IHS Holds Grand Opening for New Youth Regional Treatment Center in California

IHS Sacred Oaks Healing Center

DAVIS, CA – The Indian Health Service (IHS), in consultation with the 104 federally-recognized tribes of California, held a grand opening for a new Youth Regional Treatment Center in Davis, CA. The Sacred Oaks Healing Center will provide culturally appropriate substance use disorder and behavioral health treatment to American Indian and Alaska Native youth ages 12 to 17.

“The new Youth Regional Treatment Center in northern California is a place where youth can overcome their challenges and recover their lives to become healthy, strong, and resilient leaders in their communities,” said IHS Director Roselyn Tso. “Sacred Oaks demonstrates our commitment to American Indian and Alaska Native youth and families by offering culturally-centered, evidence-based, individualized behavioral health services.”

The opening of the Sacred Oaks Healing Center supports the Biden administration’s priority to address the country’s mental health crisis. Building on President Biden’s national mental health strategy, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra is leading HHS and agencies in a whole-of-department approach to address the mental health challenges exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, including substance use, youth mental health, and suicide. Last year, the Secretary also released the HHS Overdose Prevention Strategy designed to increase access to the full range of care and services. 

The treatment center is the second IHS Youth Regional Treatment Center in California; the Desert Sage Youth Wellness Center opened in Hemet, CA, in 2017. Previously, most of California’s American Indian and Alaska Native youth who received treatment were sent out-of-state to facilities that may not have met their cultural needs.

“California’s youth treatment centers are an important part of our efforts to help thousands of Native youth who need residential care,” said IHS California Area Director Beverly Miller. “I want to thank the tribal leaders and local officials who supported our efforts to open this center so we can provide quality, holistic behavioral health care for American Indian and Alaska Native adolescents and their families in a substance-free, residential environment.”

The center will provide comprehensive and holistic care, including:

  • Mental health assessments, health care services, and individualized treatment plans
  • Structured substance use disorder treatment programs (e.g., 12-step programs)
  • Individual, group, and family therapy
  • Academic education
  • Vocational and life-skills training
  • Activities to meet the spiritual and cultural needs of American Indian and Alaska Native youth

The healing center is approximately 35,000 sq. ft. and includes three buildings with 32 beds and three family suites. It will employ 70 full-time employees. Interior features include classrooms, computer lab, art room, a commercial kitchen, dining area, cultural space, exam rooms, employee offices, an indoor half-court gymnasium, and a weight room. Exterior features include an outdoor basketball court and walking trails.

The IHS currently funds 13 Youth Regional Treatment Centers nationally. IHS operates seven of the centers and contracts with tribes to operate six of the centers.

The California Area Indian Health Service provides the IHS health care delivery system to the State of California, the home of the largest population of American Indians and Alaska Natives in the country.