San Diego In-Home Outreach Team


1660 Hotel Circle North, Suite 314
San Diego, California  92108
619-961-2120 Main
855-384-4468 Toll free
619-961-2138 FAX

About IHOT

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Click here to view the pdf

Telecare In-Home Outreach Team (IHOT) is a centralized program offering three mobile teams to provide in-home outreach to adults with serious mental illness (SMI) who are reluctant or resistant to receiving mental health services. IHOT also provides support and education to family members and/or caretakers of IHOT participants. Three individual teams serve the Central, East, and South County regions of San Diego, California. Eligible individuals may have a co-occurring substance abuse diagnosis, in addition to a diagnosis of a serious mental illness.                             

The IHOT program also serves as the gatekeeper program through which referrals to the Telecare Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT ) program are made. The AOT program is part of a continuum of supportive services offered to individuals with serious mental illness who are opposed to engaging in treatment services and who meet the nine criteria of Laura’s Law.

For more information about Telecare's San Diego AOT program and the nine criteria of Laura’s Law, click here.

Just the Basics

Members: 240-300 annually
Population Served: Adults with serious mental illness that are resistant to mental health treatment, family members and/or caretakers
Funded by: San Diego County Behavioral Health Services, Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), and Innovation Funds

Recovery Model

The IHOT program is founded on a strengths-based, person-centered model which aims to build trusting relationships, address immediate needs, and connect individuals to community resources so that they can reach their highest potential. In addition to helping participants connect with community resources, we also educate involved family members by providing them with information and guidance on how to navigate the mental health system and recovery journey as well. 


IHOT staff include peer specialists, family coaches, personal service coordinators (case managers), and licensed clinicians. Peer Specialists and family coaches offer lived experience in their work with participants, family members, and/or caretakers.

Services and Supports

Services include, but are not limited to:

  • Behavioral health needs screening
  • Outreach and engagement
  • Transitional intensive case management
  • Crisis management and coaching
  • Support and educational services for participants and family members
  • 24/7 on-call staff response if needed
  • Linkage to community resources, such as medical and mental healthcare, substance abuse services, housing and vocational resources, National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI), food banks, clubhouses, legal aid, etc

Office Hours

  • Monday - Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • After hours crisis line: 619-961-2120

Referral Process

Referrals to the IHOT program are usually conducted over the phone and can be made by family members, PERT clinicians, hospital social workers, jail/corrections personnel, NAMI, APS and other community support providers, as is appropriate. Please note that if you are specifically interested in referring a family member, loved one or client for enrollment in the AOT program, please be sure to do so by contacting the IHOT program and specifically stating your desire to make a referral to the Telecare AOT program. The IHOT program will be the first step in clinically assessing whether an individual meets the nine criteria of Laura’s Law that is required for AOT placement and will proceed to make referrals to AOT accordingly.

Admission Criteria

  • Adults ages 18 years or older
  • Reside in Central, East, and South County regions of San Diego, California
  • Be identified as having a serious mental health problem (may include a diagnosis of serious mental illness) and declines mental health services and/or be an identified person with mental illness who has had sporadic contact with mental health treatment, but is not currently engaged in on-going treatment or who has discontinued recommended treatment services
  • Be an identified person with serious mental health symptoms that contribute to serious functional impairment in activities of daily living, social relations, and/or ability to sustain housing or be an identified person that has had one or more previous episodes consisting of any of the following events in the past year 
    • Psychiatric hospitalization
    • Emergency room visit
    • Police/PERT involvement
    • Incarceration
  • Identified person may also have a history of co-occurring substance use/substance abuse and mental illness (not a disqualifier). Also, if primary residence is in an eligible region, the location of incarcerations, hospitalizations, or ED/EPU contacts are not disqualifiers.

Contacting A Family Member

Family members are typically the ones contacting IHOT to make a referral to our program for their loved one(s) struggling with mental illness who may be living in or outside of their home and who are resistant to receiving mental health treatment. Thus, contact with family is usually established right at the outset. If a referral is made through a community provider, we usually request that the community provider (who may already be working with the family) give family our contact information to call IHOT or ask if IHOT may contact them directly. If we begin to work with the identified individual with mental illness, we guarantee that individual confidentiality of meeting content, etc., even if they have been referred to us by their family. IHOT does require written authorization to share information about individual participants, even if they were referred by a family member.

What Makes Us Different

Our program is unique in that our target population is those with serious mental illness who are resistant to receiving mental health services. IHOT is the only mobile outreach program in San Diego performing this type of service at this time. Included in our service delivery is a strong support and education component to the identified participant's family member(s) if desired by the family. We are also unique in that we are not a billable service and use a very person-centered, non-coercive, non-agenda setting approach to engage with our participants. We meet participants where they are and work collaboratively with them to achieve their goals; often doing whatever it takes to help engage them and assist them in meeting their stated needs and desires.

About Telecare

Telecare is a family- and employee-owned company that has been treating individuals with serious mental illness since 1965. We specialize in innovative, outcomes-driven services for high-risk individuals with complex needs. Our programs are recovery-focused and clinically effective and are designed in partnership with local, county, state and other behavioral health organizations.