Suffering in the dark

Youth often experience depression after leaving home for the first time, and encountering the emotional challenges of making their own way in life. But what if, when you come back to your home town, you find a scary place where it feels safer to hide your feelings, where depression is stigmatized and medical treatment for mental health is hard to come by? “One doctor […]

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#FeelBetter: How hardcore music helps me cope with depression

Teenager Robert Cervantez has had feelings of depression since middle school. When Robert started self-harming to cope, his family tried conventional therapy – but it didn’t seem to help. Ultimately, one particular brand of music, and the community around it, provided that cathartic outlet that Robert so badly needed. He shared his story for the #FeelBetter social-media campaign, where young people share stories about depression and what they […]

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Families can help break the stigma of depression

A recent report revealed mental diseases and disorders as the largest cause of hospitalization for kids in California.  A recent forum on youth depression in San Francisco brought mental health researchers together with therapists and youth, who shared their personal stories and elucidated that startling statistic. The key message of the forum was that depression is a treatable illness. “By sharing their […]

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Ending the stigma against mental health

With such large numbers of Americans suffering from depression, anxiety, panic, and eating disorders, ADHD, and others, some might expect more public discussion on the issue of mental illness.  But according to, two-thirds of people with a diagnosable mental illness never seek professional help.  Changing this statistic means stopping the stigma, writes a youth on Access Sacramento.

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HIV and me: by Anonymous

“When I was 13 years old, at a doctor’s visit in San Francisco, I found out I have HIV. My mother, who also has the virus, passed it on to me when I was born. I am one of the 1,908 reported cases of HIV in Fresno County.  A summer camp for kids with HIV […]

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