In the News

We invite you to read recent articles and listen to interviews with YouthWell...



  • May 2024, TV INTERVIEW with Patricia Martellotti on mental health education in Santa Barbara County. Teens from YouthWell Youth Advisory Board [YAB], AHA!, and CommUnify share wellness message during Empower Youth discussion in Goleta hosted by South Coast Youth Safety Task Partnership.  WATCH >>
  • April 2024, TV INTERVIEW with Christina Rodriquez on mental health education in Santa Barbara County. Youthwell and Family Service Agency are offering FREE Mental Health First Aid and QPR, a free suicide prevention class across Santa Barbara County. QPR stands for Question, Persuade and Refer — three straightforward steps people can learn to help a loved one or person with mental health needs.  WATCH >>


  • March 14, 2024 PODCAST INTERVIEW • Kari and Rachael talk about how they came to their parenting philosophies, examine the complexities of parenting, and look at how their ideas changed over time. Exploring ideas of discipline and attachment and how we often parent as a reaction to the way we were parented, this conversation is full of insight and laughter. LISTEN >>

805 Focus - TV Santa Barbara

  • June 2023, In this episode of 805Focus, host Cynder Sinclair sits down with Rachael Steidl, the Executive Director of YouthWell. WATCH >>

Teen Sports Radio, Santa Barbara

Hosted by Erica Salda-Zoller & Dominique Hackett - TeenSportsRadio hosts teens and community members and engages in dialogues on sometimes difficult topics such as teen suicide, gender relations, transgender inclusion in sports, immigration and homelessness. 

  • April 2024, In this episode, Sports Recap with Nick Pjaden with weekly tips and tools with special guest Rachael Steidl CEO Youthwell LISTEN >>
  • June 2023, In this episode, the focus is on summer and youth. YouthWell shares about youth mental health.  LISTEN >>  or scroll: 22:40 & 25:06 & 28:30  

What are you hungry for?

  • June 4, 2022 PODCAST INTERVIEW• Rachael and Nancy Martz (Apples to Zucchini Cooking School) discuss mental illness versus mental health, and how mental illness and mental health challenges are "invisible illnesses." LISTEN >>

KZSB AM 1290 • Simulcast on FM 96.9

  • Feb 9, 2022 RADIO INTERVIEW with Neil Kreisel• About Education  with Rachael Steidl & Elise Fields  LISTEN >>


  • March 31, 2021 RADIO INTERVIEW with Jose Fierros • Tips on resources and managing mental health with Rachael Steidl and interpreted by Adriana Marroquin. LISTEN >>


  • Sept 23, 2020 RADIO INTERVIEW with By Beth Thornton • Issues & Ideas: YouthWell • LISTEN >>  [START AT  25:57 / 57:57 for the YouthWell segment]

TV Santa Barbara • The Resource

  • Oct 2020 TV INTERVIEW with Teri Jory & Erica Schweitzer • Education during COVID-19 - Episode 3 •  LISTEN EPISODE 3 [start at 21:15]



  • Nov 2023 • YouthWell: It's ok to ask for help. You are not alone


  • Oct 26, 2022 • Addressing Mental Health Challenges in Youth, with Rachael Steidl from YouthWell • By Keilana Sugano  READ >


  • Sept 15, 2022 • It's ok to ask for help • Page 15-18. READ >
  • Dec 16, 2021 • Connect Families to Mental Health Resources • 
    Page 15-18 READ >>
  • Oct 20, 2021  • Local nonprofit's youth and parent mental health-related workshops are now available in North County • By Taylor O'Connor READ >>


  • Sept 23, 2021 • Youth mental health resources in Santa Barbara  READ >>


  • Nov 16, 2021 • YouthWell’s Success Creates New Opportunities for Mental Health Collaboration • By Jen Best  READ >>
  • Sept 15, 2021 • YouthWell at Nexus of Community Collaboration for Mental Wellness Support• By Jen Best  READ >>
  • Sept 6, 2021 • YouthWell Building Collaborative Support System for Youth, Family Mental Wellness• By Jen Best  READ >>


