Document Type

Capstone Project (Open Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


Health, Human Services and Public Policy


Collaborative Health and Human Services: Social Work

First Advisor

Ignacio Navarro


The capstone was implemented at the Safety Nest, a wellness center that provides socio-emotional and mental health services to all students within Everett Alvarez High School through the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports multi-tiered system. The school serves 2,664 students; 90.2% of Hispanic/Latino ethnicity, and it is part of the Salinas Union High School District. The social problem addressed by the project is that “There are too many high school students in California experiencing emotional distress, which can result in academic failure, substance use, or suicide”. The project consisted of collaborating with the NEST’s Behavioral Intervention Specialist to implement an eight-week long Grief/Loss Counseling group for EAHS students who have experienced a recent death/loss of a loved one. The group provides a safe space to support students experiencing grief/bereavement, learn about grief, coping skills, and how to express their emotions in healthy/constructive ways in order for the healing process to begin. The positive experience from the groups suggests the NEST continues to facilitate the Grief/Loss Counseling group through the practice of Ligia M. Houben’s book, “Counseling Hispanics Through Loss, Grief, and Bereavement: A guide for mental health professionals.”