Special Needs

March Calendar for Parents Helping Parents

Included are workshops/support groups on: social stories, book exchange (today is book character day at many schools!), creating visuals to use at home, work and transition fair, theater, art, yoga and more!

Our staff is committed to helping parents navigate the joys and challenges of raising a child with special needs or learning related issues.     Family, friends and professionals offer help and  support but our parents can honestly say, “We’ve been there!”
To learn more contact Parents Helping Parents at 805-543-3277

Let’s Talk: Social Stories

This is a chance for families of children with special needs to come together, feel supported and gather new ideas. 

Coming up on Tuesday, April 2 from 9-10 am join us for family support, idea sharing and a talk about books, behavior and social stories. 

Date: April 2nd, 2019
Times 9-10 am
Location: Parent Helping Parents -Atascadero
7305 Morro Road, Suite 104A
Call: PHP 805-543-3277

Parents Helping Parents Calendar of Events

PHP has a lot of fun events happening in January.  These events include a chance for families of younger children to Organize their Child’s paperwork, a presentation by Peer Advocate Jennifer Dwyer of  TCRC and David Grady of SCDD on changes in the law, and another presentation on Social Security and Work…. We’re starting 2019 with a bang!  To learn more click HERE!

To Conotact PHP:

  • San Luis Obispo: PHP Library, 3450 Broad St, Suite 111, SLO
    * bilingual Español/English staff are available
    (805) 543-3277, php@ucp-slo.org
  • Atascadero: PHP Library, 7305 Morro Rd, Suite 104A, Atascadero
    (805) 461-7415, php@ucp-slo.org
  • Grover Beach: PHP Library (Open by Appointment), 940 Ramona Ave, Suite M, Grover Beach
    (805) 543-3277 php@ucp-slo.org 


Differences in development may be related to personality, temperament, and/or experiences. Some children may also have health needs that affect their development. If you are concerned about your child’s development, and your child is younger than age 3, contact your pediatrician and Tri-Counties Regional Center. Tri-Counties Regional Center may refer you to Early Start. If your child is age 3 or older, and his or her needs are educationally relevant, contact Student Services at your school district. They will gather information, discuss possible interventions, and when needed, screen or test your child. If your child qualifies for special education then he or she will receive specialized services to meet specific needs. Special education and early intervention services are confidential and provided at no cost to the family. Contact information is listed below.
Special Needs Resources, Ages 0-5

First 5 Health Access Project is committed to increasing health access for children (with a focus on birth to five) and their families.
SLO HealthAccess.org
For information on accessing care and finding health providers, including mental health and dental care, click on the “Providers” tab and choose the type of care you are seeking. For information about Medi-Cal and other insurance options, click on the “Insurance” tab.


Finding the right mental health therapist for your child can be challenging. You want to find a therapist who has experience working with young children and with whom you and your child are comfortable. It is important to ask questions and listen carefully to the answers to make sure that any therapist who may work with your child has the training and experience to effectively provide help. It is helpful to schedule a phone interview or a brief meeting to “interview” the therapist prior to your child’s first visit.
Finding the Right Therapist Guide (children 0-6)

Possible Mental Health Therapists to get you started: Mental Health Therapists
Parent Connection does not endorse the mental health therapists listed. The information is provided to assist parents in their search for support services that are appropriate for their family’s needs.
A note to SLO Therapists: If you are interested in being included on the list, please send your name, location, contact information (website), and specialization to info@sloparents.org.

Play Therapy: Play therapy is used to provide children with a voice to make sense and meaning out of their world. It can be a tool for understanding behaviors and for diagnosis, but it can also be a way of helping children work through trauma and other difficult life experiences. Because children develop cognitive skills before language skills, play is an effective way to understand a child.

If you’re looking for Play Therapy in San Luis Obispo County, click here for a list of possible providers.

If you are a CenCal member (Medi-Cal), contact your primary care physician/pediatrician to discuss your concerns or call Managed Care in SLO County (1-800-838-1381) for an appropriate mental health referral.
CenCal Mental Health Quick Reference Guide


As a leader in psychiatric care, Vista del Mar Hospital is committed to providing safe and secure psychiatric inpatient care for adolescents (ages 12 to 17 years of age). During this time, some adolescents experience disabling symptoms such as:
Depression and Hopelessness
Self-Injury or Suicidal Behavior
Rebellion, Defiance or Aggression
Alcohol and/or Substance Abuse

The purpose of Vista del Mar Hospital’s Adolescent Inpatient Unit is stabilization and safety. The treatment team’s goal is to stabilize and deal with the crisis by reducing the symptoms to help adolescents develop more appropriate coping and social skills. Vista del Mar Hospital serves the Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties.

For more information or to speak with someone in our assessment and referral department, please call (805) 653-6434 or click Here for more information.


ATC specializes in medication-assisted treatment for individuals addicted to prescription painkillers and other opiates.  Under the guidance of our medical and clinical team, we provide individualized outpatient treatment.  Patients receive individual and unlimited group counseling to address their addiction and medication to treat physical dependence.  Aegis Treatment Center accepts cash pay, Medi-Cal, and many private insurances. Call now to start your recovery!

Anna Murray, MA, MFTI, Clinic Manager
6500 Morro Road, Suite C & D, Atascadero
Aegis Brochure

Anna’s Home for Women and Children

Anna’s Home in north San Luis Obispo County can house up to five women in recovery and their children. While in the program assist residents will be assisted with securing employment and housing so that they may work towards self sufficiency

Please contact Restorative Partners for more information, 805-242-1272

Main Office
4251 S. Higuera Suite 102
San Luis Obispo, CA  93401

Mailing Address
793 E. Foothill Blvd.
San Luis Obispo,CA 93405

Visit us at

Balance Treatment of San Luis Obispo

Mental Health Intensive Outpatient Programs: for Adults and Adolescents.

At balance treatment of San Luis Obispo we are working to:
improve the lives of individuals and their families by addressing
the issues that are preventing growth.

