Mental Health & Violence Prevention

No one should have to face life’s challenges alone.

Catholic Charities East Bay works with families, young people, and schools to respond to and heal from trauma, whether it is a result of interfamilial or community violence, abuse or systemic inequities that are the result of decades of underinvestment in communities of color.

Our approach is rooted in transforming systems and aims to help clients develop the tools they need to heal and increase their voice. We do this through programs that are culturally relevant and address the social, emotional, and psychological well-being of the community.

In Schools

In partnership with Oakland Unified and West Contra Costa Unified school districts, we work with middle and high school students to provide a child-centered, restorative approach to youth struggling with anxiety and depression, low self-esteem, behavioral issues, and other challenges that interfere with their ability to focus on learning.

Our trained practitioners and clinicians offer trauma-informed, clinical case management to help young people recognize their trauma, heal in a compassionate and supportive setting, and develop healthy and supportive relationships that will benefit them for years to come. Additionally, the program also assists schools in implementing restorative practices to de-escalate tensions, improve student engagement and create a vibrant and safe school environment for students and teachers alike.

We provide education to raise awareness and prevent trafficking and exploitation of young people.

We help youth involved with the juvenile justice learn strategies to safely respond in situations of stress, fear, and conflict.

For more information about the program in Oakland, contact Michelle LaPlace-Watts at For information about the program in Richmond, contact Aswad Aarif at

In the Aftermath of Homicide

The violent death of a loved one sparks many feelings, including shock, anger, turmoil, anxiety, or numbness. Our trained grief and trauma counselors offer support to families who have lost loved ones to homicide in Oakland. We work with both adults and youth in the home, in schools and community settings to promote healing. Click to learn more about Crisis Response services.

With Families

The Family Preservation program works to strengthen families, advocate for victims of domestic violence and help children stay safely in their home. We partner with Contra Costa County’s Children & Family Services and currently only offer services to residents of Central Contra Costa who are referred to us by the county. In-home services include clinical case management, domestic violence specialists and mental health counseling. Click the link above to learn more.