Services & Programs > Mental Health Counseling at School Sites (PALS)
Mental Health Counseling at School Sites (PALS)
Thanks to East Bay Agency for Children, thousands of children in Oakland, Fremont, Hayward and San Lorenzo public schools who are at risk of school failure due to psychological stressors have received vital help and have gone on to achieve academic success. These are children who otherwise would have received few or no mental health counseling services.
Through EBAC, psychotherapy is offered in 27 schools to children who have been referred by their teachers, principals, parents, and themselves because they are struggling with issues like anxiety, depression, abuse or the stress of living in poverty or in neighborhoods impacted by violence.
EBAC employs 36 Mental Health Clinicians (30 full-time) to provide these services, each of whom has a dedicated therapy room on the school campus and provides individual, group, and/or family therapy to about 20 students. These mental health services are a component of each EBAC program throughout the county.
Oakland PALS is EBAC’s largest mental health program with 15 therapists working with staff at 15 Oakland Unified and charter schools delivering services to more than 350 children and their families. In addition to helping these children and families develop the tools and skills needed to cope with psychological stressors, these clinicians are at the school sites mostly full time and are available to school staff and administration to provide mental health consultation and to assist with crises such as suicide assessments and child abuse intervention. Oakland PALS staff also work closely with Oakland Unified School District staff to provide school-wide crisis intervention when a group of students or the whole school is impacted by violence or death.
For more information about the school-based mental health services provided in your area, please contact one of these program directors:
Jill Reed, MFTI
Six-year-old Xavier's aggressive and unmanageable behavior interfered with his school performance. Read Xavier's Story
"EBAC provides a safety net for the students who are most at risk of failure, catching kids who typically fall through the cracks. EBAC is very good at addressing whatever is distressing them and looking at how those stressors affect their ability to succeed in school." Barbara McClung
Program Manager, Integrated Student Support Services