Mental Health & Wellness Education

workshops  •  youth mental health first aid  •  find a support group  •  view past workshop recordings

wellness workshops

Next workshops are Sept 1st & Nov 10th - 4:30-6:30pm

Tweens, Teens & Technology
parents will learn tools to help kids navigate their digital world with balance

MAY 19, 2024 - 4:30pm-6:30pm

  • REGISTRATION REQUIRED > [limited to 28 spaces]
  • FEE: $5 per person pay online >
    YouthWell Office,
    1528 Chapala St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
    ZOOM: virtual access >
  • QUESTIONS: OR 805.770.1239

SPEAKER: Kari O’Driscoll, educator, group facilitator,
author, One Teenager at a Time

DESCRIPTION: Peer relationships are a vital part of the teen years. Gaming, social media and phones play a role in how teens meet and interact with friends, but how do we know when a lot of a good thing is too much? How do we help our kids develop the ability to get off their screens and out in the real world from time to time? Learn the benefits and the risks and how to support your teen in setting limits on their screen time, social media, and gaming (especially during the summer months).

host a training or workshop

YouthWell can customize a workshop or training for your audience whether it is youth, parents and caregivers, community members, or providers.

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youth mental health first aid


Join the movement in Santa Barbara County to strengthen our community because we can all be more aware and informed. Hosted by FSA, and YouthWell.

Just as CPR helps you assist an individual having a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid helps you assist someone experiencing a mental health or substance use-related crisis.

  • Youth Mental Health First Aid [Y-MHFA]is a 6.5 hour comprehensive training designed to equip educators, family members, and caregivers (18 years or older) with the skills and knowledge to identify, understand, and respond to the signs or risk factors of youth mental illness and substance use disorders.
  • Teen Mental Health First Aid [tMHFA] teaches high school students about common mental health challenges and what they can do to support their own mental health and help a friend who is struggling. It’s equipping young people with the knowledge and skills they need to foster their own wellness and to support each other.

QPR stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer — the 3 simple steps anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide. QPR is a suicide prevention training for participants to be able to recognize the warning signs of suicide and question, persuade, and refer people at risk for suicide for help. QPR can be learned in as little as one hour and you will receive a certificate that is active for 2 years.

Let us know if you would like to coordinate a private class for 20 people to train in your organization, church, or group. The course is available in English and Spanish. If you are interested in finding out about additional classes for... QPR, Mental Health First Aid, Teen Mental Health First Aid or Youth Mental Health First Aid - contact


Workshop Recordings

View all workshop RECORDINGS on our YouTube channel

View handouts and slides of past workshops

Free virtual wellness workshops provide a platform for students (10-25), parents, and those working with youth to 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 provided.


Non-Profit Panel of 20+ SB County organizations shares about how students can create meaningful ways to volunteer. Completing community service hours is more than checking a box off the to-do list... it’s learning about the joy of volunteering, learning new skills, and an opportunity to grow and discover new passions. Find which areas (animals, arts & culture, homelessness, environment & science, education, camps, elderly) are meaningful to you. Volunteering helps people manage stress, feel connected, and increase self-confidence.

Speakers 2023 [VIEW RECORDING 2023 > or LISTEN SPANISH AUDIO >]:  Assistance League of SB, AHA!, Apples to Zucchini Cooking School, Central Coast Rescue Mission, City of SB Parks & Recreation, Community Environmental Council, Cottage Health, Friendship Center, Inclusive Arts Clubhouse, Inclusive Arts Clubhouse - Grace Fisher Foundation, Keiki Paddle, Mental Wellness Center, Resource Family Assistance Support Team, SB Bucket Brigade, SB Humane, SB Museum of Art, SB Museum of Natural History & Sea Center, SB Public Library, YouthWell

