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How OpenMinds Started

Our Story

Amidst a deepening mental health crisis during the COVID-19 pandemic, OpenMinds transitioned from a private practice to a non-profit organization, driven by the need to make mental health services accessible to all in Santa Barbara. This story explores their journey of adaptation and commitment to community well-being.

Germinated Plant


OpenMinds began its journey as a for-profit private practice, dedicated to providing mental health services to adolescents and young adults. During and shortly after the COVID pandemic, the mental health crisis surged and there was an urgent need for mental health support for teenagers. Families were willing to go to great lengths and pay whatever was necessary to access these vital services, highlighting just how critical the situation had become.


As the pandemic continued and the cost of living soared, we noticed a shift in the inquiries we received. More and more people wanted to use their private insurance for mental health services. This change brought up ethical concerns for us at OpenMinds because we couldn't provide suitable referrals to in-network providers due to the limited number of providers available.



It became clear to us that Santa Barbara was in desperate need of a mental health clinic that welcomed all types of insurance. However, we faced a significant challenge: how could we balance the significantly lower fees associated with insurance billing, which often come with higher administrative costs compared to private fees?


That's when the idea of transitioning OpenMinds into a non-profit organization came to us. By making this shift, we could advocate for fair compensation from insurance companies while tapping into the incredible resources within our Santa Barbara community to ensure the clinic's sustainability and growth. This approach not only addressed our ethical concerns but is also allowing us to fulfill our mission of providing equitable access to mental health services for our youth in Santa Barbara.

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