A child's mental health is important.
We provide services that will address mental health needs throughout a child’s life, including prevention and early intervention for kids and families, and intensive, outpatient mental health services, trauma informed care and case management for youth ages 12-20 who are experiencing homelessness or running away from home. We also work with children and their families to improve adult-child relationships both at school and in the home.
San Diego Youth Services Counseling Cove provides intensive, outpatient mental health services, trauma informed care and case management for youth ages 12-20 who are experiencing homelessness or running away from home. Counseling Cove uses a comprehensive approach that is community-based, client and family-driven and culturally competent.
Services are strength-based, focusing on resilience and recovery. Under the Mental Health Services Act, Counseling Cove is a Full Service Partnership Program. As such, staff do “whatever it takes” and follow the “no wrong door policy” to meet needs.
The Counseling Cove team makes significant efforts to locate and engage youth experiencing homelessness to help increase access to mental health services. Last year, the team helped 117 youth participating in the program and 1,199 youth through outreach.
Providing Support for:
- Addressing Basic Needs
- Alcohol & Drug Misuse
- Depression & Anxiety
- Family Relationships
- Healthy Relationships
- Safe Coping Skills
- Sexual Health
- Trauma-related Issues
- Support Partners
- Community-based Outreach and Support
- 24-hour Support
- Community Training and Education
Monday – Friday
9am – 6pm
Evenings and weekends by appointment
Referrals can be made by phone, fax or walk in. Download our referral form.
For more information or to make a referral by phone, please call (619) 525-9903.
Camp Mariposa is a free mentoring and addiction prevention camp and program for youth affected by a family member’s substance use disorder.
The program is a partnership of San Diego Youth Services and Eluna, a fellow charity supporting children and families impacted by grief or addition.
Youth ages 9-12 attend transformational three-day weekend camps, with six camps being offered during the year. Last year, 30 youth attended Camp Mariposa.
Campers participate in fun, traditional camp activities combined with education and support exercises led by mental health professionals and trained mentors.
Camp Mariposa allows youth to:
- Have fewer feelings of isolation and guilt
- Meet friends facing similar situations
- Understand that addiction is a disease
- Avoid the juvenile justice system
- Build confidence and coping skills
- Make positive choices in life
- Develop relationships with mentors
- Have fun!
Camp Coordinator Julie Dieu, Jdieu@sdyouthservices.org, 619-494-4853 (work cell)
Referrals can be turned in by fax (619) 258-0676 or in person at our Spring Valley and East Communities Campus in the San Diego Youth Services reception, 3845 Spring Drive, Spring Valley, CA 91977.
East County Behavioral Health Clinic
The East County Behavioral Health Clinic provides trauma informed, outpatient mental health services, and case management to youth (4-21 years old) and their families who are low-income or uninsured, full scope Medi-Cal beneficiaries, or eligible for services through the Mental Health Service Act. As a Full Service Partnership program, we provide comprehensive, culturally responsive services to assist youth and families in achieving their goals. These behavioral health services are part of SchoolLink, a partnership between school districts and the County of San Diego.
We provide services at our clinic, over the phone, in a youth’s school or home, or in a community setting.
• Individual and Family Therapy
• Group Therapy
• Case Management
• Psychiatric Services/Psychiatric evaluation (Medication is only provided in conjunction with psychotherapy)
Clinic and Tele-Health Services
We can serve youth from any part of the East County Region at our clinic site, as well as over the phone or video.
On-site, school-based services are provided during the school day to select schools in the following districts:
Santee School District: Carlton Hills Elementary School, Carlton Oaks Elementary School, Chet F. Harritt Elementary School
Lakeside Union School District: Lakeside Middle School, Tierra del Sol Middle School
Grossmont Union High School District: El Cajon Valley High School, El Capitan High School, Monte Vista High School
A Family Therapy Approach
The clinic uses a family therapy, strengths-based approach to empower youth and their families to improve their overall wellbeing. This approach emphasizes the interconnection between all family members and uses those connections to assist families in successfully overcoming various difficulties. This approach recognizes the inherent strengths and important role that family members have in each other’s lives and supports the uniqueness of the family system.
Location & Contact
1870 Cordell Court
El Cajon, CA 92020
9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Evenings by appointment
Prevention and Early Intervention
Our East County Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) team works with children and their families to improve adult-child relationships both at school and in the home. Last year, PEI provided services to 765 children in preschool through third grade. The team also provided services to 1,219 participants at events. All services offered are free!
PEI now provides services to children and families at Bancroft and La Presa elementary schools within the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District and Meridian, Madison and Naranca elementary schools within the Cajon Valley Union School District.
The program’s goals are to prevent behavioral problems and serious mental illness in elementary school-aged children and to support families who are struggling with these concerns.
East County PEI uses the Incredible Years evidence-based model to improve the lives of children and families in the community.
Related news: 250 Children Get Backpacks & School Supplies
Why would I participate?
With participation in the PEI Program you can:
- Assist your child in expressing their feelings and solve their own problems
- Connect with other families
- Enable your child to do better in school
- Find supportive resources in your community
- Help your child make friends
- Increase communication with your children
- Learn new positive parenting skills
- Reduce negative behavior at home
Students (Preschool to 2nd grade) participate in weekly Dinosaur School lessons in the classroom. The classroom activities include topics such as:
- Appropriate school behavior
- Feelings identification
- Problem solving
- School rules
- Social skills
Child Behavior Groups
After School Child Behavior Groups (Preschool to 3rd grade) are designed to support children who are struggling with their behavior at home and/or in school. The groups focus on the following:
- Building confidence and self-esteem
- Concentrating and following directions
- Expressing emotions in a healthy manner
- Improving adult-child interactions
- Increasing positive behaviors
Parenting Support Groups
Parents and family members are introduced to similar strategies the PEI team uses with the children during classroom activities and Child Behavior Groups. These strategies include positive discipline and how to effectively teach your child new positive behaviors.
Skills learned can be used to improve parent-child relationships and help children succeed. Participants also build a support system by getting to know other parents in the community.
Family wellness activities are available to the community to promote well-being, self-care and community involvement such as:
- Cultural Awareness
- Drug Prevention
- Financial Planning
- Nutrition and Wellness
PEI provides free childcare during all parent support groups.
(619) 258-6877 x3253
Family Resource Center
The Family Resource Center provides a holistic approach to mental health services and case management for youth enrolled at El Cajon Valley High School and their families. Our purpose is to increase student achievement in the areas of academics, behavior, and attendance through integration of school, home and family support services.
We provide services on campus, over the phone or video, or in a community setting.
• Group Therapy
• Case Management
• Parent Workshops
• Student Workshops
Location & Contact
El Cajon Valley High School
Family Resource Center - Room A218
1035 E Madison Ave.
El Cajon, CA 92021
8 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Evenings by appointment only
The SDYS Crisis Counseling Program specifically offers services to San Diego youth (ages 12-24)and their families that have been impacted by COVID-19.
Crisis Counselors empower youth and their families by connecting them with resources that provide financial support, housing, employment opportunities, mental health treatment, tutoring, and other basic needs. Crisis Counselors also provide emotional support and coping techniques to help people find their way during these difficult times. Swipe through to learn about ways to cope with stress during COVID-19.