Speakers 2021 [VIEW RECORDING 2021 >]: Alpha Resource Center, Apples to Zucchini Cooking School, BUNS (Bunnies Urgently Needing Shelter), Fairview Gardens, CommUnify, Community Environmental Council, Cottage Rehabilitation Junior Wheelchair Sports Camp, Cycling Without Age, Direct Relief, Explore Ecology, Food Bank, Friendship Center, Fund For SB, MWC, Sansum Diabetes/Veggie IQ, Santa Maria Public Library, SYV Humane Society/DAWG, SB Museum of Natural History & Sea Center, Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation, Wilderness Youth Project


Kids need a balance of love and limits to thrive. Learn simple strategies for setting and enforcing boundaries that work for every age. Presented by AHA!  view slides >

We also recommend a great Glendon Doyle podcast on this topic


Diana Graber, author of Raising Humans in a Digital World, teaches youth and parents the skills they need to be safe and wise online.

Topics addressed include healthy screen time, online reputation management, maintaining safe relationships within online communities, and how to safeguard privacy.

View handouts and articles >


Learn to... 1. recognize the differences between recreational use and addiction 2. be an ally to your peers in recovery 3. the negative effects of binge drinking, vaping, and JUULing 4. how self-medicating can mask the symptoms of mental illness 5. about local support resources. UCSB students will share personal stories of recovery and sobriety. 2022 Speakers: John Doyel, George Stoddard, Jimmy Chahal, Grace Lemersal, Justin Emmanuel Suarez, Thomas Flanagan 2021 Speakers: Dr Jason Prystowsky, ER Doctor, Sharleen O’Brien, UCSB, Jackie Kurta, UCSB, Lacey Peters, SB City College, Joselyn Sanchez, CADA, Ric Torchon, Sam Lytle


Learn to strengthen relationships through active listening and constructive responding. Build empathic listening skills to better interact with family, friends, youth, and co-workers. Learn how to support a friend you are concerned about.

Listening is a powerful communication tool that allows us to build trust, deepen connections, and reduce conflict in both personal and professional relationships. Speaker: Michael Takahara


Student athletes, learn new tools and strategies that help decrease anxiety, negative thoughts, fatigue, and burnout. Learn mindfulness strategies that improve resiliency, competitive performance, and the ability to perform optimally under extreme stress. Learn to support teammates. Coaches will learn skills for bringing mindfulness, awareness, clarity, and compassion into their work with youth. Speaker: Amy Saltzman, M.D., Jacob Lombard, coach, Jimmy Chahal, student.


Learn to understand the spectrum of mental health. Recognize the signs and symptoms of a mental health challenge. Understand the role of medication in some treatment plans, why self-care matters, and why we need to prioritize early intervention. Learn coping strategies for managing our mental health. Learn to support a friend or your child and build listening skills. Learn to advocate for yourself and ask for help. How to report if you are concerned about a friend. Tips for finding a therapist & how to make telehealth work for you. Speakers: Eric Nelson, Jessica Ambroz, Lacey Peters, Rio Seymour


Learn simple hacks for yourself and your family to infuse balance into your day, improve your mood, fight fatigue, and relieve stress. This workshop is an opportunity for anyone regardless of your age to learn new tools and set your own intentions for what you want in 2021 so that you feel empowered to manage your mental and physical wellness. PRINT SLIDES > PRINT: Meal Planning, Grocery Lists, Eating Out 2021 PRINT: Wellness Workshop Self-Care Tips & Worksheets 2021 Speakers: Cara Ferrick, CorePower co-owner,  Jenni Tasca, MSRD, Registered Dietitian, Shadean Runyen, Functional Health and Wellness Coach


Learn about the power of movement & breathing and how it improves your mood and relieves stress. Cara will talk about how exercise and movements affect both our physical and mental health. She will also share about the science of breath and why it matters that we take time to breathe. Workshop will also include... Grounding, Resiliency, and Gratitude  • Mindfulness Tools & Breathing  •  Movement and the many benefits  •  Self-care and your intuition and inner knowing  •  Tools to help you sleep  •  Essential oils  •  Meditation and the many benefits Speaker: Cara Ferrick, co-owner CorePower Yoga


