Mental Health

1 in 5 children experience a mental health disorder but only 50% receive the services that they need.1

We help children and their families develop coping skills and heal from distressing events.

Too many children experience times in their lives when their emotional health is harmed by circumstances beyond their control.  Our Mental Health Services offer children and their families an opportunity to heal, develop resilience and rebuild emotionally healthy lives. The types of services offered include family, individual and group counseling, crisis intervention, psychological testing, medication management, and case management.

Children come to us facing challenges ranging from anxiety, depression, behavioral disorders, and other mental health issues. We work with children who have experienced trauma dealing with the consequences of events ranging from parent abandonment to sexual abuse.

Our Impact

Our goal is to decrease mental illness and behavioral disorders plaguing our children. In addition, we help families in our community be the best caregivers they can be ultimately strengthening the community as a whole.

41k

Hours of Therapy Provided

91%

Of our Mental Health Clients are Children

1.5k+

Mental Health Clients Served

Our Services

In our work, a client and their family may experience a “crisis”. A crisis is often defined as a situation in which the individual (or family) is unable to effectively implement problem solving or other coping skills which can then produce emotional, mental, physical or behavioral distress. A crisis can occur in areas such as school, the client’s home and in the community. Crisis Intervention is the method, or therapeutic tools, used to offer short term help to those experiencing a crisis. The goal of providing interventions is to help stabilize the situation, ensure the child is safe, and return the client and/or family back to a place of utilizing successful coping skills. Sometimes, crisis intervention may include individual therapy, psychiatric hospitalization, law enforcement or Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) involvement, or identifying and locating other community resources that can provide further assistance.

Outpatient mental health services are interventions provided by clinical staff (i.e. individual, family or group therapy) to promote successful home, school and community functioning, as well as mood and behavior stabilization. These services begin with the completion of a bio-psychosocial assessment which highlights areas needing clinical attention. Some aspects addressed by these services include trauma, depression, anxiety, anger, and self-harm behaviors. Our outpatient mental health services consist of various treatment methods including the use of evidence-based practices such as Managing and Adapting Practice, Individual Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. In addition, our goal is to work not only with the individual client, but also his/her natural supports in an effort to promote a network of support that can assist with the client achieving success with his/her goals for treatment. We believe participation of the caregiver is critical to the overall success of the treatment plan.

While the majority of mental health services are offered at a client’s home, these services can also be introduced on-site in other locations in the community, including a client’s school. The Whole Child has collaborations with several school districts in the surrounding communities including Montebello Unified School District, East Whittier School District, South Whittier School District, Whitter Union High School District, Whitter City School District, Little Lake School District, El Rancho Unified School District, Los Nietos School District, Lowell Joint School District and Norwalk/La Mirada School Districts.

A therapist will work with parents and children together to address behavioral and emotional concerns. Services can be delivered in the home to help families overcome disruptive behavior, heal from traumatic experiences and soothe emotional distress. Your child may benefit from services if any of the following are present: excessive crying, difficulty feeding or sleeping, nightmares or fears, significant problems in social interactions with peers, siblings or adults at home or in daycare/preschool, extreme anger or aggression, exposure to violence or trauma in the home/community or family stress (financial, divorce, homelessness, death). Families can self refer by contacting our intake department.

Therapeutic services for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and their caregivers include the following Evidence Based Practices; Child-Parent Psychotherapy, Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, The Incredible Years, and Positive Parenting Program. These programs are designed to nurture the relationship between the child and their caregiver. It's that critical relationship that is the foundation for behavioral change.

For more information on other Parent Enrichment programs, please visit our Birth to 5 page.

Full Service Partnership (FSP) is an intensive in-home mental health service for children (FSP-Child), Transitional Age Youth (FSP-TAY) and their families who are involved in multiple service systems, such as the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), Probation, and Special Education. Participants in this program qualify for a higher level of care due to their mental health needs such as a history of inpatient psychiatric care and/or residential treatment care. Program services rendered include Rehabilitative Mental Health Services, Target Case Management Services, and Medication Support Services. TWC utilizes a comprehensive family team approach to help with your child and/or teen's challenges in various environments including home, school and community. Referrals are made by the Department of Mental Health (DMH), schools, and other community agencies.

Family Preservation (FP) provides mental health services for children and families who are current participants of the DCFS Family Preservation Program.

Multidisciplinary Assessment Team (MAT) is a comprehensive mental health assessment program for children recently detained by the DCFS. MAT assessments are conducted throughout Los Angeles County.

Specialized Foster Care Services (SFCS) are comprehensive mental health services for children and adolescents currently involved with the foster care system in Los Angeles County due to issues of child abuse, referrals are made directly by DCFS.

Sometimes during mental health treatment, it may be determined that a client could benefit from a psychiatric evaluation to explore the introduction of medication support as a tool to stabilize mood and behavior. During this time, an evaluation will be conducted by a Board licensed psychiatrist who can assess and provide information regarding the use of psychiatric medication and facilitate ongoing medication support, education and management.

In addition to a psychiatric evaluation, it may also be determined that a client could benefit from a psychological evaluation with the purpose of identifying/clarifying a mental health diagnosis, assessing potential developmental and cognitive challenges, as well as implementing tests to measure cognitive functioning. The psychological evaluation is conducted by a Board licensed psychologist who will then offer feedback and work with your clinician on a plan of action to assist the client with meeting their treatment goals.

