‘In My Backyard’ podcast brings expert voices to children’s mental health issues

Children and mental health are the topics of a new podcast series by The Guidance Center, a nonprofit based in Long Beach that focuses on child and family mental health services.

The bi-weekly podcast titled “In My Backyard” is led by the nonprofit’s CEO, Patricia Costales, who will speak with experts about causes of emotional distress in children and how to address them in a healthy, safe way.

“With everything that has happened this past year, the COVID-19 pandemic and racial uprising, I wanted an outlet where I could speak with other experts about how these issues impact the mental health of our children and families,” Costales said on the podcast’s website.

Two episodes of the podcast are already available for listening online. In the first, “Children’s Mental Health” Costales talks with Guidance Center clinical social worker, Mickey Prince, about the struggles the children have faced and the impact the pandemic is having on them.

The second, “School Closure and Children’s Mental Health” features Tiffany Brown, deputy superintendent of Long Beach Unified School District. The conversation discusses how schools are trying to manage the educational, emotional and social needs of children during the pandemic and concerns for the classroom once students may return full time.

Future episodes will include discussions on the Black Lives Matter movement and the impact of race on mental health, law enforcement and its interaction with the mentally ill, and the incarceration of the mentally ill. Future episodes will air on the first and 15th day of the month on all major podcast platforms. Or, you can click here to listen on their website.

Costales is a licensed clinical social worker who specializes in the areas of child sexual abuse treatment and in crisis assessment and intervention of children and families post-abduction.

The Guidance Center, a nonprofit focused on improving mental health, is a 70-year-old institution that offers a number of services including counseling, crisis intervention, case management and intensive mental health treatment. Since its founding the center has opened up two smaller clinics to meet the needs of disadvantaged children and families in the nearby communities of Compton, Lynwood, Paramount, San Pedro, and Avalon on Catalina Island.



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Cheantay Jensen is reporter and award-winning videographer who covers entertainment, art, food and culture for the Hi-lo section of the Long Beach Post. And sometimes breaking news, you know, just to keep things interesting.