What is the Sanctuary House Residential Program?

Originally built in 1902, Sanctuary Centers’ beautiful Victorian Sanctuary House is a twelve bed residential program created for adults learning to live independently with mental illness. The warmth of the home itself and the cozy size of the program provides an ideal combination of privacy, peace, and family atmosphere for our clients. We focus on teaching our clients independent living skills and socialization techniques needed to successfully thrive in the community. While our residential clients often come to us after or as an alternative to hospitalization, we nurture as much autonomy and freedom as is safe for each client. To this end, Sanctuary House provides a comprehensive clinical program, individualized to help each client cope with the personal issues that interfere with their independent lifestyle.

When Does Someone Need Mental Health Inpatient Care?

At Sanctuary Centers, we offer a full spectrum continuum of care for anyone experiencing a mental health issue. Our Sanctuary House Program was created for anyone experiencing a mental health crisis that is interfering with their ability to live safely and independently in their communities. Our program participants are often coming out of one or multiple hospitalizations, but remain stable enough to live in a voluntary, unlocked facility, such as our Sanctuary House. If you are unsure what level of treatment you or your loved one may require, please reach out to us at (805) 569-2785.

Learn more about the conditions we treat.

What to Expect

Upon entering the Sanctuary House residential program, each client is matched to a licensed primary therapist. This therapist also acts as the client’s case manager working directly with the client and their family when appropriate to assess personal strengths and problem areas, structure short and long term goals, and develop an individualized treatment plan. This unique plan is evaluated on a weekly basis throughout the course of treatment. To ensure that every client receives the highest level of care, our two full-time primary therapists/case managers each carry a small caseload – never more than six clients at a time, respectively.

Program Goals

Meaningful, obtainable goals are the hallmark of any successful program. As such, our inpatient care is designed to:
  • Aid individuals with a history of psychiatric hospitalization as they build the support systems and life skills needed to prevent future hospitalization.
  • Encourage program participants to explore their personal strengths and struggles in order to increase their self-reliance and self-confidence with the ultimate aim of strengthening each participant’s bonds with the community.
  • Inspire program participants to set bold and realistic educational and/or career goals, and work with participants to find educational and/or employment opportunities that move them toward their goals.
  • Assist clients as they develop fulfilling and supportive friendships and other important personal relationships.
  • Educate clients on the importance of participating in appropriate health and medication regimens.
  • Provide fun and exciting recreational activities that promote social interaction and teamwork among program participants.
  • Motivate clients to invest in their physical fitness.
  • Teach program participants important independent living skills as needed on a one-on-one basis or in the form of group classes.
  • Instruct and assist clients in the preparation of their own nutritious, well-balanced meals.


Medication Management

At Sanctuary Centers, our devoted staff collaborate directly with our Medical Director to develop an optimal medication regimen for our clients. We continually review the current research regarding medication and dosage, in an effort to provide the most effective therapeutic plan for each and every client we treat. Additionally, it is part of Sanctuary Centers philosophy to use the least number of medications, in the lowest possible doses. To achieve this, we can also incorporate the use of Genecept™ Assay which is an easy-to-use, non-invasive saliva test. This specialized test looks at selected genes, analyzes and communicates the results, in a written report, to our Medical Director. The subsequent results offer both our providers and family members with information to help guide a choice of possible drugs for optimal treatment. In the end, this technology provides physicians with existing and new information to help them better understand our clients biochemistry. Throughout their course of treatment in the Inpatient Care Program, we encourage our clients to understand and invest in the importance of proper medication management. Program participants who take responsibility for their medication management prove far more likely to remain compliant with their medication and successful in their health and wellness goals after graduating from the program. All medications are dispensed by our expert staff. We also provide a treatment team to manage our clients’ responsible self-administration of their medications.

Individual Therapy and Case Management

Each client works with a licensed therapist throughout the course of their program. As a team, client and therapist establish and outline the short-term and long-term goals of their individualized treatment plan. Therapist and client meet every week to discuss progress in the program, as well as any issues that may arise in the course of treatment. We pride ourselves at Sanctuary Centers on our excellent staff-to-client ratio. Our two full time, licensed therapists service twelve clients total – six per therapist. This ratio allows our therapists to make themselves accessible to our clients as needed throughout the week and evenings.

