At an event on the South Coast this weekend, more than 150 teens got together with nonprofits to talk about mental health issues.
The Ventura County Office of Education, which worked with State Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin to set up the Youth Mental Health conference, says that they’re noticing an increase in mental health concerns in the youth.
Director of Health and Prevention Programs Dawn Anderson explains.
“The events in the community have really affected the mental health of teens at schools,” Anderson says. “A lot of students aren’t really feeling safe right now; we’ve seen an increase in stress and anxiety.”
Israel Lozano is a sophomore at Channel Islands High School. He says that being able to speak about mental health struggles with peers was a cathartic experience.
“This is the environment that I’ve been needing for a while now to be able to speak about my own experiences with anxiety, with stress, with depression,” Lozano says.