Programs for CARS


Community Access to Recovery Services (CARS)- is an expansion to behavioral health services that commenced on July 01, 2015. Community Access to Recovery Services provides point of access for referrals, central point of entry appointment for screening of behavioral health services, linkages to community resources and behavioral health crisis services. There are five programs within the Community Access to Recovery Services Division which are: ACCESS, Central Intake, Crisis Stabilization Unit, Triage Services and the Mobile Crisis Response Team.


  • Answers calls that are coming into the Department of Behavioral Health and Recovery Services number.
  • Purpose to provide Medi-Cal beneficiaries information about how to access specialty mental health services, how to use the beneficiary problem resolution and fair hearing process.
  • ACCESS can determine if an intake appointment is necessary based on the outcome of the call and information provided.
  • Appointments will be provided to caller based on urgent/non-urgent protocol and scheduled with the CARS - Central Intake Unit.
301 East 13 Street
Merced, CA 95340
Telephone Number: (209) 381-6800
Fax Number: (209) 725-3906

Central Intake

  • Point of entry for adult, youth and children who are seeking an intake appointment for Behavioral Health and Recovery Services.
  • Hours of Operation: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Locations:
Central Intake
301 East 13 Street
Merced, CA 95340
Telephone Number: (209) 381-6800
Fax Number: (209) 725-3906

Central Intake
Los Banos
40 West G Street, Suite C
Los Banos, CA 93635
Telephone Number: (209) 710-6100
Fax Number: (209) 827-2009
Central Intake
1471 B Street, Suite N
Livingston, CA 95334
Telephone Number: (209) 394-4032
Fax Number (209) 394-4166

Triage Services
  • Behavioral Health and Recovery Services staff are stationed at local emergency rooms within the city of Los Banos and Merced.
  • Triage provides immediate response to individual experiencing a psychiatric emergency and require mental health assistance or linkage to services with Merced County
Mobile Crisis Response Team

  • Mobile Crisis Response Team (MCRT) is designed to conduct psychiatric risk assessment to community members of Merced County.
  • The MCRT program is a collaborative effort between Merced County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, Merced County Sheriff, and Merced Police Department.
  • The MCRT will respond to areas within Merced County as dispatched by Merced County Sheriff Department and/or Merced Police Department.
  • Prioritization will be considered based on imminent danger and crisis need.

Crisis Stabilization Unit

  • The Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU) is open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.
  • Services include:
    • Psychiatric risk assessments.
    • Emergency screenings.
    • Responding to assessments at the local emergency rooms in Los Banos and Merced crisis interventions.
    • Answering calls for the after hour access line, conducting individual therapeutic interventions.
    • Collateral interventions.
    • Placement and transfer coordination to other PHFs.
  • Crisis Stabilization provides services to any resident/non-resident of Merced County needing psychiatric care, either voluntarily or involuntarily, upon proper evaluation by the Crisis Stabilization unit staff.

Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU)

200 East 15th Street
Merced, CA 95341
Telephone Number: (209) 381-6800
Fax Number: (209) 725-3906 
Toll-Free: (888) 334-0163