Local with Lisa

Local with Lisa: The Wellness Center

September 19, 2023

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A Piedmont native, Emmy award winning television journalist turned home matchmaker, part time radio anchor, UCLA graduate, wife and mother of 3. 


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What is the Wellness Center?

About a third of Piedmont High School students and a quarter of Piedmont Middle School students receive counseling at the PUSD Wellness Center every year. And it’s up to us to keep it going, so they always have this resource. Senior Danny Allen says he used the wellness center a few years ago.

Danny: I did therapy for about a year or two there and it’s just really awesome. I felt super safe there and I felt like the therapist there really cared about me.

Danny says there’s no stigma for using the Wellness Center because there are snacks, tea and students go there all the time throughout the school day.

Danny, a PHS Senior, talks about how important the Wellness Center has been

Danny: Students can go there to talk about really whatever they want and it’s a place where students feel comfortable. They can go there and their parents don’t really have to know. And it’s nice because it feels safe.

How Did the Wellness Center Start?

Brooke Zimmerman worked for PUSD for over 20 years. You started the Wellness Center 15 years ago. Why was there a need to start something like this in our community?

Brooke: So when you work in a public school district, you’re mandated to have students take a test called the Healthy Kids Survey and our results were kind of shocking. Students indicating that they were using drugs, alcohol and also indicated suicidal ideation.

So what’s it like to see that it’s still going 15 years later?

Brooke Zimmerman, founder of Piedmont's Wellness Center

Brooke: It is beyond extraordinary to me. The moms worked so hard with me to make sure that this was embedded in the school district and now it is.

Mental Health & Learning

Joseph Marik, Assistant Principal at Pidmont High School, says mental health is critical the learning.

Joe: If any person, a young person in our case, is going to learn anything, they need to feel safe. They need to feel secure and confident in themselves. They need to feel confident in the community around them and social emotional learning and mental health awareness is a huge component of being able to learn.

The Wellness Center recently received accreditation by the American Psychological Association, one of the top organizations recognized in the field of therapeutic support. It was a two year process, but now the wellness center has access to the best interns nationwide. Funding for the wellness center comes from three main sources; the school district, grants from the county, and the community.

Piedmont High School's Wellness Center

Community Donations Needed

Irma Muñoz Daniels, principal of Millennium High School in Piedmont, says donations from the community is critical.

Irma: At least a third of the funding comes from the parent donations. We were able to secure two interns thanks to the contributions from our parent committee. Contributing to the center is essential to keeping it running. The district by itself cannot fund the whole center.

The Wellness Center is run by two clinical supervisors who are fully licensed therapists and they supervise 5 to 7 interns. Danny says it’s important to keep this safe space for students in our community.

Danny: It makes the students feel safe and feel like they belong, which is a really important thing that we’re trying to do here in Piedmont. I think that’s something that also makes it super special. Students just have a place where they can be themselves and that people can listen to them. And then they can become better and help build our entire community.


Who should I interview next for Local with Lisa? If you have a suggestion I’d like to hear it! Or if you’d like to talk about real estate and want to know your home’s current market value, I’m happy to provide you a complimentary assessment. Get in touch!

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I'm Lisa, your new Realtor & friend.

My passion is meeting new people, getting to know them and learning their stories. Before I jumped into the world of real estate, I spent nearly 15 years in front of the camera anchoring and reporting the news. The mix of being a Bay Area native, Emmy-winning reporter and now Realtor gives me a deep understanding of the market and has made me an excellent listener and communicator.

I consider it an honor to work with you and guide you during one of the more important times in your life.

hey there!

Lisa Chan Carnazzo

Lisa is a San Francisco Bay Area Realtor with The Grubb Co.


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