Intensive Outpatient Programs for Adults and Adolescents.

Call: 855-414-8100
Located at: 1551 Bishop Street, Suite 130-A
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401


Autism Connections is a local resource that provides quality Applied Behavior Analysis programs to children with special needs in San Luis Obispo County. Autism Connections was founded by and is operated by parents with children on the autism spectrum. This parent’s perspective influences our decisions and the daily operations of Autism Connections. The support and services we offer families is based on our own experience of having secured quality services for our children in order for them to achieve their best outcomes. Autism Connections also provides training to caregivers of special needs children in order to teach them tools and strategies for reducing interfering behaviors and increasing appropriate, functional behaviors for the children in their care. In order to support the whole family, our agency also provides counseling services for family members of children with special needs, as well as for the special needs child.
Autism Connections Flyer

To learn more about Autism Connections, visit our website: www.autism-connections.com
4251 S. Higuera Street, Suite 800, San Luis Obispo

Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)

CARD was founded in 1990 by Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh and has been developing our curriculum for over 25 years. Our mission is to lead the field of autism by providing global access to the latest scientifically proven, top quality behavioral services to our patients and their families, to help them achieve the most they can.

CARD provides one on one, evidence-based, applied behavioral analysis treatment to children, teens, and adults with autism spectrum disorder. Our services can be offered when and where ever is most convenient for our patients and their families, whether it be in the home, school, or community setting. Each patient has an individualized treatment plan to help them on their way of achieving a happy, healthy, independent life.

CARD also strives to provide top quality parent support, coaching, and resources. We also firmly believe in collaboration and are more than happy to work alongside other providers to ensure that each patient is getting the most out of all services. CARD is now available to families throughout San Luis Obispo County. Please feel free to look into our interactive webshow at www.autism-live.com. Additional information can be found in the attachments below.

To learn more, please contact Tyler at our SLO office via email at t.clark@centerforautism.com or by phone at (805) 715-4484.

Contact Info:
Center for Autism and Related Disorders
1124 Nipomo St. Ste. A, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
(805) 715-4484

CARD Brochure

CARD Flyer


Basic Rights workshops will provide an overview of the four basic rights and protections for school children, under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
DATES/TIME: To be determined
LOCATION: Offered county-wide
Workshop fees for professionals are $25.00; parents of children with disabilities are admitted free.
Classes are offered in both English and Spanish.
For more information, call: (866) 828-8275


Bryan’s House in Paso Robles offers new beginnings to women with children by offering support, hope, and love through a clean and sober way of living. The healing that takes place emotionally, spiritually, and physically enhances the dignity and quality of life. Our purpose is to prepare women to take on the challenging role of emotionally healthy parenting.
All placements into Bryan’s House are facilitated by County Drug and Alcohol Services. For Intakes: (805) 781-4753
Sandy Wortley and Jonelle Deering
Bryan’s House Flyer


The Cal Poly Community Counseling Clinic offers short-term counseling and consultation to San Luis Obispo County residents who do not qualify for County Mental Health Services or who cannot afford private psychotherapy.
Counseling is available to children, youth, families, individuals, and couples. This counseling service is staffed by well-educated and trained graduate students in the Master of Science Psychology Program under the supervision of clinically licensed psychologists in the Psychology and Child Development Department.
Counseling is provided as a service to the community for a modest fee based on a sliding scale that ranges from $3 to $15 per session. No one is denied services on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, physical or mental disability, or ability to pay for counseling services.
Call (805) 756-1532 for more information. A clinic staff member will return your call within 24 hours. http://psycd.calpoly.edu/counseling/?pid=10


The center brings together and empowers individuals, families, and professionals for the purpose of improving the quality of life of those affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Parent Support Groups at: http://autismspectrumcenter.com/parent-support-groups
Learn more about Camp Expedition at: http://autismspectrumcenter.com/camp-expedition

The Central Coast Autism Spectrum Center
75 Higuera Street, Suite 110
San Luis Obispo, CA 93405
(805) 763-1100 (office)
Questions can be submitted to


The Child Development Resource Center of the Central Coast is a nonprofit organization located in San Luis Obispo, dedicated to providing child development and therapeutic services to strengthen families regardless of income or situation. With a professional staff of teachers, therapists, and administrators, CDRC supports family involvement and school readiness. Core components include: therapeutic interventions, case management with referrals to other agencies to access essential community services, parent education and advocacy to expand parents’ capabilities and to foster the best possible development of all family members.
In addition to full-day childcare and a therapy program for children ages 2 to 5, CDRC provides a school   readiness/transition program for children entering kindergarten. The childcare program is divided into three classrooms: toddler, preschool and Pre-Kindergarten. The professional staff provides family counseling, group &  individual play therapy for children, and a child nutrition program (providing 80% of each child’s daily nutritional needs). 
More information can be found at www.childrenresource.org or call (805) 544-0801


Coast Allied Health Consulting and Education is committed to bringing the finest speakers and courses in Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and Speech Therapy to parents in San Luis Obispo County. For a current list of parenting classes, please visit http://www.coastalliedhealth.com/for-parents

Coast Allied Health Consulting and Education, Inc.
PO Box 4037
San Luis Obispo
(805) 996-0899


Community Counseling Center is a non-profit organization that provides short term, affordable counseling for residents of San Luis Obispo County.
CCC offers counseling to children, adolescents and adults of all ages. Issues include: anxiety, depression, grief, anger, stress, eating disorders, as well as marital and family issues, parenting and gay/lesbian issues. Our focus is on concerns that can be helped by short-term counseling. We cannot address crisis situations, substance abuse or chronic mental health problems.
COST: Sliding scale fees are based on the client’s ability to pay. All client fees are used to help the agency.
To start counseling: If you would like counseling, please phone us at 543-7969. We will set up an intake appointment or refer you to outside services if appropriate. An information and referral service is also available, connecting families with a wide range of community resources throughout San Luis Obispo County.
1129 Marsh Street
San Luis Obispo
(805) 543-7969


Youth Mental Help

The Youth Mental Health Services Division of the Behavioral Health Department provides a range of services for children and youth affected by mental illness, trauma, and environmental stress. These services include individual and family therapy, rehabilitation, case management, and psychiatric care.