Group Therapy

At Sanctuary Centers, we offer more than 45 distinct therapy groups. These groups address areas of mental health and/or co-occurring disorders and allow inpatient and outpatient clients to come together and build a sense of community. Our therapy groups can generally be divided into three types:

  • Psychotherapy Groups: These types of groups have been specially designed to help members address their own unique, respective psychological problems. In psychotherapy groups, exchanges between members are vitally important in bringing about change. These groups offer the the advantage of direct interaction among members. Clients often report that this direct interaction provides a level of support and caring between participants that is different from the relationship between therapist and client in individual therapy. The relationships built in these groups allow for healthy confrontation of deeply rooted issues. These groups can be a productive choice for individuals experiencing depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder. We offer many different types of psychotherapy groups, including but not limited to: interpersonal communication, art therapy, grief and loss, trauma and recovery, and music therapy.
  • Psychoeducational Groups: These therapy groups utilize a structured learning format, akin to a classroom environment. They focus on developing thinking, feeling, and behavioral skills participants can use outside of therapy to improve their daily lives. Sanctuary Centers provides many types of psychoeducational groups, such as: career development, healthy eating, anger management, Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Positive Psychology.
  • Expressive Arts TherapyDrawn from a multiplicity of art forms, expressive arts therapy allows clients to examine their feelings, thoughts, and sensations toward the promotion of emotional growth and healing.  These non-verbal expressive techniques provide a safe outlet whereby members can discuss and explore difficult emotions. Examples of creative arts groups include poetry therapy, art therapy, music therapy, and dance/movement therapy.
  • Recreational Groups: These therapy groups cover a wide range of fun and healthy activities designed to help participants develop skills, knowledge and behaviors to improve their daily lives. Groups range in focus from the practicing of physical, cognitive, and emotional self-care to groups that employ role playing to help recreate real world situations.
Career Development Services

Career Development is a crucial component of living independently and gradually reestablishing a place in the community. We encourage our clients to explore and assess their interests and abilities with the ultimate aims of volunteering in the local community, enrolling in classes, seeking vocational training, and eventually securing employment. Sanctuary Centers’ Career Development Specialists work closely with our clients and prepare them for a pre-vocational or vocational activity within the first month of their stay in the House. Contact us or click to learn more about Career Development Services.

Co-Occurring Disorders Services

At our Co-Occurring Disorders Program, we provide clients diagnosed with both mental health and substance use disorders with specialized counseling services tailored specifically to their needs. Our services are always provided in a safe alcohol/drug-free environment. Contact us or click to learn more about our Co-Occurring Disorders Program.

Family Support

We also recognize all of the ways our clients’ families need support during the treatment process. We invite family members to participate in our family support services, which include family meetings with the client’s treatment team and weekly phone calls with the client’s Case Manager. Families are also encouraged to participate in multi-family group therapy and couples therapy when such participation would be productive and appropriate.   In addition to family counseling, our clinical staff provides families with educational and informational resources. These resources offer a deeper understanding of mental illness and its effects on families and their relationship dynamics. Contact us or click to learn more about our Family Counseling Services.

Independent Living Skills

All Sanctuary Centers clients participate in our comprehensive independent living skills program. Members of our highly qualified and attentive staff advise and assist clients in the daily practice of personal hygiene and the regular upkeep and maintenance of their living environments. Staff members also offer instruction and assistance in the preparation of all meals, in addition to aiding in menu planning, grocery shopping/comparison shopping, and budgeting. Staff members also offer public transportation tutorials to any interested clients.

Socialization Skills/Recreation

As one major component of our offerings, Sanctuary House provides our clients with groups and activities designed to help develop and improve interpersonal relationships and people skills. Scheduled Socialization Skills/Recreation groups are included in the clinical program. These groups offer clients an opportunity to develop relationships with their peers as they learn to trust and support one another. These groups often become learning forums where intricate concepts like cooperative participation and tolerance for individual differences are explored in-depth. As time passes and clients build self-confidence, staff members encourage and coach participants to take leadership roles in these groups. Activities for these groups may include attending plays, concerts, films, art exhibitions and lectures, as well as hiking, sailing, horseback riding, bicycling, camping, and exploring city parks and beaches. These types of activities bring clients together in community settings and provide them with an opportunity to socialize and build self-esteem. Additionally, further activities are available in the Los Angeles area, only 90 minutes away from our hometown of Santa Barbara.


Satellite Services

This prepaid service ensures the client a three-month program of weekly one-hour sessions with our Satellite Services Program staff. With one payment, clients are able to connect to staff members within multiple Sanctuary Centers programs. This open communication improves the chances for program success.

In-Home Supportive Services

Often, even after former clients become fully independent members of their community, they are still in need of some assistance. Our In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) provides help and encouragement to motivate clients to continue their growth in order to thrive long after their time at Sanctuary House. Learn more about In-Home Supportive Services.

Aftercare Clinical Personnel:

All of our counselors are highly trained and experienced practitioners in Counseling, Psychology, or a closely related field, and all Sanctuary Centers’ clients are purposefully matched with their counselors according to each client’s respective needs, goals, and objectives. In the unfortunate event that a crisis situation should ever arise, every member of our staff is trained to respond safely, effectively, and decisively.

How Much Does It Cost for Aftercare?

Aftercare fees include Satellite Services sessions–12 weeks of one-hour sessions for $900.

