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Posted on: May 22, 2020

We Are Here For You

Holding Hands in Front of Tree

The Merced County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services and Public Health departments are here for you during this very difficult time. As our county enters into Phase 2, we want to remind our community that our goal is to support the physical and mental wellbeing our County family, friends and colleagues.

“We want to promote a healthy mental state while being mindful of the Public Health orders, which is why our departments want to encourage people to self-screen for both mental health and physical health symptoms” said Genevieve G. Valentine, Director of Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (BHRS).

“During this difficult time, it’s important for everyone to be aware of their health, including behavioral and mental health.  It’s crucial that anyone who may be feeling that their well-being is at-risk, prioritizes their health and seeks assistance to address their needs.  In collaboration with the Department of Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, Public Health seeks to promote and advocate self-care for all,” said Public Health Director, Dr. Rebecca Nanyonjo-Kemp.

BHRS continues to provide specialty mental health services in the Merced, Los Banos, and Livingston clinics with decreased lobby hours (M-F 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.).  The Department is limiting face to face contact to protect our community and staff; however, clinical and medical professionals will continue to use their discretion when face to face services are imperative for treatment. BHRS is also providing telephonic and tele-med services for anyone in need of mental health support, but can’t come into the offices due to COVID-19 fears or health limitations.

In alignment with our vision and mission, BHRS has also launched a free 24/7 Youth Warm Line (209-381-6800).  This is a non-emergency resource for any youth seeking emotional support. “BHRS wants to promote preventative and proactive support to our youth and families. This warm line will provide a voice of hope for our community” says Genevieve G. Valentine, Director of BHRS.

If you are feeling depressed, anxious, or showing signs of stress—even when the outbreak does not directly affect you, remember Behavioral Health Recovery Services is here for you. These stressful feelings are normal and you should acknowledge those feelings; it is important that you care for your own physical and mental health during this time.

If you have specific questions about BHRS services, or if you or a loved one needs immediate mental health assistance in dealing with this COVID-19 crisis, please feel free to reach out (via email or phone) to BHRS:

Toll Free: 1-888-334-0163

TDD/TYY: 1-866-293-1818

Staff is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week


Behavioral health resources can be found on the Merced County COVID-19 website.

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