Services assist children and youth in the recovery and discovery processes, helping them to achieve their highest quality of life by providing culturally competent, strength-based, and client- and family-centered strategies that utilize best practices.

Our goal is to instill hope and optimism, assisting children and families to develop mastery over their own lives, and helping them to thrive in their homes, schools, and communities.

For prevention and youth substance use treatment information, please visit the Behavioral Health Department’s Prevention & Outreach Division

For more information please contact:
Community Counseling Center
1129 Marsh Street
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Phone: (805) 543-7969
Fax: (805) 543-0859

See Here for more information.



An outpatient drug and alcohol treatment program, designed for youth ages 12-18 and their families, is available through SLO Drug and Alcohol Services. In the Youth and Family Program, families can participate in 4- 6 hours of treatment per week; this  includes: group counseling, family counseling, drug education, parenting education, and multi-family sessions. Evening hours are available.

Please call for an assessment appointment.
Atascadero Center
3556 El Camino Real, Atascadero
(805) 461-6080
Grover Beach Center
1523 Longbranch Avenue, Grover Beach
(805) 473-7080
San Luis Obispo Center
2180 Johnson Avenue, San Luis Obispo
(805) 781-4275

Please contact our access line at 1 (800) 838-1381 for information or to schedule an appointment. All services are available in Spanish.


The DrugRehab.com mission is to equip patients and families with the best information, resources and tools to overcome addiction and lead a lifelong recovery.
There is nothing more important than a child’s well-being. Knowing the extent of the drug problem in our society, any parent naturally tries to protect their child from the destruction drugs can cause them physically, mentally and emotionally. We provide factual information to assist in changing the mindset and understanding about drug abuse, addition and recovery.

Resources for teens can be found here: https://www.drugrehab.com/teens/treatment/

Parents looking for more information on how to help their child please visit: https://www.drugrehab.com/guides/parents/


Parents know their children better than anyone. The first three years are very important in a child’s life. If a parent, family member, caregiver, or professional has a concern about a child’s development, it is best to identify the concern as soon as possible. Families whose infants or toddlers have developmental delay or disabilities, or are at risk for developmental delay or disabilities may qualify for developmental monitoring or early intervention services. Regional center staff can evaluate and assess an infant or toddler to determine eligibility for:
Early Start
Prevention Resource and Referral Services
The single point of entry to both programs is the regional center in your local area. All infants and toddlers potentially eligible for a regional center program will be evaluated by the regional center to determine eligibility for services.

Call Tri-Counties Regional Center San Luis Obispo at (805)543-2833 to find out more about Early Start services.


“Get Connected” events at Parents Helping Parents are organized to provide a space for parents of children with special needs, age five and under, to come together and share our many joys and challenges. There is a topic for each event, but the goal is primarily to bring families together, and that can be with or without children present. Please call PHP at 543-3277, or e-mail php@ucp-slo.org for more information and to reserve a spot.
GetConnected 2015


Our approach is solution focused, experiential and inspirational. We offer counseling by a licensed marriage and family therapist for children & families. We have specifically designed programs based on each clients concerns and objectives for treatment.
Conditions we treat include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • ADHD
  • Abuse
  • Addictions
  • Trauma
  • Grief and Loss
  • Attachment Issues
  • Autism/Asperger’s
  • Relationship problems
  • Life Transitions

EAP partners with horses as part of the therapy sessions to provide an experiential body centered approach to working through mental health challenges. These more deep seated issues or behavioral patterns may cause disruptions in daily functioning or interfere with healthy relationships. Through interactive exercises with horses, a person may be compelled through actual hands on work to uncover and confront personal fears, anxieties and unhealthy thought processes. The experience is non threatening in that the horses may simply react to the energy present without the need to coerce clients for feedback, and thus, the client is free to move at the pace that is comfortable to him or her. Some sessions have little or no talking, focusing on non-verbal communication and internal processes and other times the client may feel inclined to share what’s going on to express thoughts that arise, gain clarity or look for guidance.

Contact: janine@herdsofwisdom.com or call 805-762-4862


The heartache of loss and the burden of serious illness is often eased by participation in a caring, supportive environment and the opportunity to join in sharing with others. All groups are facilitated by trained Hospice of SLO County leaders. Exchanging coping information and expressing the feelings that comes in anticipating or coping with a death or illness helps in promoting healing. Hospice of San Luis Obispo County offers support groups free of charge to interested community members. Note: please arrive 10 minutes early if it’s your first meeting.
For a listing of support groups: http://www.hospiceslo.org/services/support-groups
CONTACT:  The Counseling Program Coordinator can be reached @ 544-2266 or 434-1164 http://www.hospiceslo.org

San Luis Obispo Support Groups
General Grief Support Group (for those grieving the loss of a partner/spouse, child, friend, etc.): Tuesdays, 6:00pm-7:30pm
Spouse/Partner Loss Support Group: Thursdays, 11:30am-1:00pm
Under 60 Spouse/Partner Loss Support Group: Tuesdays, 5:30-7:00pm
Survivors of Suicide (for those left behind): last Wednesday of the month, 5:30pm-7:00pm (pre-register)
Caregiver Support Group (caregivers of a parent, friend, relative, or spouse): every other Friday, 2:30-4:00
SLO Support Groups meet at Hospice of SLO County, 1304 Pacific St., San Luis Obispo

South County Support Groups
General Bereavement Support Group: Tuesdays, 10:45 am–12:15 pm
Spouse/Partner Loss Support: Thursdays, 5:00 pm–6:30 pm
South County Support Groups meet at New Life Church, 990 James Way, Pismo Beach

North County Support Groups:
Spouse/Partner Loss Group and General Bereavement Group-call if interested: (805) 226 5641
Bereaved Parents Support Group: Tuesdays, 5:30-7:00pm, 517 13th Street, Paso Robles
Bereaved Parent Support Group

K.E.Y.S. Program

K.E.Y.S. (Keeping Every Youth Sober) is a youth support class providing education in the area of substance abuse, causes, effects and consequences

Offered through Lifestyles Recovery Center this group welcomes teens ages 13 to 17.

