La Frontera Arizona and Tucson

SAPIC is an APA Accredited Internship Program


Founded in 1968, La Frontera Center was one of the original 947 community mental health centers established during the initial stages of the community mental health movement. Since its inception, the Center has been committed to the provision of services to the economically disadvantaged and culturally diverse.

The Center originally operated with a staff of five people working out of a store front, serving an area of Tucson with the highest rate of unemployment, lowest level of educational attainment, highest arrest rate, highest proportion of welfare recipients, and the largest percentage of families living in crowded conditions.

Today, La Frontera Center is the largest nonprofit community behavioral health care organization in southern Arizona, and is in the top 10% nationally, with approximately 500 employees working out of many different locations throughout metropolitan Tucson and the surrounding county.

With treatment programs for children, adolescents, and adults, for substance abuse, co-occurring disorders, and serious mental illness, La Frontera provides an accessible, coordinated, and comprehensive network of mental health and substance abuse services for the residents of Pima County. La Frontera also has a long track record of conducting comprehensive program evaluation and obtaining federal demonstration and research grants (CSAP, CSAT, NIDA). Several of La Frontera’s programs have won national awards, and La Frontera has one of the leading dual diagnosis programs in the nation.

Living in Tucson

Tucson is the true southwest. It is a city alive with character, history, and rich cultural diversity. A stunning desert setting, with ruggedly handsome mountains, gentle rolling hills, and clear blue skies creates unmatched natural beauty, geography, and climate.

Tucson is one of the oldest continually inhabited areas in the United States. As a city, it was officially founded in 1775. Today it is a fast-growing city of approximately 1 million people. Home to the University of Arizona, and residents who actively support the arts and the city’s heritage, Tucson is a thriving cultural center.

The sun shines about 350 days a year, and mild winter temperatures allow for outdoor activities, including tennis, golf, swimming, biking, and hiking all year round. Two rainy seasons replenish the desert landscape. Tucson’s ideal location puts residents within only hours of such diverse settings as Mexico’s beaches, cool mountain forests, and winter skiing.  In addition, the cost of living is relatively low.  All of this, along with its “laid back” lifestyle, makes Tucson a desirable place to live.

APA Commission on Accreditation contact information:

American Psychological Association
Program Consultation and Accreditation
750 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002-4242
(202) 336-5979




Liz Dampsey, PhD
(520) 306-6922


EMPACT-Suicide Prevention Center, La Frontera center, La Frontera Mariachi and La Frontera Partners all are members of La Frontera Arizona

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