For Appointments Call 619-779-7900
Family Wellness Unit
Mental and Behavioral Health Services. La Maestra’s Family Wellness Unit (FWU) began providing services in 2004. The objective of the FWU is to provide linguistically and culturally competent mental and behavioral health services focused on community education, prevention and early intervention and treatment, and to overcome stigmas and dispel myths of mental illness as well as post traumatic shock syndrome for victims of torture. The FWU is staffed with three full time licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, two full time licensed psychologists, one part time psychiatrist, a Comprehensive Perinatal Health Worker, a Mental Health Coordinator and a receptionist, who are culturally representative of the targeted patient population and are fluent in Spanish, Sudanese, Nuer in addition to English. All promotional and educational materials are translated into the appropriate languages as needed.
The FWU works closely with and receives referrals from the San Diego Access and Crisis Line, the court system, local Child Protection Services (CPS) agencies, Survivors of Torture, and the Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition (for victims of human trafficking). La Maestra’s psychologists are TERM (Treatment and Evaluation Resource Management Program)-approved counselors and receive referrals from the County Health and Human Services Agency for CPS, the courts, and the welfare department for mandated counseling. The FWU also provides psychological support for pregnant females and their families during pregnancy, including psychosocial assessment focusing on potential causes of stress that could impact pregnancy, birth outcomes and postpartum behavioral health; and individual, couple and family therapy as needed.
Uninsured patients are screened for eligibility to participate in one of the four programs the clinic operates through its contract with the Council of Community Clinics: IMPACT (Improving Mood-Promoting Access to Collaborative Treatment), SED (Severely Emotionally Disturbed), SMI (Severely Mentally Ill), and TERM (Treatment and Evaluation Resource Management) Program.
For the past four years the FWU has provided an internship program for students from local universities’ psychology, social work and marriage and family therapy programs. The clinic provides two internships per year although no health insurance or other program reimburses the services provided by interns of the supervision provided to them. La Maestra has chosen to absorb the cost in order to support this valuable service.
For general program or treatment related questions call:
Diana Alvarez, Unit Coordinator
4060 Fairmount Avenue
San Diego, CA 92105
Hours: Monday through Friday
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Saturday (by appointment only)
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Languages: English and Spanish. Services in other languages are provided with an interpreter.
The Family Wellness Unit provides culturally competent services including but not limited to:
Counseling for pregnant women and their families. Psycho-social services to pregnant and postnatal women as a part of the Comprehensive Perinatal Service Program. Individual and group sessions are available. Spouses/partners are encouraged to attend.
Mental Health services to children, adolescents and adults. Individual family and group psychotherapy. Psychiatric evaluation and medication management. Support group for Depression and Anxiety made possible by the California Department of Justice, Antitrust Law Section. Referrals to other community agencies are made if needed.
The Family Wellness Unit provides La Maestra’s patients with publications from the National Institute of Mental Health in Spanish and English. These materials address clinical conditions such as depression, obsessive compulsive disorders, social phobia, panic disorder, generalized anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder.
Our services are provided by culturally competent licensed clinicians that have many years of experience in the field:
Lorena Aguila, PhD
Berenice Ibanez, PhD
Luis Zapata, PhD
Linda Gallegos, MFT
Jorge Naranjo, MD
Payment options include Medi-Cal, sliding fee scale based on monthly family income, or funding from MHSA.