When: Tuesdays at 4pm
Where: 715 24th Street, Suite P, Paso Robles

The tuition starts at $60.00 for up to twelve sessions. The Paso Robles Unified School District will assist with the tuition cost for students at Flamson Middle School, Paso Robles High School, and Chalk Mountain. This is an excellent opportunity for our youth to receive professional teaching along with the quality material.

If you have potential students please call:
Karolyn London (805) 238-2290 or (805) 286-6331.

K.E.Y.S. Flyer


Jack’s Helping Hand, a non-profit organization, was created for purposes of advocating and advancing the interests of children and young people with special needs. For a listing of current programs, visit: http://www.jackshelpinghand.org/current_programs.php

Jack’s Helping Hand Adaptive Toy Lending Libraries provides financial assistance for therapeutic equipment or transportation to a medical facility, hospital or camp for disabled children when no other agency will provide it. http://www.jackshelpinghand.org/

San Luis Obispo: Jack’s Adaptive Toy Lending Library at Central Coast Gymnastics
21 Zaca Lane #100
San Luis Obispo
Library Hours: Wednesday 2-4pm
Friday 2:30-4:30pm

Paso Robles: Katie’s Korner Adaptive Toy Lending Library at Paso Robles Children’s Museum
623 13th Street
Paso Robles
Library Hours:
Thursday 11:30am – 1:30pm

Nipomo: Pat’s Place Adaptive Toy Lending Library at Nipomo Chamber of Commerce
239 W. Tefft Street, #1
Library Hours:
Friday 2:30 – 4:30pm

For more information call (805) 547-1914 or email us with any questions jhh@jackshelpinghand.org



Services Provided: Mental health services for children and families. The Children’s Clinic is staffed with licensed therapists who provide individual, family, and group counseling to children up to age 21 and their families. Families served in the Clinic have an array of presenting issues, including: adjustment to adoption or permanence, attachment difficulties, anxiety and depression, grief, attention deficit disorder, behavioral symptoms, family conflict, questions surrounding identity, sensory integration deficits.

Contact Information: Seneca   6850 Morro Road, Atascadero  93422

(805) 434-2449



Lifestyles Recovery Center  is a walk-in clinic offering group sessions and individual counseling to individuals who are dealing with the problems of drug and alcohol addiction and anger management.
Click here for a list of services.
Lifestyles’ mission is provide a safe environment for those seeking assistance in recovering from addictive behaviors and the need to heal from damaged emotions.
Phone: (805) 238-2290
715 24th Street, Suite P, Paso Robles


Children’s Assessment Center
The Children’s Assessment Center provides assessment and treatment strategies for children at high risk for health and behavioral health problems.
Martha’s Place utilizes a comprehensive system of tools and procedures to identify, assess, refer and treat children who have been prenatally exposed to alcohol and other drugs and/or who are exhibiting at-risk behaviors that may interfere with normal development. The  goal is to facilitate appropriate interventions to support each child in reaching their full potential, to enter school ready and able to learn, and to be emotionally well-developed.
Children referred to Martha’s Place undergo a comprehensive assessment of their medical, cognitive, behavioral, social, educational, and emotional development, as well as their family relationships. Services for children include: a medical examination, cognitive, psychological, behavioral, emotional and social evaluations, mental health therapy, occupational therapy, sensory integration, family support, parent education and case management.
2925 McMillan Avenue, Unit 108
San Luis Obispo
(805) 781-4948
Martha’s Place Brochure
Referral Form


Transitions-Mental Health Association is now providing Medi-Cal enrollment and re-enrollment support. Our Enrollment Counselor can assist uninsured individuals with filing or updating an application. Free individual appointments and staff presentations on the Medi-Cal program are also available. Attached you will find a brochure that outlines the free services we offer for eligible San Luis Obispo County residents.
For more information, questions about eligibility or to schedule an individual appointment or staff presentation, please contact Donna Klein at (805) 458-6448.
TMHA MediCal Brochure

Transitions-Mental Health Association (TMHA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating stigma and promoting recovery and wellness for people with mental illness through work, housing, community and family support services. Learn more about TMHA here: www.t-mha.org.


Sometimes, first aid isn’t a bandage, or CPR, or calling 911.
Sometimes, first aid is YOU!
Take the course, save a life, strengthen your community.
You are more likely to encounter someone — friend, family member, coworker, neighbor, or member of the community — in an emotional or mental crisis than someone having a heart attack. Mental Health First Aid teaches a 5-step action plan to offer initial help to people with the signs and symptoms of a mental illness or in a crisis, and connect them with the appropriate professional, peer, or self help care.
To register, contact Jessica at (805) 540-6576 or email jarnott@t-mha.org
MHFA Brochure


Mental health treatment services for SLO county’s youth, including help with family, personal, or psychiatric issues. Clinics are located in the North County, South County, and in San Luis Obispo.
To access services, or for immediate help, please call 1-800-838-1381. This emergency number is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
During office hours, Mental Services can be reached at (805) 781-4700. Walk-in services are available in SLO, Atascadero, Arroyo Grande.