Understand how the foods you eat affect your mental health, mood, and how you feel. This will be an interactive discussion will you learn how to continue to enjoy eating all the foods you love while learning how to balance so you can avoid those afternoon energy crashes. Learn how to substitute healthier alternatives when you are baking and still have those cookies taste great! Great tips for athletes as well. VIEW ZOOM VIDEO PRESENTATION & SLIDES HANDOUT - Overview of how food affects our moods Speaker: Jenni Tasca


Learn strategies to...
actively listen,
ask for what you need,
use your breathing to develop self-awareness,
manage emotions, and decrease stress

This series of mindful and compassionate listening workshops are an opportunity to build empathic listening skills to better interact with youth, family, friends, and co-workers. Speaker: Dave Mochel


Our body image can impact our mental health. Learn to cultivate self-love and acceptance. Learn how body neutrality can transform our self-image, improve self-esteem, and tools on how to eliminate negative messages. Local leader, Jordan Killebrew and college student, Caroline Anderson will share their experiences of overcoming an eating disorder. Speakers: Jenny Schatzle, author, Breaking the Cycle: Free Yourself from the Story that's Holding You Back! Heather Lengyel, dietician nutritionist 


Learn tips for building healthy relationships and how to set boundaries. Learn to recognize when a friendship may be toxic or unhealthy. Learn to support a friend or your child who has been sexually assaulted. Learn what consent means, how to report sexual assault and resources in Santa Barbara County. Speakers from DVS, UCSB, STESA, Pacific Pride, North County Rape Crisis Center, Planned Parenthood


Connection that makes a difference - Build empathic listening skills to better interact with youth, family, friends, and co-workers. Improve communication skills in personal and professional lives. Learn how to... -build skills of deep, empathic listening -speak from your heart -help others by doing less -ask the right questions -reflect on your own judgment & biases. Speaker: Dave Mochel


Learn about the reality of human trafficking in Santa Barbara County, local survivor stories, myths & realities about trafficking, how to recognize the warning signs and respond. Speakers: SB ACT & North County Rape Crisis Center

Angst movie screening
Documentary designed to raise awareness around anxiety. Film includes interviews with kids, teens, educators, experts, parents, and a special interview with Michael Phelps. The goal is to help people identify and understand the symptoms of anxiety. PRINT: DISCUSSION GUIDE, ANXIETY FACTS & TIPS & SLIDES FOR ANGST WORKSHOP > Speakers: Dr. Jerry Bubrick is a senior clinical psychologist in the Anxiety Disorders Center and director of the Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Service at the Child Mind Institute in New York. Dr. Margot Roseman, Pediatrician, Jessica Ambroz, School Social Worker, Dawson Kelly, student.

You(th) can be advocates for change
Find your voice. Learn from a panel of local student leaders how to become advocates forchange with an emphasis on social justice. Learn to frame the conversation so others will listen. Build a space for empathy and understandingwhere we learn from each other to createchange in our community.
Speakers: Maya Samarasena/DPHS, Shakir Ahmad/SMHS, Essence Wynter/UCSB, Adalis Rojas/UCSB, Nathaniel Ilo/UCSB, Ashley Steidl/Cal Poly. PRINT: Resources & Reads for understanding Social Justice & Advocacy

Managing Stress & Finding Balance - Increasing resilience in our youth through mindfulness and self-care.
How do we offer guidance & support without rescuing our children from the discomfort that naturally comes with healthy challenges and growth? We will [1] introduce & practice simple strategies for supporting our kids in becoming capable & resilient adults, [2] explore simple practices for parents to use in being more present & understanding, [3] discuss the line that separates normal upset & disappointment from depression & anxiety that require professional intervention.

Navigate the digital and gaming age with youth
Learn strategies on how to support youth responsibly with their devices. Understand the impact of screens on brain development. Learn to identify signs of cell phone and gaming addiction,  and set healthy limits around devices.

College Student Panel
Local Santa Barbara students who attend colleges all over the country answer questions about their personal experiences at their schools. If you are trying to decide which school is a fit for you, it might be helpful to be able to ask questions about things you are curious about.