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Oakland Unified School District

Behavioral Health Services

The OUSD Behavioral Health Unit houses a variety of initiatives designed to serve students and families. Please click on the available menu items to learn more about our initiatives, which include: Clinical Counseling Services, Crisis Intervention, Restorative Justice, Violence Prevention, Human Trafficking Prevention, Mental Health Intern Program, Transitional Student and Family services for homeless, migrant, foster and refugee/asylee youth, and the Positive Behavioral Intervention and Support Initiative (PBIS). 

OUSD Behavioral Health services have expanded in the past ten years. In 2000-2001, OUSD hosted School Based Behavioral Health (SBBH) providers in fewer than 20 schools. In 2015-2016, over 80 OUSD PreK-12 schools have on-site behavioral health providers, reflecting a multi-million dollar investment by Alameda County, the City of Oakland, and OUSD in school based mental health services.


The goals of the Behavioral Health Unit are to:

  • Enhance the conditions for learning by providing easily accessible emotional and behavioral support.
  • Provide mental health consultation and support to teachers and families.
  • Reduce student distress that interferes with learning.
  • Increase connections to supportive adults.
  • Provide crisis intervention.
  • Foster alternatives to suspension through restorative practices.
  • Facilitate and acknowledge positive attendance, behavior, and achievement.
  • Foster supportive, caring relationships among students and with adults.

Programs and Services

School-Based Behavioral Health services are available in a majority of OUSD schools. Behavioral Health services provide students and their families with access to a caring adult, to positive behavioral interventions and supports, to early intervention to prevent crises, and to consultation to resolve underlying family and environmental issues impacting learning.

Clinical counseling services include:

  • Individual, group and family counseling
  • Crisis intervention
  • Collateral consultation
  • Case management

Other services provided to school sites include:

  • Outreach
  • Student Success Teams
  • Coordination of Services Teams
  • Family advocacy
  • Conflict mediation
  • Crisis intervention
  • Referral

Professional development is provided to staff on a variety of topics including Student Success Teams, Coordination of Service Teams, crisis response, early identification, screening and referral, responding to trauma, decoding behavior, suicide prevention,human trafficking prevention, CPS reporting, and restorative discipline practices. Services are aligned with City and County initiatives to reduce violence and improve the health status of children and families in Oakland.


Funding for Behavioral Health services is provided by:

  • Alameda County Health Care Services
  • Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services
  • City of Oakland Measure Y
  • OUSD Programs for Exceptional Children

How Our Work is Part of the Strategic Plan

Behavioral Health services address social and emotional distress that interferes with student attendance, behavior, and achievement in general education settings. Students and families receiving behavioral health services report an overall decrease in barriers to learning.

The Behavioral Health Unit contributes to improving school climate and safety by supporting positive behavioral interventions and supports. Through restorative practices, which reinforce accountability and provide opportunities for students to repair harm, students have an increased chance of staying in school and graduating prepared for college and career.

The Behavioral Health Unit collaborates with Special Education, Health Services, African American Male Achievement, and Instructional Services on initiatives to reduce minority disproportionality in discipline and referral to Special Education.

Contact Us

Director of Behavioral Health


Behavioral Health Program Managers

Elementary Networks


Middle School Network


High School Network

Sandee Simmons, LCSW

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Restorative Justice Coordinator 

David Yusem

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Restorative Justice Program Manager 

Denise Curtis

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Clinical Supervisor of Intern Program

Heather Graham

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For more information on OUSD Behavioral Health

Andrea Bustamante

Executive Director
Community Schools Student Services

cell: (415) 987-6478

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