Monarch Behavior Solutions provides high quality child behavior therapy, consultation, and parent training. Based in the science of Applied Behavior Analysis and the fundamentals of child development, services are individualized and monitored to ensure that your child transforms. Whether your child exhibits severe problem behaviors, disruptive tantrums, has difficulties socially, or sometimes just “doesn’t listen,” Monarch can help.
Monarch provides common sense approaches to everyday behavioral challenges. With individual attention and coaching every step of the way, we promise that you’ll be empowered. For more information: http://www.monarchslo.com/

Parenting Sober Support Group

Open forum meeting for parents at any stage of recovery who want to get a grip on parenting & stay sober in the process! This group is designed to align solid parenting foundation principles and tools with 12-step principles so that parents can begin to enjoy both living sober and parenting successfully.

Dates: Call Cindy for information 

Location: Build Your Nest Coaching, 6613-B Bay Laurel Place Avila Beach, CA 93424 (in Avila Village)

Facilitator: Cindy DuSair, CPC, ELI-MP, Positive Discipline Parent Educator

Contact: 805-550-5865. Groups are offered at no cost and are drop-in. Snacks and coffee/tea are provided.

Sponsored through SLCUSD Adult School and Parent Connection of San Luis Obispo County


The TMHA Wellness Centers in Arroyo Grande and Atascadero are happy to announce their collaboration with NAMI to offer a Family Support Group for friends and families in the South County and North County. Everyone is welcome, so even if you have not taken the Family-to-Family course with NAMI, please come and bring friends or other family members who interact with your loved one.


TMHA’s Wellness Centers with locations in San Luis Obispo, Arroyo Grande, and Atascadero offer person-centered, recovery-based supports designed for life enrichment, personal development, peer support, community resources, recovery education, social skill development, and various wellness workshops.
Supports provided by the TMHA Wellness Centers are gauged for multiple age groups, and various cultures with focus upon, community connection, wellness, recovery, advocacy, independence and empowerment.
For a calendar of support groups and services, click on the link below and scroll down to “T-MHA Wellness Centers”

Visit the Wellness Centers on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/TMHAWellnessCenters

For more information regarding the TMHA Wellness Centers or if you would like to be added to the email distribution list please contact the Program Manager, Meghan Madsen at 805-503-0350mmadsen@t-mha.org


NAMI SLOCO is a non-profit organization of families and friends of people with severe mental illnesses. Members provide educational and emotional support for each other and advocate for better understanding, treatment and care of people with mental illness. Extensive training is provided by NAMI for those members leading support groups and classes. NAMI SLOCO is affiliated with the NAMI California and NAMI National.

The NAMI Family-to-Family Education Program is a 12-week course for families of individuals with severe brain disorders (mental illnesses). The course is taught by trained family members. All course materials are furnished at no cost. The curriculum focuses on schizophrenia, bipolar disorder (manic depression), clinical depression, panic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The course discusses the clinical treatment of these illnesses and teaches the knowledge and skills that family members need to cope more effectively.

NAMI Basics is the new signature education program for parents and other caregivers of children and adolescents living with mental illnesses. The NAMI Basics course is taught by trained teachers who are the parent or other caregivers of individuals who developed the symptoms of mental illness prior to the age of 13 years. All instruction and course materials are free to class participants.The

For a current schedule of classes: http://www.namislo.org/


National Domestic Abuse Hotline: 800.799.SAFE
National Teen Dating Violence Hotline: 866.331.9474
24-hour support through safety planning, resources and hope to everyone affected by domestic & dating violence.

National Sexual Abuse Hotline: 800.656.4673
Victims of sexual violence receive free, confidential services around the clock.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800.273.TALK
Deaf Hotline: 800.799.4889
No matter what problems you are dealing with, we want to help you find a reason to keep living. By calling the lifeline you’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area, anytime 24/7.

Boy’s Town National Hotline: 800.448.3000
Support for teens and parents, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and staffed by specially trained counselors. Services include: Spanish-speaking counselors, translation services for 140+ languages and a TDD line (1-800-448-1833) for speech-impaired and deaf callers.

The Trevor Lifeline: 866.488.7386
The Trevor Lifeline is for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24, who are in crisis, feeling suicidal, or in need of a safe and judgment-free place to talk. Our trained volunteer counselors are here to support you 24/7.

Self-Injury Foundation: 888.962.6774
The mission of the Self-Injury Foundation is to provide support and education for self-injurers, their loved ones and the professionals that work with them.

National Association for Anorexia Nervosa
& Associated Eating Disorders: 630.577.1330
The helpline operates 9 AM-5 PM Central Time, Monday through Friday. We can help you find the treatment to fit your needs.

National Alliance on Mental Illness: 800.950.NAMI
An information and referral service which can be reached, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.- 6 p.m., EST. Trained volunteers provide information, referrals, and support to all who have questions about or are affected by serious mental illness.

California Youth Crisis Line: 800.843.5200
The California Youth Crisis Line (CYCL) is a statewide, toll free, 24-hour, confidential Hotline available to teens and young adults ages 12-24 and/or any adults supporting youth.

National Parent Helpline® 855.4A PARENT (855.427.2736)
Being a parent is a critically important job, 24 hours a day. It’s not always easy. Call the to get emotional support from a trained advocate. Operated by Parents Anonymous® Inc.
Monday through Friday
10:00 AM PST to 7:00 PM PST

Pediatric Therapy Solutions

Occupation Therapy Services.

Serving Children on the Central Coast since 1999

Lisa Moreno, OTR/L
Laura Cooper, OTR/L

187 Tank Farm Rd, Suite 220
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Phone/fax 805-545-8699


North County Connection is a grass-roots driven family resource center, primarily staffed by dedicated volunteers, providing prevention and recovery activities for families, adults and teens. The center hosts many self-help meetings, a walk-in and telephone referral service, a recovery oriented lending library, and a safe, drug and alcohol free place for those recovering from alcohol and other drug related problems to find on-going support.
Phone: (805) 462-8600
8600 Atascadero Avenue, Atascadero


Cindy Hill’s Experience: I have worked with children with special needs for 18 years in mild-moderate severe classroooms and 13 years as a Behavior Health Specialist.
Description of Services: Children come to our family  home, staying for 24 hours to 21 days. We can schedule 24/7.
Children Served: Ages 2-17 and currently receiving services through Tri-Counties Regional Center
Cost: FREE
Hill Small Family Home
110 Frances Way
Pismo Beach, CA 93449
Home (805) 270-4324
(805) 704-0903
Community Care License # 405801894
Tri-Counties Regional Center # HT0552

New Directions for Kids

An Occupational Therapy and Learning Resource Center in Arroyo Grande, California.

