In Depth: Youth and Mental Health

Segment One: Vickie Mays is a professor in the Department of Psychology at UCLA and Dr. Ninez Ponce is the principal investigator of a study by UCLA’s Center for Health Policy discuss that study with Hal.

The findings show that the mental health of young people- as young as 13- has taken a serious hit since the COVID-19 pandemic.

The number of adults under 25 who reported having suicidal thoughts increased by over six percentage points last year, and many of those young people were not able to get help for their emotional issues.

Mays and Ponce discuss the significance of the study and what it means for improving care in the future.

Segment Two:Kayla de la Haye is an Associate Professor in the Department of Population and Public Health Sciences, Keck School of Medicine of USC,  She talks to Hal about another recent study that shows that  food insecurity in Los Angeles County has worsened over the past year.  The most recent report shows that one in four households doesn’t have a steady supply of food. De la Haye discusses why those numbers are getting worse, how some neighborhoods are having a hard time of it and how inflation has made things so much worse.

Segment Three: Ross Szabo is a teen mental health expert and advocate who runs the Wellness Department at Geffen Academy at UCLA. Szabo is also the author of " A Kids Book About Anxiety."  He says the first step to dealing with the emotional and mental health challenges of youth is to get them to talk about it and to give them the language to discuss their feelings. Szabo shares his own high school experience of wanting to take his own life as a motivating factor to involve him in the pursuit of a solution to the problems teens have.

Segment Four: Hal promotes his podcast.  We share the phone number for the new National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline , which is reached by simply dialing 988.  And we end with a video created by the group "This is My Brave."  It is a non-profit organization that travels around the country sharing performances by people suffering from various mental health issues.  In that way they able to make others familiar with their challenges, while coming to terms with their own feelings.