It’s about time I reviewed this place. Back in 2018 I hit an unbearable low. I no longer could take care of myself. After being diagnosed with everything in the book starting from the age of 8, I gave up. Nothing was helping. When I came to Solara, I was desperate but I really wanted to change the way I experience life. Though it was rough going there and it felt as though I couldn’t control my day in and day out anymore…. That was exactly what I needed. The classes were helpful. The therapists were helpful. And I discovered the only thing that has ever helped me out. DBT. I wasn’t sure I could rate this place when I left because I was new, I was fragile and I had to rebuild my world coming out. After three years I can fully say that Solara is the reason I am alive and thriving today. Thank you to all the faculty and RAs at the time. And of course to the group member I was there with that I hope are leading better lives like I am. My advice coming in is be open, listen, and put the effort in when you can.
I went to Solara because they stated that they were experts in trauma. I was transferring from a facility where there had just been a completed suicide. Not only did I have severe PTSD and childhood trauma but I had also just experienced the extreme trauma of losing a friend to suicide in treatment. Because my flight was a few hours late on Thursday 8/12, the team stated that I would have to be admitted on Sunday because there is virtually no programming or support on the weekends. This shocked me as this was not what their website reveals, in addition to the fact that I had just been through this extreme trauma while in an inpatient facility. I was stunned they wanted me to wait. On Sunday, United airlines delayed my flight and I was going to land in San Diego at 6:16 pm. Solara stated that this was not doable for them and that I would have to find a place to crash for the night at my own expense and that they would pick me up on Monday 8/16 at 12pm. Again, I was stunned. I was actively experiencing suicidal ideation and trauma and have three serious suicide attempts myself including coma and brain injury and this team of trauma experts thoughts these were the best choices? I have my masters in rehabilitation counseling and work as a disability analyst. I know that the most important thing would have been to get this critical patient into care but still, the team passed and abandoned me with no treatment. Thankfully my best friend lives in San Diego and I was able to crash there. On Monday 8/16 I dragged all my suitcases downstairs, locked the door and waited outside. 12pm came and went. I called Solara and asked to speak to David Hughlett who had handled admissions and he stated that they were admitting someone else and it would be a while. I began crying hysterically as I was abandoned on the street and I was experiencing suicidal ideation and a great deal of trauma and Solara had abandoned me for almost five days. Not once did a doctor call to assess my status even after I reported all of the reasons that I was coming to Solara. Apparently they had no concern that I would commit suicide. When I got there it was obvious that David had lied to me about staffing, they were way understaffed which is a big reason nobody could ever come and pick me up. In addition, there are only 6 spots for outings so with 18-25 patients, you get trapped inside. ASK QUESTIONS ABOUT STAFFING. Staffing matters, it saves lives! I was told by Ian because of my suicide history someone would actually knock on my door or open my door while I slept every 15-30 minutes. This DID NOT happen. Nobody came to check on me as I laid awake the first/only night I was there. Ian also told me that he would get me lunch when I arrived, this never happened. I did not get to eat breakfast or lunch on Monday. Forget about those plated meals you see online, you pick up your lunch and dinner in a box from a heated window that is prepared hours before. Breakfast is continental. They messed up my medication doses. They do not have nurses on staff which means you self administer your medication. I told them that this was a problem for me as I have a history of overdose and they said “okay, well you have to do it here because we can’t.” This experience was extremely traumatic. Solara needs to be much more transparent about the kind of people they employ. Do not expect RNs or experienced therapists on staff. Low level, undereducated staff runs most of Solara. The RAs are very inexperienced. Character limit exceeded. See more of my review on yelp. Stay safe if you experience suicidal ideation, trauma, and PTSD, go somewhere fully staffed and TRAUMA INFORMED and stay away from Solara. YOU MATTER!
My experience with Solara was amazing. I felt that all of the clinical services matched exactly what I was looking for. I was challenged to become by best self. Looking in the mirror is at your issues can be very uncomfortable, but I always felt supported by the staff while exploring so many things. On the non treatment side of things, I felt the residences were comfortable and the staff were always there to help and accommodate. The food was also very good. I would recommend anyone looking for mental health treatment to go to Solara. They really address your individual needs and you come out a better person.
I have struggled with depression, anxiety, OCD for my whole life. Nothing has come close to the help I received at Solara. I have been to treatment before and had a very negative experience so going to Solara I was nervous. However, once getting there, the staff treated me like an adult for the first time and they truly truly care. The clinical staff and the non clinical staff are phenomenal. There is always someone to talk to and to understand. Each weekend there are fun outings and activities and we got to take beach walks almost everyday. It is as least isolating as a treatment center can be. Of course, it was very hard and the first week was really tough and exhausting, but the time flies and I made life long friends. I would always recommend anyone struggling to consider Solara, as it changed my life for the better.
I had a loved one who recently went through Solara. They had a great experience. Their biggest take away was all of the individual therapy attention they had to work through their issues. Most weeks they had at least 5 individual therapy sessions, with a variety of therapists, something that they never received at past treatment centers. From a loved ones perspective, having family therapy with Vicky was hugely helpful. We still have a long way to go, but the first steps taken during these family sessions at Solara were some great first steps. Seeing your loved one struggle is heartbreaking, but seeing them get on a road of recovery is a remarkably good feeling and Solara did a great job of guiding them through this initial process.
after much thought , I feel its important to report this facility for unethical and disturbing treatment of clients as well as staff. the owner is dishonest at best, and has negative intentions . getting money is the number one focus! if you care about getting proper treatment please look elsewhere. as a consumer it is often difficult to find a good treatment facility. websites are deceiving . check with NAMI , or a private psychiatrist for authentic options for your loved one. I personally know of two deaths that have occurred within weeks of leaving this facility!! poor quality treatment!!! MONEY is greed and gets in the way of offering good treatment. Quality clinical care is most important and its at the bottom of the list for this place. This facility is in over their heads when it comes to truly having the ability to ethically handle and treat this population. they would do best to close before others are damaged by inappropriate care.