Mental Health Services

GETTING STARTED:

Call our office at (562) 860-2451 Ext. 2321 (Press option 3) to schedule an appointment or to learn more about Mental Health Services.

CRISIS WALK-IN HOURS:

MON - FRI: 11:00 a.m. & 1:00 p.m.

Staff

Our mental health services staff consists of two Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW) and Master of Social Work (MSW) Student Interns. MSW Interns are earning their masters degree and work under the clinical supervision of an LCSW. Additionally, an MFT Trainee is available at the Equity Center. MFT Trainees are students earning their masters degree and work under the clinical supervision of licensed therapist.

Angela Williams, LCSW & Manager of Mental Health Services (she/her/hers)

Angela Williams, LCSW & Manager of Mental Health Services (she/her/hers)

Angela has over 20 years of experience as a social worker and her career spans work in private psychotherapy practice, healthcare, nonprofits, and employee assistance programs including director of clinical operations for a behavioral health insurance company.

Angela earned her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Washington in Seattle and a Master of Social Work from California State University, Long Beach. She has served on task forces in Orange and Los Angeles Counties related to interpersonal violence and child abuse prevention as well as behavioral health services task forces for multicultural and diversity issues. She is committed to social justice causes such as assisting the unhoused at a local shower program, supporting Ugandan LGBTQIA+ refugees in settling in the US, and protecting and standing with undocumented folks facing deportation.

She has expertise in counseling college students with stress, anxiety, depression and trauma as well as chronic illness and relationship issues. She is LGBTQIA+ affirming and has experience working with those from diverse cultural backgrounds including folks who are from under-resourced backgrounds. Angela’s lived experiences of navigating obtaining transgender affirmative care, neurodivergent affirming support and chronic pain care for a family member bolster her commitment to making her clinical practice and the Mental Health Services program inclusive and accessible.

Angela partners with each individual to leverage their strengths, build new skills and bring day to day living in alignment with their values. While she draws on many theoretical orientations utilizing techniques determined by each client's needs, mindfulness-based approaches and the latest neuroscientific evidence support clients in their journey to well-being. Angela's clients appreciate her acceptance, compassion and wholehearted attention.

She enjoys supervising MSW Practicum Interns in their journey to honing a trauma-informed, LGBTQIA+ affirming, and culturally competent approach in their clinical practice. 

 

Bernadette Reyes, LCSW (she/her/ella)Bernadette Reyes, LCSW (she/her/ella)

Bernadette is a licensed therapist with over 10 years of experience in nonprofit and private practice settings. Bernadette earned her Bachelor of Arts in Social Work, with minors in both Child Development and Gerontology, from Mount St. Mary’s University in Los Angeles, CA and earned her Master of Social Work from Columbia University In New York., NY.

Bernadette has spent much of her career working with people seeking therapy for the first time and provides a collaborative, gentle approach to treatment. She has experience working with diverse cultural backgrounds and enjoys teaching others coping skills to improve their overall wellbeing. Bernadette is trained in several evidence-based practices and pulls from those to create individualized plans for clients. She enjoys providing services to the students at Cerritos College and along with the mental health team, creating opportunities for students to learn to care for their mental health.

 

 

Kimberly Esquivel-Urizar (she/her/ella)

Kimberly Esquivel-Urizar (she/her/ella)

Kimberly, an MSW Practicum Intern, has over 6 years of experience in the mental health field. Kimberly has a background in family and child therapeutic services through non-profit work, and school mental health counseling.

Kimberly earned her Bachelor of Science in Development Psychology from the University of California, San Diego and is earning her master’s degree in Social Work from California State University, Fullerton. Kimberly has applied her knowledge in serving underserved, minority communities to bridge the gap in quality mental health services to high risk populations.

Kimberly has diverse therapeutic experience with children and youth from high family dysfunction, childhood trauma, high-risk behaviors, and child abuse. She has expertise in counseling those with stress, trauma, anxiety, depression, and relationship and familial issues. She is LGBTQIA+ affirming and has worked with diverse cultural backgrounds. Kimberly implements a strength-based and trauma-informed lens for individuals to highlight and capitalize on their strengths to regain agency in their lives and provide change for themselves despite the circumstances they may be facing. Kimberly draws from client-centered, Humanistic Psychology, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and various other approaches to support clients in achieving their goals and well-being. Kimberly’s clients appreciate her level of understanding, care, and unconditional support. She conducts sessions in English or Spanish depending on the preference of her clients.