New Directions for Kids serves children individually and in groups from infancy through adolescence. We are dedicated to providing a comprehensive Occupational Therapy program for young people with developmental delays, sensory processing disorders, or other learning challenges.

We are located at 191 South Oak Park Blvd., Unit #9, Grover Beach, CA 93433. Please contact us for a consultation and to visit our facility.

We can be reached at:
Phone (805) 474-6811
Fax (805) 668-2290
​Please visit our website at http://newdirectionsforkids.com.​


This unique bereavement support group provides friendship and support to those who have experienced the loss of a child of any age (including a lost pregnancy). The group is organized & led by parents who they themselves have lost a child.
Monthly groups: Groups meet in Santa Maria and Atascadero. Call for day and time.
Information: Susan Moran, R.N. at (805) 466-0294


Central Coast Autism Spectrum Center Support Groups
For parents/caregivers of children on the autism spectrum, sponsored by Central Coast Autism Spectrum Center (CCASC).  No childcare provided.  www.autismspectrumcenter.com

North County: Meets on the 3rd Friday of the month in January/March/May/July/September/November, 7 to 9pm, at the Hampton Inn, 212 Alexa Court, Paso Robles.  For more information contact Becky at 805-471-1354 or nocosupport@autismspectrumcenter.com.

SLO: Meets on the 3rd Friday of the month in February/call for meeting date in April/June/August/October/December, 6:30 to 9pm, at the CCASC Office, 75 Higuera Street, Ste. 110, San Luis Obispo. For more information contact Trisha or Dave at  805-270-3443 or slosupport@autismspectrumcenter.com.

Five Cities: Meets on last Friday of EVERY month (call for dates in October/November/December), 6:30 to 9pm, at the Arroyo Grande Hospital Annex, 345 S. Halcyon Rd., Arroyo Grande. For more information contact Trisha or Dave at  805-270-3443 or slosupport@autismspectrumcenter.com.

South County Autism Parent Support Group:
Serving San Luis Obispo, Avila Beach, Shell Beach, Pismo Beach, Grover Beach, Arroyo Grande, Oceano, Nipomo and Santa Maria.
Meetings are held the 3rd Wednesday of each month, from 12:00-1:30p.m., in Grover Beach
Contact Leslie @ (805) 541-7908 or lesliebartonlmft@gmail.com, to R.S.V.P.


Parents Helping Parents (PHP) is a non-profit, community-based, parent-directed family resource center. PHP provides lifetime guidance, supports and services to children with any special need, their families and the professionals who serve them.
The mission of Parents Helping Parents of San Luis Obispo County is to empower children with special needs to reach their fullest potential. This is realized by strengthening families through parent and professional education, mutual support, referral networks and greater community awareness.
To receive a calendar of local events, email: php@ucp-slo.org
CONTACT: PHP @ 805.543.3277
Click on the website link to find out about PHP’s support services: www.phpslo.org
Get Connected! With other families and the staff of Parents Helping Parents, for children 0-5 and their families.

Parents Helping Parents Resource Centers/Lending Libraries

  • 3450 Broad Street, Suite 111, San Luis Obispo
    (805) 543-3277
  • 7305 Morro Road, Suite 104A, Atascadero
    (805) 461-7415
  • 940 Ramona Drive, Grover Beach
    (805) 549-8148


A program for pregnant and parenting women and their dependent children five and under.

POEG meets four days per week. Each day will consist of a three-hour block of time. Services provided may include individual, family, group process, play therapy, a parent support and education group, recovery education and linkages with community resources.

This program is for pregnant and parenting women (and their dependent children five and under) who have a history of drug and/or alcohol involvement. Each woman must be willing to be 100% drug and alcohol free.

Individuals interested in POEG services can call (805) 781-4753 or walk-in at any of the individual Drug & Alcohol Services centers.
Atascadero Center
3556 El Camino Real, Atascadero
(805) 461-6080
Grover Beach Center
1523 Longbranch Avenue, Grover Beach
(805) 473-7080
San Luis Obispo Center
2180 Johnson Avenue, San Luis Obispo
(805) 781-4275


ALPHA Pregnancy and Parenting Support: Postpartum Depression Support Warmline: 805-541-3367
Alpha staff respond to Postpartum Depression Support Line calls. We provide emotional support, educational and assessment services. By working with our partners at Community Counseling Center and other professional treatment providers, we connect pregnant/postpartum women and their families with qualified treatment services and accessible health resources as needed.

Visit their website HERE for more information.

ALPHA- Línea de Apoyo para la depresión posparto: 805-541-3367
Aqui en ALPHA, tenemos una Linea de Apoyo para las llamadas que recibimos sobre Depresión Postparto. Proveemos apoyo emocional, educacional, y servicios de asesoría. Trabajamos juntos como una red de apoyo en el condado de San Luis Obispo, incluyendo el Community Counseling Center (Centro de Consejeria de la Comunidad) y otros proveedores profesionales de tratamiento. Conectamos mujeres embarazadas/postparto y sus familias con servicios de tratamiento de calidad, y con recursos acesibles de salud.


Postpartum Depression Support Group Flyer
For new mothers experiencing the baby blues, or are having difficulty adjusting to motherhood. This support group is facilitated by a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). Babies and support persons welcomed!
Meets monthly-third Wednesday of every month from noon – 1:30 pm.
Postpartum classes & support groups are complimentary for parents delivering at Twin Cities.
For more information Click Here

Pediatric Therapy Solutions

Occupational Therapy Services

Serving Children on the Central Coast since 1999.

