The Novato Youth Center is proud to offer the largest community mental health program in Novato. In its 24th year of service, this program offers mental health services to youth and their families at two clinics, at 680 Wilson Avenue and 1767 Grant Ave., and on NUSD school campuses.
Debra Collins, a licensed marriage and family therapist, has been hired to oversee this critical program. Debra arrives with more than 15 years of experience serving youth and families with issues of depression, trauma, bereavement, substance abuse and addictions. Her professional experience has been with community non-profit agencies (Family Service Agency, Hospice, YMCA), school-based programs and private consultation.
Debra earned a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology from John F. Kennedy University with a specialization Certificate in Child and Adolescent Treatment. She is a member of the California Association of Marriage Family Therapists. Debra is an accomplished public speaker and has been a regular contributor and expert on mental health issues for various media outlets. Her book chapter, Grief, Loss, and Trauma: Assessment and Treatment Considerations in Community Settings, will be published in the Praegar Handbook of Community Mental Health in 2013.
At the Novato Youth Center Center, her team of 20 includes licensed staff, post-master marriage and family therapy interns, and MFT trainees. These professionals come with a wide range of experience working with children, adolescents and families. The center’s Youth and Family Counseling program served over 425 youth and family cases last year and provided crisis intervention services to 165 youth.
“I am grateful to be part of a dedicated team of professionals who so enthusiastically strive to meet both the emotional and educational needs of children and families in our community," Debra said.
If you know of a youth or family who could benefit from counseling services, please have them call (415)-892-1643, ext. 239 for a confidential phone assessment (Se habla Español). The individual and/or family will be matched with a counselor who will address their areas of concern and set goals for treatment.
The Novato Youth Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit agency in its 36th year and serves 4,200 youth and their families annually. Their five programs work together in a comprehensive way to support youth as they develop their academic, social and emotional skills. To learn more, please visit www.novatoyouthcenter.org.