News

Local teen counseling center finds new home

Adolescent Counseling Services relocating from Palo Alto to Redwood City

After getting priced out of its former offices in eastern Palo Alto, Adolescent Counseling Services has found a new home, with a three-year lease, at 643 Bair Island Road in Redwood City, said Aarika Riddle, Adolescent Counseling Services marketing and advancement director.

The nonprofit, which provides counseling to youth ages 10 to 25, hosted a grand opening for its new offices Tuesday night. The event included a tour of the offices, remarks by Executive Director Philippe Rey, plus mocktails and appetizers.

The new Redwood City offices will offer three programs: an LGBTQQ youth peer support program, community counseling and substance abuse treatment. Substance abuse treatment programs are 12- or 16-week intensive outpatient programs, Riddle said.

The nonprofit will continue its other services offered at middle and high schools in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, and at its satellite locations in Palo Alto, Mountain View and San Mateo. Schools where counseling services are offered on-campus are Redwood and Woodside high schools, La Entrada Middle School, and all of the middle and high schools in the Palo Alto Unified School District.

Group services for LGBTQQ youth are held in Mountain View and San Mateo. In Palo Alto, limited after-hours, appointment-only counseling services will be offered 4-10 p.m. Thanks to a county agreement, the organization can use a Santa Clara County building on Grant Avenue in Palo Alto, Riddle said.

Its struggle to find an affordable place to set up shop is not a unique one to nonprofits in the Bay Area, she said.

"Landlords could be getting a much higher fee from for-profit companies," Riddle said.

The challenge, she said, is to make sure that money the organization raises will go toward services rather than rent.

While the organization receives funds from foundations, corporations and individuals, it also uses a sliding-payment scale for clients, so families that can afford services help offset costs of those who can't.

The nonprofit is trying to increase its services to 30 percent more clients, and is making an effort to reach more youth in San Mateo County, Riddle said. That's because there are fewer youth-focused counseling providers in San Mateo County than in Santa Clara County, she said.

Statistics indicate that one in five youths struggles with some form of mental-health issue, she said, so there is still more demand for services.

The organization said it served more than 2,600 youths directly and 7,655 indirectly through outreach and education programs during its 2014-2015 fiscal year.

Adolescent Counseling Services is staffed by about 20 paid employees and 40 to 50 marriage and family therapist interns who are graduate or postgraduate students working to earn their requisite 3,000 hours on the job in order to become licensed. Interns gain hands-on experience with supervision and training over the year-long program, Riddle said, and many return for a second or third year.

Teens are encouraged to seek help when they are having trouble with a friend at school, dealing with a parent's divorce, or facing depression, substance abuse on thoughts of hurting themselves. They can call 650-424-0852 or email info@acs-teens.org for more information.

Comments

17 people like this
Posted by Holly Ward
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on May 4, 2016 at 10:49 am

Please note that Adolescent Counseling Services will continue to provide on campus counseling on PAUSD's 5 secondary school campuses, and will continue to provide Community Counseling, including Substance Abuse Treatment Counseling, in Palo Alto at the offices located on Grant Avenue in the California Avenue Business District.
The new offices in Redwood City (a 10 minute drive from Palo Alto) are beautiful and spacious and affordable! Special thanks to Joe Simitian for facilitating the Grant Avenue lease.


10 people like this
Posted by What about Cubberley?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 4, 2016 at 11:50 am

Well that's very nice for the people of Redwood City. It only takes a half hour each way to get there from Palo Alto.

What about Cubberley? Seems like that might be a nice fit with a future new school site.


1 person likes this
Posted by Some People Cant Read
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 4, 2016 at 3:04 pm

@What about Cubberley?:

"The nonprofit will continue its other services offered at middle and high schools in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, and at its satellite locations in Palo Alto, Mountain View and San Mateo. Schools where counseling services are offered on-campus are Redwood and Woodside high schools, La Entrada Middle School, and all of the middle and high schools in the Palo Alto Unified School District."

Note where it says: "on-campus"

So no, you don't have to spend a half hour. But it does help to read.


Like this comment
Posted by 5th Generation
a resident of Mayfield
on May 8, 2016 at 12:15 am

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and it seems that Palo Alto still doesn't want to face the reality that they're in the middle of an incredible crisis. This community should be absolutely ashamed of itself. Everybody's okay with pouring money into band-aid solutions: guards on the tracks, high fences, cameras and motion detectors, but throwing some into a counseling center in town just doesn't fit the image does it? Is this the best we can do, really?


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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