Lisa Moreno, OTR/L
Laura Cooper, OTR/L

187 Tank Farm Rd. Suite 220
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Phone/fax: 805-545-8699


FREE Early Intervention Services for Children Ages 3-5, living in the Lucia Mar School District
Your child may need a screening if they show some of the following warning signs: difficulty being understood, difficulty producing many speech sounds, inability to follow simple directions by age 2, limited use of words, one or two word combinations instead of short/simple sentences by age 3, delays in motor skills, and delays in socialization.

PEP will provide a developmental screening to determine if further assessment is needed.
If services are indicated, PEP may provides services in: speech and language development, pre-academics, fine and/or gross motor skills, socialization and transition skills for kindergarten (typically at the child’s neighborhood school).

Please call for an appointment if you have any concerns about your child, 805.473.3000, extension 1148


Parenting Support Groups for Women and Children Affected by Intimate Partner Violence and/or Sexual Assault
On-going Parenting & Children’s Support Groups
These weekly groups are for women and their children (separate groups running at the same time) with a focus on supporting and developing parenting skills after (or during) trauma related to IPV or SA. These are closed groups: Please call to confirm dates and register for the next 8-week group.

Mondays 9:30am – 11am. 1030 Vine Street, Paso Robles.
Parenting group facilitated by Denise Kilimnik.
Children’s group facilitated by Christina Azruei.

Creating Safety
A Domestic Violence Support Group for Women
This weekly group is for adult women with a focus on healing trauma from violence in relationships including physical. emotional. verbal, or financial abuse and on creating healthy relationships.

Wednesdays 5:30pm – 7pm. 1030 Vine Street, Paso Robles.
Facilitated by Christina Azruei and Maia Kiley.

Support Group for Survivors of Sexual Abuse and Assault
An On-going Women’s Support Group
This weekly group is for adult women with a focus on healing trauma from childhood sexual abuse and adult sexual assault.

Thursdays 12pm – 1:30pm. 1030 Vine Street, Paso Robles.
Fridays 10am – 11:30am. 51 Zaca Ln. Suite 140, San Luis Obispo.
Facilitated by Christina Azruei and Lara Laity

Please call 805-226-5400 Monday – Friday, 8am – 5pm for additional information or to request a referral to individual counseling services.


The Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA), per state mandate, provides county wide regional coordination and leadership in special education to insure compliance with state and federal laws relating to students with disabilities. Our SELPA provides an array of services related to special education to local districts, parents and the community. We provide support and information to parents and educators.
Does Your Child Need Special Education Services? Parents are invited to call with questions.

Deborah Cleere, Program Specialist
San Luis Obispo County SELPA
(805) 782-7306

For more information, visit www.sloselpa.org or contact SLO County SELPA at 782-7301.

Parent Orientation to Special Education Flyer

Parent Orientation to Special Education Flyer (Spanish)


Sibshops are fun-filled workshops just for brother and sisters of children with special needs. This is a great opportunity for kids to meet other siblings, play games, do crafts, share experiences, and have A LOT of fun! Sibshops provide siblings with a safe place to share their unique experiences with other children who can understand.
DATES: Call for monthly dates and times
COST: $5 per child
LOCATION: Changes every month, call for more information
CONTACT: For more information or to sign-up contact us at centralcoastsibshop@yahoo.com, find us on Facebook “Central Coast Sibshop” or call April (661) 992 3931


SLO Hotline @ 1.805.783-0607 is an emotional and mental health support, resource and referral, crisis intervention and suicide prevention phone line serving San Luis Obispo County. It is confidential, free of charge, and is answered by well trained volunteers 24 hours every day. SLO Hotline is a program of Transitions-Mental Health Association, a community-based nonprofit.





Wellness Centers:
1306 Nipomo Street, San Luis Obispo, (805) 541-6813
Safe Haven, 203 Bridge Street, Arroyo Grande, (805) 489-9659
5850 West Mall, Atascadero, (805) 464-0512
The Wellness Centers offer person-centered, recovery based supports focusing on life enrichment, personal development, peer connection, mental health education, social skill development, and linkage to community resources. The centers provide a variety of workshops and support services gauged for multiple age groups and various cultures, helping to enhance each member’s sense of wellness, recovery, and self-advocacy. Our Wellness Centers focus on the individual person and their journey to wellness, not on their mental illness. We provide education, empowerment, and support so that each member can achieve the goals they set for themselves. Living well mentally, emotionally, and physically is what our Wellness Centers are all about.

Opportunities at the Wellness Center:


Atascadero USD
4507 Del Rio Rd.
Atascadero, CA 93422
(805) 462-4200
Lori Thomas-Hicks, Director of Student Intervention Services/Special Education
(805) 462-4232
Bellevue-Santa Fe Charter School
1401 San Luis Bay Dr.
San Luis Obispo, CA 93405
Jamie Waistell, Special Education Director
(805) 595-7169
Cayucos ESD
301 Cayucos Dr.
Cayucos, CA 93430
(805) 995-3694
Anne Hubbard, Superintendent
(805) 995-3694
Coast USD
2950 Santa Rosa Creek Rd.
Cambria, CA 93428
(805) 927-3880
Adam Helfand, Director of Special Education
(805) 927-7148
Lucia Mar USD
227 Bridge St.
Arroyo Grande, CA 93420
(805) 474-3000
Cynthia Ravalin, Director of Student Services
(805) 474-3000 x1152
Paso Robles JUSD
Teacher Center
2900 Union Rd.
Paso Robles, CA 93446
(805) 769-1000
Marcia Murphy, Director of Special Education
(805) 769-1000 x33227
Pleasant Valley JUSD
2025 Ranchita Canyon Rd.
San Miguel, CA 93451
(805) 467-3453
Lisa Bushong, Principal/Senior Administrator
(805) 467-3453
San Luis Coastal USD
1500 Lizzie St.
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
(805) 549-1200
Diane Frost, Executive Director, Student Support Services
(805) 543-1218
San Luis Obispo County Office of Education
Hwy 1 & Education Dr.
San Luis Obispo, CA 93405
(805) 543-7732
DJ Pittenger, Asst. Superintendent,
Student Programs and Services
(805) 782-7321
Katherine Aaron, Executive Director
(805) 782-7343
San Miguel JUSD
1601 “L” St.
San Miguel, CA 93451
(805) 467-3218
Stephanie Schofield, Special Education/Vice Principal
(805) 227-1040
Shandon JUSD
101 S. First St.
P.O. Box 79
Shandon, CA 93461
(805) 238-0777
Roberta Leek, Special Education Director
(805) 238-1782
Templeton USD
960 Old County Rd.
Templeton, CA 93465
(805) 434-5800
Dee Dee Mello-Wisch, Director of Special Education
(805) 434-5853