In addition to mental health services, clients of The Whole Child may also receive “case management” services which are characterized as building linkages to community resources. Linkages to resources can be provided as direct referrals to outside agencies or community based programs that offer the client and his/her family connection to much needed information or direct/tangible support. Examples of case management linkages include: connecting the client and his/her family to a food bank, assisting with finding legal resources, locating programs to help with housing, and application for benefits that provide emergency financial assistance. The Whole Child employs case managers to assist with these linkages and to promote a sense of support and connectedness to resources in the community.

Possible signs that your child may benefit from therapy include

  • Episodes of sadness, crying bouts, depression
  • Excessive anger, aggression, bedwetting
  • Learning or attention challenges
  • Unexplained physical complaints (headaches, stomachaches)
  • A sudden drop in school grades
  • Changes in appetite or sleeping patterns
  • Signs of alcohol or drug abuse
  • Anxiety, worry or fear
  • Exposure to violence
  • Family stress including separation, homelessness, loss of employment, death, illness
  • Trauma including neglect, sexual or physical abuse
  • Trouble adjusting to a new school or neighborhood
  • Socialization challenges
  • Disruption at home or school

Top 5 Mental Health Diagnosis Treated at The Whole Child

What sort of mental health diagnosis do children come to receive
child Depression and Mental Health

We utilize Evidence Based Practices (EBP’s)

An Evidence Based Practice is a treatment practice that has been verified to be an effective way to change the mental health functioning of children and youth.

Trauma Focused – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) – intervention focused on assessing and treating trauma related symptoms such as post-traumatic stress, depression or anxiety in clients ages 4 to 18 years.

Individual Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (Ind CBT) – intervention focused on clients dealing with symptoms of depression, anxiety or trauma to help improve their daily functioning in clients 16 years or older.

Seeking Safety – intervention focused on a history of trauma or substance abuse with the goal of increasing safety and coping skills in clients 13 and up.

Triple P – Positive Parenting Program (PPP) – intervention focused on helping parents deal with challenging behaviors in their child(ren) from birth to 12 years (standard curriculum) and 13 to 16 years (standard teen curriculum).

Managing and Adapting Practice (MAP) – intervention for children with diverse mental health symptoms aimed to improve treatment outcomes based on research supported treatment for clients 0 to 24 years.

Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) – intervention for children exposed to trauma, abuse, domestic violence, etc. with a focus on the impact of trauma on the parent-child relationship and the goal to promote a healthy attachment between the parent and child by intervening early in the relationship for clients ages birth to 5 years.

Incredible Years (IY) – parenting program which addresses parents’ use of praise and positive interaction with their children birth to 1 year and addresses disruptive behaviors that interfere with functioning at home and school environments for clients 2 to 8 years.

Aggression Replacement Therapy (ART) – intervention based on social learning and cognitive behavioral theories for at-risk youth who exhibit aggressive or antisocial behavior that incorporates skill-streaming, anger-control training and training in moral reasoning for clients 12 to 17 years (skill-streaming only for clients 5 to 12 years).

“I am so proud of our staff’s engagement skills, our commitment to the families we serve and flexibility in meeting each client’s need.”

— Ana Mejia, Director of Service Coordination Unit
Ximena, Mental Health Client

Our Stories Matter

“Almost five years ago, my mom helped care for three family members at the end of their lives. I witnessed their deaths first hand. In the moment, I felt my role was to be a rock for my mom. A year went by, and I started to feel all the bottled up emotions come to surface. Not only the impact of the losses but all the experiences in my life that I pushed deep down. These lingering experiences became a dark umbrella over a very broken self. I felt like I didn’t want to exist, I didn’t want to feel, and it hurt to wake up and have to get out of bed. The thoughts of how I would end my life became so overwhelming that I felt like I might hurt to myself. I called the suicide hotline and was referred to The Whole Child.

These lingering experiences became a dark umbrella over a very broken self. I felt like I didn’t want to exist, I didn’t want to feel, and it hurt to wake up and have to get out of bed.

I remember how scared I was to be vulnerable, to let someone know how I felt inside wondering if I was fixable. I came twice a week and Karla became someone I confided in. She opened my heart, my mind and my soul and served as the life vest I needed to stay afloat in life. Without having my therapist as a support system I don’t know where or who I would be today.

Today I’m a college graduate and my life is in a healthy state. I felt the need to let Whole Child know that I am alive, I am healthy, and I am so happy because of you. Thank you!”

— Ximena, Mental Health Client

We can do more with your help!

It happens; we receive a referral for a child who has experienced a traumatic event. During the initial assessment the child shows no signs of trauma that meets the requirement for mental health services set by our government contract to cover the cost of treatment. The truth is there can be a delay in reaction to a traumatic event. With your help, we can work with this child to process the event and prevent them from experiencing an impairment in life.

Donate Now

For more information or to inquire about services

Please contact our Intake Department at 562.692.0383.

Please note there is an intake process to request services that takes place over the phone. We will return messages within 72 hours (3 business days).
Families seeking help can also call 211 LA County, the county information and referral line where families will be referred to the closest Regional Family Solutions Center (FSC), where the situation will be assessed by staff and begin the process of accessing services.

Funding Partners

department of mental health

About 211 LA County

211 LA County is Los Angeles County’s information and referral service, offering confidential services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in English, Spanish and over 140 more languages. Services are also available to individuals with hearing impairments.
If this is a medical emergency or you are in need of immediate crisis support, please contact 911 or a crisis hotline in your area.

The Whole Child Newsletter

Stay up-to-date on our latest news and events.