Kimberly is committed to supporting all Falcons in reaching their fullest potential and mental well-being.

 

Christopher Bondoc (he/him)

Christopher Bondoc (he/him)

Christopher Bondoc is an advanced MSW Practicum Intern at Mental Health Services. He received a bachelor's degree in psychology from UCLA after transferring from Fullerton College and is now working towards his master's in social work at California State University, Fullerton. Christopher has spent the last 10 years working in community-based mental health programs and community-partnered research, with an emphasis on marginalized and systems-involved adolescents and young adults. His practice draws from several influences, including CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), and Motivational Interviewing. Christopher utilizes a strengths-based and collaborative approach in supporting clients' goals and wellbeing. He recognizes the influence of larger contexts and works to help students navigate systemic barriers to their health and success. Overall, Christopher's career goals center on redressing disparities by improving the accessibility, scalability, and efficacy of mental healthcare.

 

 

German Escobar (he/him/él)German Escobar (he/him/él)

German Escobar, MSW Practicum Intern, is a resilient and determined individual who embarked on a life-changing journey 16 years ago when he left his homeland Guatemala to start a new chapter in California. His story is one of perseverance, adaptation, and the pursuit of the American dream.

German started his education journey in this country in 2006, taking ESL classes, then completed his GED. In 2013 he started attending Los Angeles Community College, where he earned his AA in Psychology and transferred to California State University, Los Angeles, where in 2020 became the first person in his family to obtain a bachelor’s degree. He is projected to earn his master’s in social work from California State University Long Beach in Spring 2024.

He has over 4 years of experience as a bilingual social worker working with different nonprofit agencies. In 2021, German had the opportunity to work with Cerritos College students who were experiencing homelessness, assisting them in applying for and securing permanent housing.

German is a compassionate therapist who uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to assist clients in overcoming anxiety and depression and other mental health challenges. He uses a Problem-solving Model to assist clients in better understanding the problems they are facing and identifying optimal solutions. German uses Motivational Interviewing to support clients in  making positive changes in their lives.

German Escobar is a passionate and dedicated social worker who enjoys providing services in Spanish and English and finds it gratifying to give back to his community.

 

 

Elizabeth Smith (they/she/he)

Elizabeth Smith (they/she/he)

Elizabeth Smith is a dedicated mental health professional currently pursuing a Master of Social Work with an emphasis on mental health at California State University, Fullerton. Their educational foundation includes a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from California State University, Sacramento, where they also completed minors in Child Development and Counseling. In addition to their academic achievements, Elizabeth holds certificates in Human Services and Drug and Alcohol Studies, and they have received specialized training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT).

With a passion for helping individuals navigate their mental and emotional challenges, Elizabeth brings a wealth of experience and expertise to their role as a therapist. Beyond their academic pursuits, they are employed as a manager at a residential treatment center for adolescents facing the complexities of depression and anxiety. Their experience extends to working with high-risk adolescents and providing crisis stabilization support, ensuring their safety and emotional well-being.

Elizabeth is dedicated to fostering an inclusive and affirming environment for all individuals. They proudly identify as LGBTQIA+ affirming and warmly welcomes clients from diverse backgrounds, inclusive of all gender identity, sexual orientation, and life experiences. Their commitment to fostering an open, non-judgmental space ensures that every individual feels safe and respected as they embark on their personal journey of healing and growth.

As an MSW Practicum Intern, Elizabeth's approach is rooted in evidence-based practices based on growth mindset, solution-focused and centered around the client. They believe in the importance of empowering individuals to develop the skills and strategies needed to overcome life's challenges. With a strong commitment to professional growth and an empathetic, non-discriminatory approach, Elizabeth Smith is prepared to support you on your path to mental health and well-being.

 

Jamie Maldonado-Gomez (she/her/ella)

Jamie Maldonado-Gomez (she/her/ella)

Jamie Maldonado-Gomez, an MSW Practicum Intern, has over 5 years of experience providing social work services. Jamie has two years of experience in the mental health field. Jamie has a background in house-less services, outreach, gerontology, and working with youth. She has worked for senior centers, non-profits, and school mental health.

Jamie earned her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Cal State, Long Beach and is earning a master’s degree in Social Work from Portland State University. Jamie has utilized her skills and applied them in helping the underserved population and breaking the stigma related to mental health.