A complete list of Student Programs and Services for all of the school districts in the county can be found at: http://www.sloselpa.org/mem_districts.htm


Tidelands Counseling is a therapy practice committed to providing you with caring, effective, client-centered therapy services. We are a growing practice with three therapists on staff who have a wide range of interests, experience and training. We offer individual, couples, family and group counseling for adults, teens & children.

Mat Chirman, MS, LMFT
Director, Tidelands Counseling
1411 Marsh Street, Suite 105
San Luis Obispo
Phone: 805-543-5060
Fax: 888-364-3845

For more information about services and/or group therapy visit: www.tidelandscounseling.com


Transitions-Mental Health Association is a nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating stigma and promoting recovery and wellness for people with mental illness through work, housing, community and family support services.

784 High Street
San Luis Obispo
(805) 540-6500


Classes offered on quarterly basis.
A  class for individuals with a family member who they know or suspect has a mental illness.
LOCATION: 784 High Street (corner of High and Santa Barbara Street), San Luis Obispo
TUITION: All services are free
ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS: for persons who know or suspect they have a loved one with mental illness
CONTACT: (805) 541-5144 x 571


Tri-Counties Regional Center provides diagnosis of developmental disabilities and assessment of eligibility for Regional Center services. Once eligibility is determined, a case manager or service coordinator is assigned to help develop a plan for services, tell you where services are available, and help you get the services needed because of a developmental disability. Tri-Counties Regional Center helps plan, access, coordinate and monitor services and supports. There is no charge for the diagnosis and eligibility assessment. Most services and supports are free regardless of age or income.

To view TCRCs support services, please visit the website:
San Luis Obispo
3450 Broad Street, Suite 111
San Luis Obispo
(805) 543-2833
7305 Morro Road, Suite 101
(805) 461-7402


United Cerebral Palsy of SLO provides a variety of programs and activities for kids and teens with disabilities.
Visit the website for more information. http://ucp-slo.org/

Kids/Teen Club: Kids and teen clubs are held on Saturdays once a month for kids and teens with disabilities. These activities vary, and a chance for them to get together with friends and enjoy the community.

Teen Camp: Teen camp is a two week long day camp for older kids and teens with disabilities. It is held annually in SLO, usually at the end of July and beginning of August.


Facilitated by Jonelle Deering, CATC-I, DVGF, topics to be explored will be: relapse prevention, early recovery issues, maintaining sobriety and living life to the fullest, self talk, effective communication, setting and maintaining healthy boundaries, building self esteem, codependency, relationship issues, compromise and negotiation, conflict resolution, domestic violence, and anger management.
Group start date: TBD
Call or email to register allpeople@prodigy.net or 805-235-1369


Women’s Shelter Program of SLO County:  a haven where intimate partner violence victims and their children can find safety from the people who abuse them and receive emotional support and resources for themselves and their children. The comprehensive program includes: counseling/support groups, case management, referrals, food, clothing, assistance with pets, clothing, legal services/assistance and advocacy.

Child Abuse Treatment Program (CHAT):
Integrated services for victims of child abuse & non-offending family members at no cost.
(805) 473-6507

Counseling Services for child trauma victims and adult victims of domestic violence in its San Luis Obispo and Grover Beach counseling offices.
Free weekly, scheduled counseling will be offered to assist adults and children heal from the trauma of violence and abuse. These strength-based services capitalize on the innate resiliency of each individual, fostering increased well-being and healthy social relationships. Counseling services are now available in the evening as well as on Saturdays.
To find out more about available counseling services, please call the agency’s bilingual Intake Assessor at (805) 473-6507

Victim Witness Assistance Center:
Information on criminal case proceedings, assistance in obtaining monetary compensation for assault-related injuries.
(805) 781-5821 or toll-free @ (866) 781-5821

R.I.S.E  (formally North County Women’s Shelter and Resource Center)
1030 Vine Street, Paso Robles
(805) 226-5400 or the toll-free 24-hour crisis line at (855) 574-3583


The Youth Family Partner program in San Luis Obispo County works as a team with the families and caregivers of minor children who have emotional and behavioral problems. Family Partners provide support, information, and referrals necessary to improve the quality of life for families and their children. Services are provided in both English and Spanish.
What Services Are Provided?
Support and education groups
Interaction with others who have similar challenges
Orientation for new families entering the mental health system
Referrals to additional programs and services that can offer assistance
Information from professional staff who attend regional and statewide meetings on current mental health policies and resources
Parent Project and Active Parenting Classes
Participation in planning programs and services
Who can participate?
Families, guardians, and caregivers with a minor child who has special mental health needs.
How Much Does It Cost?
The Youth Family Partner program is a free service to residents in San Luis Obispo County and is funded by San Luis Obispo County’s Department of Behavioral Health and the Mental Health Services Act.
For support and more information, call:
Patty Ramirez (North County) 805-458-2596
email: pramirez@t-mha.org
Letty Mendoza (South County) 805-458-6388
email: lmendoza@t-mha.org
Laura Gaisie (SLO) 805-503-0009
email: lgaisie@t-mha.org