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Alvarado Parkway Institute
7050 Parkway Drive, La Mesa

Here's a private behavioral (i.e. mental health) system that really seems to work. Three local psychiatrists -- David Bergman, Michael Lardon, and Brad Sanders -- pooled their funds in 2000 and acquired Alvarado. They offer a 24-hour outreach help line (800-766-4274) and free walk-in counseling assessments seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Treatment options include inpatient care for psychiatric and addictive disorders, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient programs, and services for people transitioning back into the community. They provide free hot midday meals and daily round-trip transportation for those who request it. They accept Medicare and Medi-Cal, along with most major health insurances, including PPOs, HMOs, and CHAMPUS.

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