Jamie has experience in providing mental health services to individuals experiencing stress, anxiety, depression, and substance use. She is LGBTQIA+ affirmative and has worked with diverse cultural backgrounds. Jamie implements a trauma-informed lens and draws from Client-Centered, Humanistic, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution-Focused, Mindfulness, and other approaches to meet each individual where they are and aid them in achieving their hopes and dreams.

Jamie is committed to supporting all Falcons become their best self.

Alex CedasAlex Cedas (he/him)

Alex is a passionate and dedicated Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) Trainee, committed to making a positive impact on the lives of individuals and families. Born and raised in Stockton California, Alex discovered a profound interest in psychology during their undergraduate years at San Jose State University. After graduating with honors and a Bachelor's degree in Psychology, Alex decided to further pursue their passion for helping others by enrolling in the Marriage and Family Therapy program at Azusa Pacific University. Alex has a variety of experiences from working with the homeless, ABA Therapy, and providing therapy services with adolescents.

Outside of academics, Alex is known for their genuine and approachable demeanor, creating a safe space for clients to share their thoughts and feelings. With a keen understanding of diverse cultural backgrounds, Alex is committed to offering culturally sensitive therapy, recognizing the importance of inclusivity in the therapeutic process. Alex also identifies proudly as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community and welcomes clients from all diverse backgrounds.

Alex believes everyone has a story that needs to be heard. As an MFT Intern, Alex approaches the therapy room using evidence-based research such as CBT and Attachment Theory. He believes the way we view the world is rooted from the day we are born. When we understand how upbringings form attachments, we can grow and adapt from them. Alex is dedicated to creating an environment that both allows individuals to become their authentic selves and challenges them to grow as well.

Student Health offers 6 free and confidential mental health therapy sessions per academic year to currently enrolled Cerritos College students. Short-term therapy is solution-focused and present oriented.  We strive to support student learning and development by building upon the inner strength and resources students possess. Students can address their emotional distress in a safe environment where they can explore possible solutions to their presenting concerns. Crisis appointments are also offered to students in situations that require more immediate attention.

In addition to short-term therapy, Student Health offers outreach to promote mental health awareness and primary prevention.

Student Health is located off of Parking Lot 1, between the pool and the Kinesiology building.

Monday, Tuesday & Thursday: 8 am to 5 pm
Wednesday: 8 am to 4:30 pm (Telehealth until 6:00 p.m.; prior appointment necessary).
Friday: 8 am to 4 pm
**Closed 12 pm to 1 pm daily**

  • Currently enrolled Cerritos College students are welcome to visit or call Student Health to schedule an initial appointment at (562) 860-2451 Ext. 2321 (press option 3).
  • An initial appointment is an information gathering session where the therapist and you can make a determination as to how to assist you in your brief therapy goals.
  • Two cancellations will be allowed per semester and failure to keep an appointment without 24-hour notice will count toward your therapy session count. Failure to keep two appointments will result in suspension of privilege to use services.
  • If your situation requires immediate attention, Student Health offers same-day care appointments.
  • If you would like to schedule sessions with the therapist located at the Equity Center, please inform Student Health when you call to schedule your appointment.

Therapy is a confidential relationship with a therapist who works together with you to better understand your situation and helps you set and reach goals to improve your situation or resolve problems.


During therapy sessions, you will be encouraged to share your thoughts and feelings. Your therapist will offer you nonjudgmental listening and support as you clarify your thoughts, explore new perspectives, weigh out options, and create solutions that help you progress in your goals. Your therapist won't tell you what to do but they are a supportive guide and resource. Our therapists are inclusive and welcoming to all students and any problems or issues that cause emotional distress or interfere with your well-being can be safely discussed.

  • Please arrive approximately 20 minutes prior to your scheduled initial appointment to review and complete paperwork.
  • The initial appointment session lasts approximately 90 minutes, which includes the 30 minutes of incoming documentation prior to your appointment time.
  • During your initial visit, the therapist will listen to your concerns and help you identify an appropriate treatment plan. This treatment plan may include brief therapy at Student Health or external referrals to mental health providers.
  • Arriving more than 15 minutes late may result in a briefer initial appointment or the need to reschedule your appointment. If possible, please call Student Health within 24 hours if you do need to reschedule your initial appointment.

Please call Student Health at (562) 860-2451 Ext. 2321 (press option 3) if you have any questions or concerns about the initial appointment.