Posted by Sandy Warren on Sep 24, 2018
Mental Health Resources in Ventura County
Are Numerous and Expanding
Our speaker on Monday, September 24, was Dr. Sevet Johnson, Director of Ventura County's Behavioral Health Department. She provided a comprehensive overview of the mental health resources available to the public throughout the County.
"Mental health has been stigmatized across the nation for many years," said Dr. Johnson, noting that part of the challenge is helping people understand that mental illness has no shame attached to it and deserves to be treated as any other health problem. She has held her current position since 2009. "It's my passion," she said. "I love what I do."
Her agency's target population includes children and adults with moderate to severe mental health issues. "We offer a full service partnership with the community," said Dr. Johnson, "offering intensive care beyond basic therapy sessions." She explained that the Behavioral Health Department operates 25 clinics, including offices in Oxnard, Ventura, Simi Valley, the Conejo Valley, and the Santa Clara Valley. "Someone can walk into any clinic and be assessed for the services they need," she noted. "We want to maximize the window of opportunity for people to get help."
Dr. Johnson explained that her agency partners with other organizations in the County to sponsor health fairs, prevention efforts, school-based programs, primary care interventions and more. "There's a lot of collaboration," she said. "We can't do it alone as a single-service agency. On the horizon are plans for expanded care including tele-psychiatry, mental health managed care, and improving access efficiency."
She concluded her presentation with a look at the agency's website (, where people can find contact information for the many mental health service agencies that operate in Ventura County.