Counseling and Resources » Mental Health and Wellness Counseling

Mental Health and Wellness Counseling

How UPVHS Counseling Works:

UPVHS mental health counseling program supports all students in their journeys towards academic and socioemotional success. We provide a safe and supportive environment where students can discuss a variety of issues including (but not limited to):

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Bullying
  • Relationship issues
  • Family problems
  • Depression
  • Self-esteem
  • Learning difficulties
  • Sexual health
  • Alcohol & substance use

Our team of counselors offers culturally competent services in a confidential and nonjudgmental space. At our core, we are dedicated to improving the health, well-being and educational outcomes of all students.

Who We Are:


My name is Casey Gold and I’m a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist offering mental health and wellness support services at University Prep Value High School. My role at UPVHS is to help students overcome behavioral, emotional and/or social problems that interfere with success at school and at home. I offer individual & group counseling, classroom presentations, schoolwide campaigns, and referrals to additional community resources. I also consult with our teachers in their efforts to support students’ wellbeing in the classroom and uphold our collaborative work to build a trauma-informed and resilience-oriented school culture. 

If you're concerned about the mental health/wellness of yourself or a friend at UPVHS, please fill out the student referral form or contact Ms. Gold directly at [email protected].

My name is Sally Chung and I’m an Associate Marriage & Family Therapist providing mental health and wellness support services at University Prep Value High School. Through individual and group counseling, I support students in their socioemotional development to foster success within the classroom and beyond. My office serves as a safe space for students to speak about any life burdens, including topics such as stress & anxiety, depression, trauma, familial & relationship conflicts, and gender & sexuality. I collaborate with Ms. Gold to provide socioemotional lessons through classroom presentations and schoolwide campaigns. I also facilitate parenting workshops that occur during our school’s monthly Parent Meeting. Through these mental health services here at UP, students are able to overcome adversity and build resiliency to reach their full potential.
My name is Sara Elzein and I am a licensed  Marriage Family Therapist working as a DIS Counselor for select students at University Preparatory Value High School. I provide individual counseling services that target social, emotional, and/or behavioral needs and challenges in order to promote students’ healthy well-being and to meet academic goals and expectations. When appropriate, I consult with teachers/administration and families in order to accommodate each student’s unique needs. Additionally, I check into classrooms and the school community to gain insight on students’ experiences within the school environment. I provide a safe place to discuss life’s ups and downs where we can celebrate the good or explore different strategies for coping with the bad (i.e. peer conflict, anxiety, stress).

Community Partnerships

Collaboration with community-based organizations is critical to meeting the mental health needs of our students. UPVHS partners with the following organizations:

My name is Alan J Pineda and I am a Certified Addiction Counselor (CATC-II) at Sunrise Community Counseling Center. I currently work with charter schools in the Los Angeles area to provide individual and group counseling to youth and young adults between the ages of 12-28. My main goal is to prevent substance use and HIV infections by improving the mental health of students. I believe that if students have the proper coping skills to manage stress, anxiety and depression, they will be less likely to use substances and engage in risky sexual behavior. I currently work within a CBT model on issues regarding family conflict, relationships problems, motivation, isolation, depression, sexual expectations, stress and anxiety.

Sunrise Community Counseling Center is a community resource center serving Pico Union since 1976.

Uplift Family Services provides mental health services to children, adolescents, and their families in order to strengthen behavioral health and well-being, provide hope, and improve familial relationships.

Pet Partners offers our students the opportunity to build meaningful connections with service dogs. Pet Partners is motivated by connection, compassion, and a commitment to sharing the meaningful animal-human bond with everyone who can benefit from time spent with an animal.

On December 17th 2019, UPVHS hosted our first annual Pause for Paws event. Check it out:


For more information on community partnerships, contact Ms. Gold at [email protected]