Element Four

admin - Posted on 03 January 2010

Element 4: Mental Health Services

El Rancho Unified School District’s goal is to provide an effective and coordinated network of mental health services to help students overcome barriers to behavioral and emotional success. ERUSD will collaborate with the LA County Department of Mental Health to increase access to mental health services. In order to improve perceptions of mental health services we will create a social marketing campaign to remove stigmas surrounding mental health and increase access to mental health services. To increase school based and community mental health services . ERUSD will work closely with the LA County Department of Mental Health to contract with certified mental health providers for school-based mental health services. The SS/HS project will enable ERUSD to make mental health service providers available for all school sites. School-based mental health services will include screening, case management, and therapy. A Mental Health Services Liaison will be hired to monitor services provided, create a database of all public and private service providers, and create universal referral and intake forms. Additionally, the SS/HS database will track need and services provided in all areas of mental health. The liaison will utilize the database to ensure that proper procedures have been followed when students are identified as needing additional treatment.

Hipolite Murillo, Mental Health Coordinator

Jeff Middleton, Mental Health Counselor

El Rancho Unified School District is happy to introduce one of its newest staff members. Jeff Middleton came to the district in May as a mental health counselor from the East Whittier School District. It’s a distinct pleasure to have a person with Mr. Middleton’s credentials to ensure that the district’s students and families are being connected with appropriate mental health services and community resources. He is also responsible for training ERUSD staff on mental health related issues.

Jeff’s educational background includes a B.A. (Cum Laude) in Psychology from University of California, Davis and a Masters in Social Work from California State University, San Diego. He is Board Certified as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), and holds a Pupil Personnel Services Credential (PPSC) in school social work.

Four years ago, Jeff was honored to receive the Man of Merit Award from the Delta Project Against Domestic Violence for his work positively influencing males toward a non-violent lifestyle in his community of Concord, CA. His experience in the field of mental health reaches from a youth center in Concord, to the Children’s Hospital in Oakland, and includes private practice work providing bilingual (Spanish) therapy for adolescents. Jeff specializes in treating anxiety, anger, depression and trauma issues. He has been a social worker for the Mt. Diablo Unified School District in Concord, most recently providing clinical counseling and crisis intervention within the East Whittier City School District’s The Whole Child program.

What does a person with a heavy case load do to care for his own well being while working with trauma and anger? Jeff has found an outlet for 7 years through a Brazilian Martial Art called Capoeira. It’s an interesting discipline that combines music, acrobatics, dance, and fighting skills into an art form. Traveling is also a passion for Jeff, which has taken him through most of Europe while spending extended time there. He learned Spanish at UC Davis, and has used the gift of language to gain wonderful insights from travels that have taken him from Peru to Costa Rico and other Latin American countries in between. And don’t forget football! Jeff has been an avid fan of the New York Giants since he was a 4th grader and watching “his” team win another Super Bowl this year was a big thrill.

ERUSD is indeed fortunate to have the skill set, passion, and personality of this interesting and gifted man among the students, families and staff of our district. Welcome, Jeff Middleton!

Community Partners & Sponsors

ALMA Family Services

Intercommunity Child Guidance Center

Penny Lane




Success Stories - Element Four