Healthy Living Programs
Student Mental Health Provider Task Force

Beach Cities Health District convened a Student Mental Health Provider Task Force in 2018 as a part of a Beach Cities-wide effort to address student stress and substance use. The Student Mental Health Provider Task Force is made of more than 60 organizations and providers in the Beach Cities that support students and families. 

Provider service areas include:

  • Substance use prevention
  • Mental health
  • Mindfulness and social-emotional learning

The Task Force meets quarterly to offer recommendations on student health issues. Participants provide resources and services to Beach Cities students and families on topics including cancer support, mental health, grief counseling, substance use prevention, interventions and education, as well as mindfulness and social-emotional learning.

Participating providers will:

  • Be part of a Beach Cities-wide effort to address student stress and substance use
  • Offer recommendations on student health issues
  • Convene 3-4 times annually with other providers in the Beach Cities
  • Be eligible to be listed as a community resource on
  • Be eligible to participate in/support school events

For questions about the Student Mental Health Provider Task Force, please contact Nicole Lunde, Youth Services Substance Use Prevention Coordinator, at

Task Force Members

Substance Use  
Alice Kuo, PhD UCLA Pediatrics
Alix Helena Politanoff Behavioral Health Services Inc.
Christian Lara Insight Treatment Programs
Donnie W. Watson, Ph.D. Thelma McMillen Center For Alcohol & Drug Treatment/Torrance Memorial
Emily Pederson Clear Recovery Center
Frederik Schulin Insight Treatment Programs
Gary Tsai, MD Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Substance Abuse Prevention and Control (SAPC)
Heather Longridge Behavioral Health Services, Inc.
Howard Barker Clear Recovery Center
Inger Hauge Center for Discovery
Jac Folkert UCLA Health
Jazmine Pamintuan Asian American Drug Abuse Program, Inc
Jeanette Barreto Clear Recovery Center
Joan Stein Jenkins Beach Cities Juvenile Diversion Project
Laura McIntire South Bay Families Connected
Mary Eno, MD Kaiser Permanente Addiction Medicine
Melissa Estelle Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Miriam Ruiz Asian American Drug Abuse Program, Inc
Moe Gelbart, PhD Thelma McMillen Center for Alcohol and Drug Treatment


Mental Health  
Abby Withee, LMFT  Withee Family Therapy
Albert Knapp, PsyD, BCBA-D, RPT-S Play Lab, Albert Knapp & Associates
Amanda Long Walk With Sally
Angela Wilson, LMFT South Bay Children's Health Center - South Bay Youth Project
Anna Pirkl, LMFT, LAADAC, ATR One Heart Counseling Center
Avigal Harrow 1736 Family Crisis Center
Brittany Dafesh, PsyD   Dr. Brittany Dafresh, Clinical Psychologist
Ericka Sazo-Gonzalez Redondo Beach Police Department Domestic Violence Victim Advocacy Program
Erin Rieger, LMFT, LEP        Private Practice
Eugenie Lewis, LCSW Creative Life Mapping
Evelyn Jacobson, LMFT, PMH-C Private Practice
Gayle Dargel, LMFT Clear Recovery
Howard Mationg Evolve Treatment Centers
Iris Knell, LCSW South Bay Children's Center
Jessica Vara, EMDR, LMFT Private Practice
John Webber, LMFT    Private Practice
Kathleen Ballue Center for Discovery
Kevin Sousa, LMFT Private Practice/Jimmy Miller Foundation
LaToya Harris Redondo Beach Police Department Domestic Violence Victim Advocacy Program
Leah Niehaus, LCSW Private Practice
Linda Reeves, LMFT Beach Cities LGBT Therapy
Maria Nazarian, PhD    Beach Therapy
Michelle Carlson Teenline
Monica Fyfe, LMFT Our Village
Paul Stansbury National Alliance on Mental Illness
Rebecca Stewart, LMFT, LPCC Private Practice
Robin Kusilka, LMFT Private Practice
Shauna Letvin, LCSW Private Practice
Susan Swanson, PhD, LCSW The StepFamily Center
Tracie Andrews, LCSW Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health Prevention Services Administration - Family & Communiy Partnerships
Virginia Green, PhD Stillwater Group, Inc.
Vivian Credido Psychological Wellness
Whitney Boole, LMFT Beach Cities Psychotherapy


Mindfulness/Social-emotional Learning  
Diana Lipson-Burge, RDN, CEDRD Private Practice Registered Dietician Nutritionist
Ellen Robbins Positive Coaching Alliance
Felipe Ramirez Fusion Academy South Bay
Jennifer Wildenberg Mira Costa High School Guidance Counselor
Joanie Plake Breathe & Learn
Jody Cajudo Volunteer Center
Laurie Angress Mindful Yoga Therapy
Lucia Galante Johnson The SMART Drum
Nina Patel The Friendship Foundation
Patricia Jones PS I Love You Foundation
Sarah Myers Volunteer Center

Last updated May 2022