At OCCTAC we care about the general welfare and well-being of our families. We believe that social, emotional and mental well-being are fundamental for the full development of the individual, our families and overall community wellness.  Thus, our Mental Health and Emotional Well-being Programs provide a variety of free services to our community. 


Psychological Therapy or Counseling

We provide emotional support during difficult times. Psychological therapy or counseling is provided to individuals, couples or families. It is a multi-session process, usually once a week or every two weeks. The process is completely confidential. Any person who is experiencing the following will benefit from therapy:

-Signs of isolation, sadness, constant stress or persistent irritability / anger

-Difficulty concentrating or performing everyday tasks

-Thoughts of hurting yourself or others

-Family or couple conflicts

-Emotional difficulties in the process of adapting to changes in the country / culture


Support Groups

At times, you may feel the need to connect with people who have had experiences similar to yours through a group process. Support groups can help you find common solutions; and the members who share a problem come together to provide help, comfort, and guidance. In addition, support groups often last for only a limited predetermined number of sessions. All the sessions are confidential. The purpose of a support group is to learn from each other while the conversation is led by a professional.


Emotional Wellness Education (Workshops & Classes)

At OCCTAC we offer classes or workshops that provide information on a particular topic related to family well-being, mental health, or social-emotional development. Some topics include suicide prevention, crisis management, childhood and healthy development, and the use of art as a healing element, among others. You can share your experiences in these groups.

To provide these services we work in partnership with various community centers, the Department of Education and other organizations that advocate for the well-being of our community. Our therapeutic approach starts from a model of liberation psychology, which is why we believe in the power that people have to achieve changes in their lives considering the context and power dynamics that surround them. We support the empowerment of individuals individually and collectively by promoting self-reflective processes.


Risky Behaviors: Prevention and Substance Use Disorder Awareness

Discussion of risky behaviors with examples that can harm youth, particularly substance use. It is a workshop from a prevention approach that provides information on how addictions work in a young person's brain, mentions which substances are the most common for misuse and abuse, and suggests strategies for how to effectively communicate with youth. Participants can share experiences, connect with others and be linked with resources.

Topics include:

· Addiction and Drugs of Abuse

· The Effect of Drugs on the Teen Brain

· Current Drug Trends

· How to Get Help for Yourself or a Friend

· Overdose Signs and Overdose Reversal

· Medication Assisted Treatment


*Referrals available if an individual needs services

Audience: Parents, Caregivers, Teachers

Or youth 13+


Duration: 1 hour

Emotional Well-being in Early Childhood

Provides information about the importance of considering children's emotions. It focuses on supporting children's social and emotional development. We discuss stigma, adverse experiences in childhood, emotional distress and strategies to cope. Participants can share experiences, connect with others and be linked with resources.

*A list of resources is also provided.

Audience: Parents, Caregivers, Teachers

Duration: 1 or 2 hours (can be adapted)

Emotional Well-being for Youth

Provides information on the importance of speaking about the emotions as a normal component of every human being. This workshop focuses on social and emotional development. There is dialogue about stigma, adverse experiences in childhood, and emotional conditions. Participants can share experiences, connect with others, and be linked with resources.

*A list of resources is also provided.

Audience: Youth 13+

Duration: 1 hour

Parenting during times of COVID-19

Strategies are provided to parents on how to communicate with their children during pandemic times. Some self-care strategies are suggested. Participants can share experiences, connect with others and be linked with resources.

*Resources such as a storybook about COVID-19, etc. are sent to the participants.

Audience: Parents and Caregivers

Duration: 1 or 2 hours (can be adapted)

Breaking The Stigma: Multicultural Approach to Emotional Well-being


Dialogue about stigma related to issues of social and emotional well-being. Information is provided on social, psychological, and biological factors that affect people. Effective recovery is promoted to feel better and enjoy life to the fullest.


Some topics include Suicide Prevention, Mental Health First Aid, Mental Health 101, Teacher-Child Interaction Training, Strong Families/Strong Children Military Program, Understanding Adverse Childhood Experiences, Preventing Homelessness in LGBT+ Youth. 


* Has discussion activities

Audience: General Community

Duration: 4 hours

(divided into two days)


* This workshop is also adapted for Latino Population and Older Adults.

Mental Health First Aid

Strategies are provided to manage an emergency related to a highly distressed person. Provides information on different conditions and how to communicate with that person in a sensible and appropriate manner.

Audience: General Community

Duration: 1.5 hour

Family Wellness

Participants will receive information on the basics of mental health and how family dynamics impacts the emotional wellness of each other. Strategies are provided and a series of questions as exercises are developed during training.

Audience: Families

Duration: 1.5-2 hours

Emotions and Arts

An artistic activity (photography, drawing) is coordinated with participants to perform while talking about the emotions the person may be feeling. Artistic skills are not required, as the main focus is not on the product but on the process itself.


*Requires previous coordination. Because workshops are conducted remotely due to coronavirus, the participants are required to have materials.

Audience:  Children between ages 10-13

Youth between 14-17

Youth 18+

Duration:  1 hour

Grief During Disasters 

Information about the emotional process of losing a loved one or a drastic change in routines that can impact the wellness of a person. The workshop will provide strategies on how to manage those situations in every moment but particularly during disastrous times. 


Audience: General population

Duration: 1 hour



Healing Arts classes

Our team provides healing arts interventions to help children and youth communicate their emotions through a diversity of art mediums. These classes are  focused on the expression of emotions and the use of arts as a tool to participants in that process of self-expression. The population targeted for these classes are children and youth with special needs. These classes are provided via individual and group sessions.  We can also provide referrals for those who need formal therapy.


We currently provide the following Healing Arts classes:

     Creative Dance and Movement
     Songwriting and Lyrical Analysis
     Drum circles
     Art and Emotions

List of Available Classes:
List of Available Workshops:

If you would like more information about these programs and services, please contact us at:

T: 714-547-5468 ext. 313 or email Mental Health & Wellness Coordinator Axel Melendez-Mercado at