Good News Santa Cruz
Good News Santa Cruz
Salud Para Le Gente

This Good News Santa Cruz interview features Emily Solick, Director of Behavioral Health, LCSW, Behavioral Health Provider:  The Behavioral Health department includes mental health services, substance use services and developmental screening for kids. In the last two years we’ve gone from 2 to about the equivalent of 8 full time therapists. We have a mix of LCSWs and LMFTs as well as a few who are working on their hours towards licensure. 2 of the therapists have expertise in substance use services as well. We provide free substance use counseling, to patients of our primary health care clinic or those willing to become our patients – so not just anyone off the street. We see monolingual patients who speak Spanish as well as some who speak an indigenous language, with use of an interpreter. We see all ages from 2 to 100.

In our pediatric department we have staff who do developmental screens on the kids who come to their well-child exams. They make sure they are on track developmentally and give suggestions and guidance to parents on how to help their kids thrive and meet targets. This is a unique service that I haven’t seen or heard about in other clinics – usually the doctor does some sort of developmental screen but this is more supportive and in-depth.

We have other groups as well – groups for depression, perinatal wellness groups, some teen groups, a group for those dealing with chronic pain.  We also partner with Monarch Services to deal with intimate partner violence issue, and with Janus to deal with addiction issues. 

We offer brief, solution-focused 30 minute therapy sessions for mild to moderate concerns such as anxiety, depression, difficult life transitions, parenting support, grief support among other issues. We bill MediCal and MediCare and some private insurances. We also have a sliding scale fee for those who qualify and are uninsured or underinsured. It is very important to offer these services inside the patients’ health care system because many of our patients would not seek therapy services outside in specialty mental health. They trust it more when their medical providers suggest and recommend it. It also helps to de-stigmatize the services going to the clinic where many types of services are provided. 

We are soon to roll out mobile services. We have purchased an RV and are turning it into a mobile clinic for BH and SUD services as well as outreach and enrollment. The plan is to reach patients who don’t typically come into the clinics for preventative or regular care. We are very excited about this new service. We plan to have some food and meals on the RV as well. We know it will take some time to gain the trust of the community and get known but hope to start late fall. 

We have three clinics in Watsonville and two in Freedom.  Also, you can get health and wellness care for your children at one of Salud’s School-Based Health Centers (SBHCs).  Offered at six schools, SBHCs provide comprehensive healthcare in safe and easily accessible locations. Call (831) 728-0222to make an appointment.

Salud’s SBHCs provide care for students and their siblings, including:

  • Preventive medical and vision care: vision and hearing screening, complete physical exams, lab tests, immunizations, and sexual and reproductive healthcare.
  • Acute and chronic medical care: testing and treatment for flu, strep, and asthma management.
  • Dental care: dental exam, x-rays, cleanings, fluoride treatments and sealants, and fillings.
  • Wellness care: health and wellness education about a variety of topics, such as social media safety, smoking cessation, exercise made fun, eating healthy, managing stress, diabetes, and more.

Our website is

We are always looking for talented bilingual therapists so please feel free to contact me at if you or someone you know is interested. 

If you know someone who does not have a clinic and is looking for comprehensive care, such as dental, optometry, medical and BH then they can certainly contact Salud and become our patient!