Mental & Physical Wellness

Mental Wellness

SYFC has invested resources to train our staff to address the prevailing overwhelming trauma experienced by our reentry and local populations in Oakland related to gun and domestic violence.

OYF/Scotlan Center has invested resources to train our staff in evidenced base nationally recognized based practices that use innovated processes and theory that deliver maximum results in as brief period as possible. OYF pursued this training because we are the front line “social paramedics”, who’s job is to stop the emotional bleeding and psycho-social wounds of at-risk youth & adults. 

Mental Health First Aid

 Just as CPR helps you assist an individual having a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid helps you assist someone experiencing a mental health or substance use-related crisis.

In the Mental Health First Aid course, you learn risk factors and warning signs for mental health and addiction concerns, strategies for how to help someone in both crisis and non-crisis situations, and where to turn for help. 

Topics Covered

Depression and mood disorders

Anxiety disorders



Substance Use disorders

Mental Health First Aid teaches about recovery and resiliency – the belief that individuals experiencing these challenges can and do get better, and use their strengths to stay well.

Life Stress Reduction (LSR) 

Life Stress Reduction is a full program which makes use of a broad array of techniques, each designed to approach an issue, to remove emotional pain, resistance and confusion from that issue, and to bring one to a place of greater clarity and ease in relation to that issue. Life Stress Reduction Program is tailored to meet the needs of a particular viewer (client). It starts with an interview to gather information about the issues and areas of life that the client wishes to address and improve. The facilitator uses the information from the interview to design a case plan – the Life Stress Reduction Program – to suit what the viewer hopes to achieve during Life Stress Reduction.

Traumatic Incident Reduction (TIR) 

TIR is a rapid (compared to traditional therapy) method of effectively reducing traumatic stress from emotionally and/or physically painful events in the past. It involves re-experiencing past traumas in a completely safe environment, free of distractions, judgments, or interpretations. 

In the great majority of cases, TIR correctly applied results in the complete and permanent elimination of PTSD symptomatology. It also provides valuable insights, which the viewer (or client) arrives at quite spontaneously, without any prompting from the facilitator (practitioner) and hence can “own” entirely as his/her own. By providing a means for completely confronting a painful incident, TIR can and does deliver relief from the negative effects, enabling the person to move on. The resolution of past traumatic incidents can bring about a greatly improved quality of life. Because of this, Traumatic Incident Reduction is often included in a Life Stress Reduction Program.

Anger Management

Anger may result in externalizing behaviors. These can include verbal arguments and tantrums. Anger can also cause internalizing behaviors. Internalizing behaviors can include sulking or increased symptoms of depression. People may show anger through aggression. Aggression is the biological function of anger. It is an evolutionary response that helps prepare people to fight off threats. Inappropriate displays of anger may mean a more serious mental health or emotional issue exists.

People who receive anger management therapy learn skills to slow their reaction to anger. This can help them identify the reason for their feelings. The roots of anger may be buried in emotional trauma, addiction, grief, or other issues. But a natural inclination may be to find temporary relief in lashing out. This can obscure the true cause of the anger. When this is the case , working with a therapist might be helpful. Oakland Youth First has certified specialist by the National Anger Management Association (NAMA)

  Breakthrough Parenting 

Offers a proven method for raising cooperative, happy, self-confident children. … The well-known authoritarian and permissive methods for raising children cause power struggles and fail to help children develop the inner guidance they need to think for themselves and to care about others. 

These classes take a minimum of 8 weeks to complete . These Premium 8 Week Classes are often preferred by the court because they are delivered over time so parents can actually put into practice what they are reading and learning. Court ordered parenting classes work with these parents to teach them effective and safe ways to deal with such issues as discipline, anger management, and basic day-to-day parenting skills. By teaching parents these vital skills, abuse can be prevented. 

  Adolescents Suicide Prevention

Adolescence is a time of change, when young people may experience stress from many sources, including relationships with friends and family members and problems at school. Many high school students report thinking about suicide,1 and in 2014, suicide was the second leading cause of death among young people ages 13 to 19 years.2 

Risk and Protective Factors 

Suicide prevention efforts seek to reduce the suicide risk factors for teens and strengthen the factors that help protect them from suicide. Here are a few examples:

Risk factors

· Depression and other mental health problems

· Alcohol or drug use

· Feelings of social isolation

· Difficult life situations (abuse, bullying, poverty)

Protective factors

· Life skills (problem-solving, coping)

· Social support from family, friends, and others

Positive school experiences