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Mental health agency seeks staff for new therapy program across Santa Barbara County

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The community-based mental health agency called CALM is seeing an increasing number of children and families across Santa Barbara  County.

“The needs have been growing steadily … since the pandemic requests for services have gone up 50 percent," said CEO and president Alana Walczak of CALM.

The nonprofit organization is now expanding its services to better support the needs of the community, thanks to a groundbreaking grant of $694,000  from the California Department of Health Care Services.

"We’re just so excited to really invest in a new therapeutic modality throughout Santa Barbara county, serving the youngest of children in our communities," said Walczak.

CALM will implement Child Parent Psychotherapy also known as CPP across the County.

CPP is an evidence-based therapy service for children from birth through age 5 who
are impacted by mental health, attachment, or
behavioral challenges.

“This type of therapy is to provide an opportunity for families to heal and grow after a stressful experience. It’s also really gear to strengthen like the relationships," said senior manager of clinical programs Gabriela Hanson-Lopez of CALM.

Right now CALM is recruiting for a variety of positions including several therapists.

“This was just such an exciting piece of news to know that we’ve received this funding, and that we’re going to not only be able to expand the scope of therapeutic services to families, but internally provide training, collaborative amongst our staff," said Walczak.

CALM is actively recruiting two clinicians and a part-time clinical supervisor to join this

“I hope and believe that it’s going to be long lasting infrastructure here at CALM, so that we can really have the capacity to provide these types of therapeutic modality," said Walczak.

“It’s really also going to help increase of access of care for children and parents," said Hanson-Lopez.

The primary goal of CPP is to strengthen the relationship between a child and their caregiver to help restore a child’s ability to think, interact, and respond to various situations.

CALM will use CPP as an early intervention tool, with treatment that supports the parent-child relationship, helps families heal after stressful experiences, and respects family and cultural values.

"This grant represents a new milestone for CALM and for Santa Barbara County,” said Walczak. “We are thrilled to introduce this program in our region, furthering our commitment to trauma prevention and early intervention efforts. This initiative embodies CALM’s legacy of pioneering innovative programs for the well-being of kids and families.”

Interested candidates are encouraged to visit for more information on available positions.

CALM is grateful for the support of the Department of Health Care Services and remains steadfast in its mission to prevent childhood trauma, heal children and families, and build resilient communities throughout Santa Barbara County.

About CALM:

CALM is a community-based mental health agency with a mission to prevent childhood trauma, heal children and families, and build resilient communities throughout Santa Barbara County. CALM’s pioneering, evidence-based services represent a continuum of care that interrupts intergenerational cycles of trauma. Each year, 2,500 clients receive individual and group therapy through CALM’s clinics in Santa Barbara, Santa Maria and Lompoc, and thousands more receive community-based education and mental health supports. With a 54-year history in Santa Barbara County, a staff that is uniquely qualified to meet the needs of families in the region, and meaningful partnerships with complementary organizations, CALM is a leader in developing a variety of culturally responsive, trauma-informed programs. To learn more, visit For more information about all of CALM’s services, please call 805-965-2376, or visit

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County
Santa Barbara

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Patricia Martellotti

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