  • Sept 23, 2020 • Mental health groups get $1 million boost from Cottage • By Amber Hair  READ >>

speaking & panels


  • 11/16/2022 • SB Featuring Local Non-Profits • Panel Discussion
    Hear inspirational stories from the founders of local non-profits. The panel discussion will be moderated by Nicki Parr with panelists... Rachael Steidl, Youthwell -- Marie Corbin, Project Heal of SB -- Lynn Karlson, Women’s Fund of SB -- Victoria Strong, Nevergiveup, Gwendolyn Strong Foundation


  • 10/23/2020 • An Intimate Conversation with the 19th United States Surgeon General, Vivek H. Murthy • Moderated by Rachael Steidl


  • 10/23/2020 Coffee and Conversations with Behavioral Health Experts  view


  • 7/29/2020 • Mental Health & Wellbeing Panel on Facebook Live


Youth Wellness Connection

  • The Youth Wellness Connection (YWC) Council and High School Clubs were developed and designed (2016-2020) by Rachael Steidl in collaboration with students from 5 different schools in Santa Barbara, CA. The YWC Council continues under the Mental Wellness Center.
  • This high school leadership program educates, empowers, and engages students to become mental health upstanders in order to raise awareness and eliminate stigma.
  • Those four years working with more than 300 students provided insight into the importance of prioritizing early intervention and prevention and helped in creating the mission and vision of YouthWell.

2016-2019 YWC Video Recap >    •   2019-2020 YWC Video Recap >


MARCH 2024

On Friday, February 23rd, YouthWell, in collaboration with Santa Barbara County BWell and SBCEO, orchestrated the Youth Linkages Network Retreat at Direct Relief in Goleta. This gathering brought together over 100 of Santa Barbara's mental health advocates, including mental health providers, school counselors, superintendents, and resource navigators from all parts of Santa Barbara County. The day was designed around “fostering hope for the future” which included a speaker, a student panel, and activities focused on creating stronger connections in order to support youth and their families. 

The student panel featured YouthWell, Youth Advisory Board members from local high schools — Pessia Fygenson, Mitzi Ojendis, and Gabrielle Terzian. They shared their perspective on what is working and what could be improved when it comes to addressing mental health in our schools and community. They passionately discussed topics such as suicide prevention, ways adults can raise awareness about mental health, and the intricate intersection of physical health, mental health, and disability. Speaker Kathryn Goestzke, the CEO of The Shine Hope Company, shared her vision to create hopeful cities worldwide, why Hope as a teachable skill, and emphasizing the importance of recognizing positivity and coping mechanisms for stress, anxiety, and hopelessness. 

On Sunday, February 25th, YouthWell in partnership with Santa Barbara County BWell hosted the inaugural Student Advocacy and Wellness Summit tailored for high school students. The Summit attracted 85 passionate teens and adult allies from around Santa Barbara County. The day was crafted to foster connections and empower attendees to become changemakers in their communities. Students were provided with invaluable opportunities to enhance their leadership and advocacy skills, learning how to amplify their voices on issues that resonate with them, all while prioritizing their mental wellness.

The panel comprised influential leaders including California State Senator Monique Limon, Gregg Hart, Geoff Green, Farah Stack, Bethanny Bodenhamer, Chief Esparza, and Jordan Killbrew. Breakout rooms offered a platform for students and allies to engage in discussions and share perspectives on a range of issues, including [1] racial justice and equity, [2] LGBTQ+ justice, and equity [3] environmental justice & sustainability [4] working with school admin to create change [5] disability justice and equity, [6] and the importance of self-care and active listening.

These events served not only as sources of valuable information but also as catalysts for cultivating a profound sense of community and empowerment among both the youth and adults in Santa Barbara County.  This newfound sense of support, coupled with the realization that there are like-minded individuals among both the youth and adults in our community, effectively dispelled feelings of isolation among the participants.

“I appreciated learning that there are still people that have hope, can give hope, and are sharing their experiences showing that we are not alone.” -student participant

“One small action I am committed to that was inspired by the summit was voicing my opinion when I feel that something needs to be said.”  -student participant

“One of my biggest takeaways was that despite being from all over the county, many of the things bringing us stress as students are the same.”  -student participant