State of Mind with Debra Sloss
State of Mind with Debra Sloss
Part I: Teens with Anxiety

Episode #19: Psychotherapist Debra Sloss is joined by college student Elena Shain and Santa Cruz psychologist Sheilah Siegel, Ph.D. to discuss the increasing prevalence of anxiety disorders in teens and young adults. Elena courageously shares her story of navigating severe anxiety since she was a young child, her placement in a residential treatment program at age 10, and how, together with her family, she has gained knowledge, about herself and developed skills to better navigate her life. Elena also describes how her service dog Tucker has helped her to manage her symptoms and expand her world. Dr. Siegel helps us understand teen anxiety–its symptoms, treatment approaches, and resources. She also shares coping strategies recommended by her teen and young adult clients. This interview was recorded in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, so we discuss the impact this situation has had on Elena and her family and then we touch on COVID-19-related challenges that youth with pre-existing anxiety conditions are facing. This is Part 1 of a two-show series on teens with anxiety. To learn more, tune in to next month’s show “Part 2: Parenting Teens with Anxiety.”

Broadcast: 6/7/20

Special thanks to Jeanne Baldzikowski for audio production and to Jennifer Young, who assists with research and outreach. And finally, thanks to acoustic guitarist Adrian Legg for composing, performing, and donating the use of our theme music.

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Don’t Tell Me To Relax! One teen’s journey to survive anxiety (and how you can too) (2019) by Sophie Riegel (Indie Books)

Outsmarting Worry: An older kid’s guide to managing anxiety (2018) by Dawn Huebner (Jessica Kingsley Publishers)

The Anxiety Workbook for Teens:  activities to help you deal with anxiety and worry (2008) by Lisa Schab, LCSW (Instant Help Books and Imprint of New Harbinger Books)


Child Mind Institute – Resources for kids with anxiety

Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) – An international nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention, treatment, and cure of anxiety, depression, OCD, PTSD, and co-occurring disorders through education, practice, and research.

TSA Cares – for disability support in airports.

College Disability/Accessibility Centers – Connect with the Disability or Student Resource Center at your college. For example:  The Accessibility Center (ASC) at Cabrillo College (Aptos, CA) or DRC at Foothill Community College (Los Altos, CA)

Apps you can Download

WorryBreath – box breathing for your worries

UpLift – a cognitive behavioral skill building resource

Worry Kit – bite sized mental health tools


Digital Screen Use – Teen Anxiety & Depression (Episode 7)
Behavioral Health Today,  May 12, 2020 – A production of Triad Behavioral Health, where they discuss trending topics in behavioral and mental health. Available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify

Service Dog Training

Martyn Canine Behavior  (San Francisco Bay Are) – service dog, ESA, pet training and consulting. This is who got and trained Elena’s service dog Tucker.
Contacts: Ashley Torres or D. Glenn Martyn,  (650) 898-9117

Kindred Spirit:  Dog Training with Heart (Santa Cruz, CA) – uses humane training methods based on positive reinforcement and modern training theory and is experienced at training psychiatric service dogs.
Contact: Lori Katz, owner/trainer,   (831) 685-DOGS(3647)

Atlas Assistance DogsOrganization offers customized service dog training and support to dog trainers and to individuals who qualify to have a certified assistance dog under the Americans with Disabilities Act.


Family Service Agency (FSA) of the Central Coast is a dedicated underwriter of State of Mind. FSA provides resources, support, and counseling services to adults and children.  FSA believes in the power and potential of people of all ages and backgrounds to discover their own creative solutions and welcomes people of diverse cultures, genders, sexual orientations, ages, faiths, socio-economic backgrounds.  FSA Counseling Offices offer Medi-Cal, Medicare, and low-cost, sliding scale services in both downtown Santa Cruz 831-423-9444 x200 and in Soquel 831-346-6767 x200.

Santa Cruz County Office of Education Alternative Education Program
Dedicated teachers assist students to achieve social, interpersonal and academic success. They inspire students to develop their greatest potential. Low student-to-teacher ratios are provided in a variety of K-12 educational environments. (831) 466-5728



RESPONDING TO A GENERATION IN CRISIS– Rates of depression and suicide in youth have skyrocketed since the pandemic. A new program seeks to break the stigma of seeking help for youth suffering from depression and anxiety and other mental conditions. The idea is to intervene early before things get to the crisis stage so that youth can weather the storms of life with more resilience. In this interview I talk with Shawn Peterson, director of Community Connection in Santa Cruz County. To get involved, call the Volunteer Center at 831-428-6977. KSQD’s “Talk of the Bay” radio program and podcast | Hosted by Rachel Anne Goodman | Nov. 5, 2021