Optional In-Home Supportive Services sessions include the available options:

  • Individual Sessions (per session): $90
  • Flat Rate (billed monthly): One (1) Time Daily, Five (5) Days Per Week – $1,075
  • Flat Rate (billed monthly): One (1) Time Daily, Seven (7) Days Per Week – $ 1,500
  • Medication Monitoring (billed monthly): One (1) Time Daily, Three (3) Days Per Week – $750
  • Medication Monitoring (billed monthly): One (1) Time Daily, Four (4) Days Per Week – $940

How Much Does It Cost for Mental Health Inpatient Care?

For Sanctuary Centers Mental Health Inpatient Care, there is an initial assessment fee of $1,000. The monthly fee for Sanctuary House is $12,000. This includes all group and individual services, case management, career development services, co-occurring disorders services (if needed), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, psychological testing services, and family therapy services. The monthly fee for psychiatry is $800 on average.

Sanctuary House is a private pay facility. We can provide insurance billing services. We have chosen to remain private pay so that we may continue to offer the highest possible level of care at all times. Too often, some treatment parameters are determined by insurance companies. At Sanctuary House, we firmly believe that treatment parameters such as type of therapy, number of therapy sessions, ancillary services, and length of stay should be determined by treatment professionals – never the insurance company. Upon initial assessment, we endeavor to always work with the client and family to create a treatment plan mindful of both cost and client needs, so that we are able to tailor the most successful plan to each individual we treat.

Getting Started With Mental Health Inpatient Care

  • Contact Us

    (805) 569-2785, extension 215 or send us a message

  • Schedule a Visit

    We offer tours throughout the week

  • Referral

    A clinical professional may complete and submit referral paperwork

  • Assessment

    Prospective client will complete an in-person clinical assessment with our Clinical Director

  • Intake

    If the Sanctuary House program is the best fit for you, the intake process will begin

Mental Health Inpatient Care Forms/Resources

Frequently Asked Questions about Sanctuary House

Do you accept insurance?

Sanctuary House is a private pay facility. We can provide insurance billing for out of network benefits. We have chosen to remain private pay so that we may continue to offer the highest level of care possible at all times. Too often, some treatment parameters are determined by insurance companies. At Sanctuary House, we firmly believe that treatment parameters such as type of therapy, number of therapy sessions, ancillary services, and length of stay should be determined by treatment professionals – never the insurance company. Upon initial assessment, we endeavor to always work with the client and family to create a treatment plan mindful of both cost and client needs, so that we are able to taylor the most successful plan to each individual we treat.

How many beds do you have at Sanctuary House?

We have 12 beds in a beautiful 6-bedroom Victorian home. Clients share rooms, either two men or two women per room.

Is the program co-ed?

Yes. We usually have six men and six women in the residential program at any given time. The rooms, however, are segregated by gender.

How long do residents usually stay?

The average length of stay is 4-5 months, but we do not set a minimum length of stay. We offer a long-term vocational and community reintegration component to the program that includes volunteering in the community, taking classes, and looking for paid employment. We believe this program component is best suited to a minimum three-month commitment. As our clients move through the program, they begin with a full schedule of traditional therapeutic groups and individual sessions, then transition to learning independent living skills and heading out into the community via volunteer positions, school, and employment.

Where do clients live after they leave Sanctuary House?

Most of our residential clients stay in Santa Barbara after graduating the program. Sanctuary House personally owns and operates 36 beautiful units of affordable studio apartments with available ancillary services. If we have a unit available, these are a great opportunity. Other options include sober living homes and a variety of other apartments in the area, many of which are within walking distance from our outpatient mental health center.

Do you have references?

Yes! We are happy to provide you with the names and phone numbers of former clients, parents of clients, conservators, board members or other references as requested.

How do I get my loved one to come into treatment?

We get asked this a lot. The short answer: Our program is 100% voluntary. This means that unless your loved one is court-ordered or under conservatorship, they cannot be forced into treatment. There is much more, however, to be said about this subject than that. Please give us a call at 805-569-2785 to talk about your options, learn more about conservatorship, and discuss how to best approach your loved one about our program or other programs. Even if they never come to Sanctuary Centers, we’re here to help you through this difficult time.

Do you offer tours of the program?

Absolutely! We offer tours of our residential program Monday through Friday from 10am-3pm. The tour usually lasts about an hour. It begins at our Administration Building. There, you will meet with the President/CEO or the Clinical Director, who will then take you on a tour of the residential program facility. After the tour, you are welcome to drive by our outpatient building – about 5 blocks down the road from the residential building – to get a sense of where our clients live and interact during the day. Of course to protect the privacy of our clients, we do ask that you refrain from stopping by or going into the outpatient building without an appointment.

What is the average age of the residents in the house?

Sanctuary House is open to individuals from 18-59 years with the average age of our residents being between 25 and 34. For the most current demographics, please call 805-569-2785.

Do you accept credit cards?

Yes. There is an additional 4% processing fee for all credit card transactions.

Are there any diagnoses that you do not treat?

Unfortunately, at Sanctuary House we do not currently treat clients with a primary diagnosis of an eating disorder, sexual addiction, or gambling addiction. We also do not currently treat multiple personalities or dissociative identity disorders.


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