Mental health
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Behavioral Health Services

Through a partnership between the DC Department of Behavioral Health and DC Public Schools, One Common Unity proudly offers trauma-informed, culturally competent behavioral health services to public and public charter schools across the District.

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Transformative Healing

The goal of our program centers around the transformative healing of school culture and community by actively practicing restorative justice, artistic expression, non-violence, and compassion. The program aims to erase the stigma of mental health through education and the promotion of community.

3-Tiered Services

In collaboration with our partner schools, licensed clinicians offer an array of services, including individual and group therapy (Tier 3); and Tier 1 and 2 supports that help children, young adults, families, and school staff to build a healthy and peace-centered community—inside and outside of the school.

Tier 1

  • Teacher Professional Development
  • Consultations with Teachers/Staff
  • Awareness Campaigns
  • Advisory/Small Group Lessons
  • Classroom Presentations

Tier 2

  • Group Therapy Sessions
  • Co-Facilitating Groups
  • Intention Room Restorative Meetings

Tier 3

  • Individual Therapy Sessions
  • Family Therapy Sessions
  • Telehealth Therapy Sessions
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Therapeutic Modalities

Play Therapy

A therapeutic approach primarily used to help children ages 3 to 12 explore their lives and freely express repressed thoughts and emotions through play with the goal of teaching children healthier ways to express themselves, solve problems and practice empathy.

Art Therapy

A therapeutic approach centered around artistic expression which utilizes creative techniques such as drawing, coloring, painting, and sculpting in order to explore one's emotional wants and needs in a nonverbal form.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

A psycho-social intervention in which the treatment focuses on addressing maladaptive thoughts, beliefs and behaviors.

Sandplay Therapy

A nonverbal, therapeutic intervention technique that makes use of a sandbox, toy figures, and sometimes water, to create scenes of miniature worlds that reflect a person's inner thoughts, struggles, and concerns.

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

A therapeutic approach that focuses on the problems of clients suffering from post-traumatic stress and mood disorders resulting from abuse, neglect, violence, or grief.

Arts Expressive Interventions

A therapeutic intervention based around the utilization of different forms of artistic expression such as music, theater, poetry, dance, or other artistic forms to empower and allow one to explore their wants and needs through alternative interactions.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

A therapeutic intervention technique that incorporates mindfulness practices such as meditation and breathing exercises to reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, depression and pain.

Stories of Impact

STORY #18: OCU’s “DC-Deep” Model

July 29, 2021

“It is so thrilling to start with a small idea or concept, then to come together and combine our strengths and resources to create something bigger and more beautiful than we could have imagined.”~ Michele, OCU School-Based Mental Health Clinician One Common Unity (OCU) and DCPS’ Perry Street Preparatory (PSP) Public Charter School began a…

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STORY #16: Putting Mental Health First

May 6, 2021

OCU distinguishes itself from other mental health service organizations because we practice a unique approach to breaking cycles of violence. By integrating art and music as a healthy outlet/coping mechanism to achieve a peaceful resolution. My role as a mental health professional with One Common Unity entails providing mental health services to students, staff, and…

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STORY #8: Health & Wellness Pillar

December 1, 2020

The Health & Wellness pillar focuses on holistic health of the mind, body, and spirit. We work to teach students how to make healthy choices for their bodies, to nurture their spirits, and to care for their minds. Mindfulness is a core tool within this pillar. We believe that a balanced lifestyle is imperative in…

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Meet Our Clinicians

Danishka Valdes

Clinical Supervisor

Amber Collazo

Mental Health Therapist

Asia Felder-Watkins

Mental Health Therapist

Carlette Jones

Mental Health Therapist

Caroline Santilli

Mental Health Therapist

Jiayu Liu

Mental Health Therapist

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