More Than Eight Decades of Service…
Pacific Clinics' history as an outpatient community mental health agency began in 1926 when, as Pasadena Child Guidance Clinic, we began serving troubled youngsters referred by the local school district; the program initially was located in the school district's basement. In the mid-1940's, the Clinic began serving returning fathers and other family members coping with the effects of World War II. The agency was incorporated in 1944 and in the mid1950's was "irrevocably dedicated to charitable purposes." As early as 1956, our leaders recognized the need to develop and nurture competent clinical personnel and began what are now nationally recognized student/intern training programs in several mental health practice areas.
The "Clinic" became Pasadena Guidance Clinics in 1981 as it began also serving adults and older adults who were not in any way related to its children’s programs. In 1987 the agency name was changed to Pacific Clinics to reflect the growing diversity of responsive behavioral healthcare programs that the agency was providing to persons of all ages in the region. An outreach program for the Homeless Mentally Ill began.
In the 1990’s, services expanded into Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. The Clinics embraced empowerment and inclusion in care decisions by clients and family members with the inception of consumer and family advisory boards, as well as the recognizing the significance of cultural competence to effective care . Additional community input and partnerships were cultivated. The importance of integrating treatment of substance abuse issues with those with mental illness was embraced by the Clinics and proved extremely effective in achieving more successful recovery efforts.
The beginning of the 21st century saw the Clinics move north to include programs in Ventura County, initiate services directed at homeless young adults --Transitional Age Youth (age 16-26) -- in three counties, and increasingly focus on programs that under one roof could serve all the generations, coordinated by the same team of clinicians and with a strong outreach component that resulted in community and home visits. We addressed the need for consumer training and increased peer involvement in human resources by developing a successful paraprofessional mental health worker training program in Los Angeles and Orange counties.
The advent in 2004 of the California Mental Health Services Act (Prop. 63) opened a new source of targeted funding for programs addressing underserved groups, resulting in several new Pacific Clinics programs. These ranged from high intensity services for persons of all ages to wellness centers where clients in recovery can address getting their lives back on track. Prevention and Early Intervention Services became an even more important feature in many programs and the training of staff in the use of MHSA-approved Evidence Based Practices became routine. Training and performance in these types of practices were increasingly evident in child specialty services such as those addressing the wellness of children from infancy to age five.
Our ability to help clients sustain recovery and wellness has grown tremendously as a result of our merger in 2007 with Portals, a Los Angeles-based agency with 50 years of expertise in psychosocial rehabilitation, vocational services and housing. A recent effort to integrate more of our clients’ medical care needs began at Portals with a unique USC research project on integrated healthcare that has resulted in consumers across the Clinics seeking a healthier balance in their lives.
Meeting changing needs is characteristic of Pacific Clinics, which today is nationally known for its state-of-the-art and culturally competent programs serving diverse populations throughout Southern California.