Pepperdine University Mental Health Clinic

Opened in January of 2001, the Jerry Butler/Pepperdine Mental Health Clinic is an essential service for the homeless and poor as they climb the steep path toward recovery. Staffed by doctoral interns from Pepperdine University's Department of Psychology and supervised by a Pepperdine clinical psychologist, the Mental Health Clinic provides professional skills matched with compassionate care.


With drastic cuts in federal and state services, faith-based programs for the mentally ill are more important than ever. Many of L.A.'s homeless people struggle with deep psychological wounds. According to Shelter Partnership, every day, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department releases 30 homeless mentally ill people to Skid Row. Some face serious neurosis while others just need a compassionate, listening ear and practical, consistent guidance.

The most significant predictor of treatment success is the ability of the program to provide an integration of recovery and professional clinicians. Many programs fail because they address only one issue and then send the individual to a separate organization. As an integral part of our residential recovery programs, mental health concerns are properly addressed through the Mental Health Clinic, dramatically increasing the prospects of long-term recovery.


Our Mental Health Clinic provides the following services:

  • Individual psychotherapy sessions
  • Group therapy sessions
  • Marriage counseling
  • Psychological assessments to clarify diagnosis
  • Treatment plans

In 2006, the clinic provided 1,055 sessions to the men, women, and children in our Men's Christian Life Discipleship Program, Women's 2nd Step Program, and Family Together Programs.


Reflections from Pepperdine Mental Health Clinic interns


"My work at Union Rescue Mission has been tremendously challenging and rewarding. In the brief time that I have been here, I have learned the hope and promise of humanity."

--Angela Hunt, M.A.


"The men and women I have worked with at the Union Rescue Mission are incredibly motivated and resilient people. I feel fortunate to be able to work with such a diverse group of individuals who each bring something very special to my experience as a therapist."

--Stephanie Davidson


"[This] has been a wonderful experience. The clients are committed to making positive changes in their lives and they utilize the clinic as a resource for therapy and support. In addition, the Mission provides student therapists with a diverse and meaningful training experience. I see strengths in each of the clients who come to the clinic and appreciate the opportunity to work with these individuals."

--Tami Krichiver, M.A.


"Working at the Union Rescue Mission has opened my eyes to a population that I never would have associated with previously. Despite our racial, gender, economic, and religious backgrounds, my clients have taught me so many invaluable lessons about myself, being a therapist, and remaining strong when faced with very challenging circumstances. It has been incredibly rewarding to watch my clients grow emotionally, spiritually, and as resilient individuals; I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to make a difference in these men’s lives."

--Colleen Heath, M.A