State of Mind with Debra Sloss
State of Mind with Debra Sloss
Suicide Prevention for Teens and Young Adults

Episode #34: Communities across the US have faced increase mental health challenges related to COVID-19, with teens and young adults being particularly hard hit. In this age group, emergency department visits for suspected suicide attempts have increased. In honor of National Suicide Prevention Month, we focus the conversation on suicide prevention for teens and young adults. Being informed about suicide can help prevent many of these tragic deaths. College student and mental health survivor Enrique Garcia and mental health educator and advocate Owen Thomas join us to talk about what it’s like to feel suicidal, where to find help and support, and how to recognize warning signs. You’ll also learn more about what you can do to help those you love and care for who may be having mental health challenges and suicidal thoughts or feelings. This is part 1 of a 2-part series. Next month’s show focuses on complicated grief  and recovering from losing a loved one to suicide.

Broadcast: 9/5/21

Special thanks to Jeanne Baldzikowski for audio production and to Jennifer Young for  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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Crisis Support
National Suicide Prevention Lifelineprovides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals. 1-800-273-8255. Includes the following options:

En Español/ In Spanish 1-888-628-9454

For those who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing 1-800-799-4889 and/or an online Chat feature.

Crisis Text Line– serves anyone, in any type of crisis, providing access to free 24/7 support via texting (a medium people already use and trust): Text “HOME“ to 741741 to reach a Crisis Counselor

The California Youth Crisis Line  – A hotline dedicated to supporting youth and their families through crises. Thoughts of suicide, depression, bullying, health and identity questions, trauma, human trafficking or any teen-related struggle can be discussed with a crisis counselor in confidence and without judgment.)

— Hotline: (800) 843-5200 // Online Crisis Chat:

 Suicide Prevention Service of the Central Coast  – A free 24-hour confidential hotline for those who are feeling suicidal or need support, serving the residents of Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Benito counties) — Lifeline: 1-877-663-5433 // Administrative Line: (831) 459-9373

The Trevor Project – A national organization providing free crisis and suicide prevention resources to LGBTQ+ people under the age of 25. They currently operate a 24-hour hotline as well as online and text chats. — Lifeline: 1-866-488-7386 // Text: Text START to 678-678 // Chat:

Trans Lifeline – A grassroots hotline and microgrants 501(c)(3) non-profit organization offering direct emotional and financial support to trans people in crisis – for the trans community, by the trans community — Hotline: (877) 565-8860 // Family & Friends Hotline: Call the regular hotline and ask to connect to the Family & Friends line

Mental Health Emergency -Guidelines for Calling 911a brochure that gives guidance on what to do and expect when calling 911 for a mental health emergency. Available in both an English Version and a Spanish Version. Produced by NAMI Santa Cruz County.

Suicide Safety Plan Mobite App for both  Android  / IOS. Stay Safe during a Crisis. This app is designed for those dealing with suicidal thoughts and help prevent suicide. Having a plan in place can help guide people through those difficult moments, can help them cope and help keep them safe.

Counseling Support
Psychology Today Website – a website where anyone can search for and find therapists/psychiatrists near you.

Pajaro Valley Prevention Student Assistance Services, Inc. (PVPSA):  Since 1991 PVPSA has partnered with local schools and agencies to provide comprehensive health education, mental health services, substance abuse and intervention and prevention services, and direct counseling to the students and their families. has more information about all its programs:

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.

Shine a Light Counseling Center – Shine a Light provides affordable counseling for couples, individuals, children, and families in English or Spanish in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties.

More Information
The American Association of Suicidology – A national organization focused on advancing academic and public knowledge on suicide and its prevention.

The Mighty is a safe, supportive online community and a Mobile App for both Android / IOS for people facing health challenges and the people who care for them. It also has articles and resources to help you heal wherever you are on your health journey.

Treatment Programs
Rogers Behavioral Health in Walnut Creek, CA helped Enrique with severe O.C.D. years ago. Rogers Behavioral Health treats a wide range of mental health and addiction issues in both inpatient and outpatient treatment centers with locations around the country.

Contact Show Guests
Owen Thomas, Community Outreach Coordinator
Suicide Prevention Service of the Central Coast

Enrique Garcia, UC Santa Cruz  Student & Mental Health Advocate


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