No one should suffer in silence.

One of the biggest reasons people don't seek help or support when they are struggling with a mental health challenge is because of the stigma and shame associated with it. YouthWell focuses on education, prevention, support, and early intervention (PEI), connecting youth through age 25 and their families to mental health and wellness resources before the crisis. YouthWell mobilizes community stakeholders in order to improve outcomes, affect systemic change, and build common understanding.

As a community, we can each make a difference by...

  1. understanding that mental illness does not discriminate. It can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, income, social status, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or background.
  2. treating mental health challenges with the same respect and care we show someone who has a physical illness or injury so that youth and caregivers do not feel shame asking for help.
  3. educating ourselves, leaning in, showing compassion, listening, and offering our support so those struggling don't feel alone.

YouthWell Programs in Santa Barbara County

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Our online Youth and Family Mental Health and Wellness Resource Directory can be viewed in English and Spanish. Families can search for services for youth, ages 0-25, and find support groups, treatment programs, crisis hotlines, therapists, and postvention resources for those in recovery.

Find book lists to help you on your journey and handouts that help to manage self-care, improve communication, and recognize the signs of emotional distress. Find tips for choosing a program, screening tools, questions to ask a therapist, and more to help you navigate.

View the Community Calendar for workshops, support groups, classes, and Mental Health First Aid training.



YouthWell focuses on education providing free virtual monthly Wellness Workshops on a variety of topics for students (ages 10-25), parents, and those working with youth in order to eliminate stigma, open up conversations about teen mental health today, and connect families to resources. Participants learn tools and tips for managing their mental wellness and practicing self-care in order to build resilience so they are better equipped to cope with stress and challenging situations. Spanish interpretation is provided.

Past workshop recordings can be viewed on our YouTube channel.

YouthWell also partners with the Mental Wellness Center and FSA to offer Youth & Teen Mental Health First Aid training throughout SB County.



The YouthWell Community Collaborative convenes quarterly with 50+ engaged community partners including school districts, organizations, healthcare, providers, law enforcement, juvenile probation, and faith communities. We continue to work together towards systemic change to eliminate stigma, fill the gaps, and remove barriers to services so that all youth and their families can access the care they need in a timely manner through a warm handoff.

The Behavioral Health Linkages Team convenes monthly to educate the 40+ resource navigators, local crisis lines, and school counselors throughout the county so that they are better equipped to support families. They work to improve the mental health referral process in order to foster “warm handoffs” and close the loop to ensure that youth and caregivers are accessing the services they need.


raising awareness

YouthWell sends eNewsletters highlighting mental health issues and local resources as well as actively promoting on social media [@youthwell] tips for recognizing the signs of emotional distress and ideas for practicing self-care.

Student interns from Santa Barbara County coordinated a county-wide 2022 "You Matter" social awareness campaign with messages of hope to remind youth they are not alone, it's ok to ask for help, & that it's ok to not be ok. 

Future projects: Host Youth and Family Mental Health & Wellness Day, Oct 10. Launch Compassion Project to provide "simple acts of kindness" to those needing support.


"YouthWell workshops provide extremely helpful information and tools. The speakers are relatable, very knowledgeable and I really appreciate the way they teach the program."

Mental Health Provider

"I was blown away by the workshop yesterday. Thank you for your genuine soul and brilliant wisdom. You and Dave moved so many of us yesterday. We were all laughing, connecting, and most importantly learning some new skills to help with - how to better listen. We all want and desire connection. You made it seem possible that I could talk with my daughters without the eye roll and I can't wait to try. Thank you for your care and for touching me so much. I'm looking forward to putting my new found skills into practice."

SB Parent

"The Collaborative continues to benefit Hospice of Santa Barbara. It is the only meeting where all leaders (executive and program directors) come together to share and coordinate mental health services for youth in the community and in our schools. Truly valuable in my busy calendar and should be for everyone at the table."

David Selberg, CEO, Hospice of Santa Barbara

“The last few months have felt really lonely at times, but taking time to connect with others helps and makes you realize how much we all have in common with each other. Learning about mental health has made me a more compassionate person and I feel prepared to help others who are struggling and to help myself.” 

Student, S.R.

“I wanted to reach out to thank you for your incredible resources and work on behalf of our young people in town. Years ago, seeing the same need for a resource guide, our school counselor created a similar guide for us, however, it was limited in scope and the effort required to keep it up-to-date became onerous. I visited your site briefly, and for the first time as a principal, I feel that I have the ability to send desperate families to a thorough, well-curated resource. What a relief!” 

Elementary School Principal

"I always appreciate the thoughtful insights my family and I glean from Youthwell workshops. It's ALWAYS time well spent -- content we all get something out of, and can't quite get anywhere else."

S.R., SB Parent

“Thanks to the workshops, I have learned how I can take care of myself and prioritize my mental wellness during these changing times. I have learned how to take care of my body inside and out and learned how I can help others who may be struggling. I think mental health education is important, especially to students and people my age, because we need to know how to help ourselves, how to get help if we are struggling, and how to maintain a positive state of well being.”

Student, G.P.

"Our family is enjoying the workshops and I am also enjoying them as a junior high educator"

C.B., Educator

"Every program I have attended with YouthWell has had great speakers & valuable information. The information I have learned has made my family's & my life better. Grateful!"

L.N., SB Parent

I was on a morning walk. I started out wearing a fuzzy hat and cheap knit gloves. As I warmed up, I took off the hat and gloves. Upon returning home, I realized that one of the gloves had fallen along the way. I went to Amazon to order another pair. I learned I could buy a dozen - in assorted colors - and I did just that, thinking I would donate the rest. A few days later, I received an email from YouthWell... Inspired, I thought I would use the extra knit gloves to put together a dozen or so Care Kits. I forwarded the flyer to women friends. I was gobsmacked by the immediate enthusiastic and overwhelming response I received! We are putting together at least 100 Care Kits. My heart is full to bursting! I anticipate that we may do this yet again after the new year.

A.L., Educator

Community Partner

​​THANKS SO MUCH FOR THIS CONTENT! [June Newsletter: Celebrating PRIDE] Very Helpful, clearly laying out how to approach what is very new for some people [pronouns/gender]. My oldest son identifies as queer and only a few days ago helped me to understand that queer does not necessarily equal gay.  Had no idea. Thanks again for all you're doing with YouthWell.



THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT... Deckers Brands, SB Foundation, Cottage Population Health, Towbes Foundation, Mosher Foundation, Williams Corbett Foundation, Hutton Parker Foundation, and our community donors!

contact us

How can we support you? Share your experiences and your ideas of how we can continue as a community to improve to support youth and their families struggling with mental health. 

• Email our team at

• Call 805.448.2426

• Subscribe to monthly newsletter >

• View our YouthWell Team, Partners & Advisory Board >