Mental Health Services We can help.

Mental health is important.

We provide services that will address mental health needs throughout a youth’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 12-25 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.

Last year, the team helped 1,199 youth through outreach.

Prevention and Early Intervention

Our East County Prevention and Early Intervention team works with children and their families to improve adult-child relationships both at school and in the home.

Program Details:

Camp Mariposa

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 guiltYouth Climbing at Camp Mariposa
  • 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!


  • Overnight Camps
    o October 7th-9th
    o December 2nd-4th
  • Teen Day Camps
    o September 10th
  • Additional Activities
    o September 24th 
    o November 18th Holiday dinner


Camp Coordinator Itzel Valdivia,, 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.

Waiver and Release

    • Eluna is a public, 501(c)(3) non-profit with a mission to support children and families impacted by grief or addiction. Founded in 2000 in Seattle by former MLB pitcher Jamie Moyer and child advocate Karen Phelps Moyer, Eluna was originally called The Moyer Foundation and launched a series of programs supporting thousands of children and families annually. For more information, please visit 

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.

View/Download PDF | Fillable Referral Form

We provide services at our clinic, over the phone, in a youth’s school or home, or in a community setting.

Services offered:

• 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.

School-Based Services

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
Suite 101
El Cajon, CA 92020

9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Evenings by appointment

(619) 448-9700

Funded by

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 MeridianMadison 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

PEI StaffServices

Classroom Activities
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

PEI Parent Family ServicesParent/Family Services

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 Workshops
Family wellness activities are available to the community to promote well-being, self-care and community involvement such as:

  • Academics
  • Cultural Awareness
  • Dance/Exercise
  • Drug Prevention
  • Financial Planning
  • Nutrition and Wellness

PEI provides free childcare during all parent support groups.

Download and share our brochure: English / Español


(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 Grossmont Union High School District sites 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, virtually, or in a community setting. 

Services offered

Individual and Family Therapy
• Group Therapy
• Case Management 
• Parent Workshops 
• Student Workshops 

 Currently Serving  

IDEA Center/Chaparral High School 
El Cajon Valley High School 
El Capitan High School 
Granite Hills High School 
Grossmont High School 
Valhalla High School 
West Hills High School 


Victoria Abigania, Program Manager 
Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday - 8a-4p 
*Evenings by appointment only 

Crisis Counseling Program

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.

Sunny Days

Sunny Days offers a holistic approach to building resilience and promoting emotional wellness among youth ages, 13 to 25, who have experienced homelessness, engagement with child welfare and/or justice systems and are disconnected from school or employment. We offer trauma informed individual and group counseling services for young people, as well as psychiatry services.

Sunny Days equips youth who have experienced homelessness and other forms of institutionalized trauma with knowledge and skills that support healthy mental health, healing and thriving. This program also raises awareness and mobilizes action to address social inequities that impact youth mental health such as transphobia, racism and homophobia through targeted outreach campaigns. The program is open to youth already receiving services from San Diego Youth Services.

For inquiries about the Sunny Days program, please reach out to Program Manager, Heather Johns, at 619-629-7798 or