered substance use and relapse, among others.

MHS has been poised to engage crisis stabilization services at our programs for COVID-19 symptomatic and positive clients with underlying health conditions including mental illness. Our clients already struggle to make sense of their world and stay safe under normal circumstances. Their fears and desperation are palpable and without our help they could very well become one of the saddening suicide statistics all too frequently reported.

MHS has had to adapt clinical practices to ensure the health and safety our mental health clinicians and their clients. We witness those saying final goodbyes from a painful distance to their dying loved ones or celebrating a birth over FaceTime. As an essential service we cannot close or disrupt services, we exhaust all avenues to mitigate the deafening confusion and erosive anxiety that can take hold.

Our staff have been courageous standing on the frontlines of this pandemic, offering compassionate care, calming anxiety, and most importantly offering connection when our clients are feeling isolated and alone. One such example is our Convention Center Counseling Corner where the US Surgeon General, Vice Admiral, Jerome M. Adams toured last year. A collaborative launch to protect San Diegans experiencing crisis and exposure, it allowed greater physical distancing, strict health guidelines, and proactive COVID-19 testing for more than 1,000 people every day/night and kept a positive COVID-19 rate of less than 1% among clients, staff, and volunteers. MHS’ clinical team spearheaded critical therapeutic care with a multitude of success stories. The Surgeon General was so impressed that he said the care coordination occurring at the Convention Center was a model for the rest of the country.

We are reminded why we do what we do, when we hold close our mission of People, Culture, and Growth and embrace our core values of Integrity, Diversity, Mentorship, and Inclusion. We are more than an essential business; we are also a close-knit community that comes together to make a lasting difference in the lives we touch.

First responders like doctors, nurses, fire fighters, and EMTs are valiant public figures who risk their lives to save lives. We simply cannot live without them. The same can be said for our mental health workers behind the scenes sitting with those afflicted by mental illness lost in a sea of chaos and fear. The mental health workers who treat 14,000 clients every day and night, so they do not put more strain on the already overcrowded emergency rooms, www.opaortho.com/xanax-treating-anxiety/. We quiet the chaos, we sooth the scared, we offer hope. We are Mental Health Systems.

To learn more or donate visit www.mhsinc.org

author avatar
Esteban Villanueva