Mental Health Services in California


As a psychiatrist working for the California Department of State Hospitals (DSH), you’ll be joining a group of passionate people providing treatment and care for some of California’s most vulnerable populations: those struggling with severe mental illness. You’ll also enjoy a competitive salary, a world-class benefits package, and excellent work-life balance. Keep reading to learn more about what a career at DSH will look like for you.

As the largest forensic mental health hospital system in the nation, the California Department of State Hospitals (DSH) offers an outstanding quality of practice. We maintain a number of academic partnerships, and we promote a team-oriented, collegial working environment supported from the services and teachings of national experts such as Dr. Stephen M. Stahl, M.D., Ph.D., Director of DSH Psychopharmacology Services and Dr. Charles L. Scott, M.D., our lead DSH forensic consultant. Our psychiatrists lead interdisciplinary treatment teams to provide care to some of the most complex patients to be found anywhere. DSH psychiatrists also enjoy a great work life-balance, with most working 4/10/40 work weeks. On-call duty is voluntary, and strong level-of-care staff ensures 24/7/365 patient care and monitoring. Our psychiatrists even have the flexibility to develop a private practice.

DSH works closely with California Department of Corrections (CDCR) to treat inmates and parolees at four of our five state hospitals. Prison and state hospital staff collaborate on a daily basis.

The department also works with city and county government on a variety of public safety issues. Several county mental health departments purchase beds at state hospitals for Lanterman-Petris-Short patients. Counties also place criminal defendants found Incompetent to Stand Trial (IST) into DSH hospitals. IST patients are treated at DSH until competency is restored, or until the time limit is reached on their commitment.

Service to local communities is integral to the department's mission. DSH welcomes opportunities to partner with civic groups.

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