Connections to resources and relationships are how we build a healthier, more resilient, and more fulfilled future.



Our mental health affects every aspect of our lives, from how we feel about ourselves, our relationships, and the world to how we solve problems and perform at school or work. Mental health is no less important than our physical health. In fact, good mental health is an essential ingredient to our overall well-being.

All of us, at all ages, experience fear, sadness, anxiety, or stress. These experiences can affect anyone, and those living with mental health conditions deserve our support, compassion, and care. 


Protecting Youth Mental Health

Across the nation, we are experiencing a crisis specifically among children and youth concerning their mental health and emotional well-being. The U.S. Surgeon General has issued an advisory, calling attention to the urgency of this matter, stating the challenges American youth face today is “unprecedented and uniquely hard to navigate.” This crisis is real, widespread, and most importantly – preventable and treatable.

Supporting the mental health of children and youth will require a whole-of-society effort.

Here at the Y, we believe connections to resources and to one another can be the difference between opportunity and adversity. 


The Y's Role

As a leader in the mental and behavioral health field for more than 40 years, we use the latest and best evidence to inform interventions, innovate services, and enhance programs to create a meaningful and lasting impact. We understand there isn’t a universal blanket to tackle this mental health crisis. That’s why we continue to offer specialized programs and therapeutic supports that represent our community’s voice, diversity, experience, and unique needs. 

While the past two years have been filled with rapid changes, stress, grief, exhaustion, and uncertainty, our YMCA Community Support Services team continues to serve our community in important and relevant ways. 

Learn more about YMCA Community Support Services here.


Moving into Action

Throughout the month of May, the YMCA of San Diego County is taking part in a community-wide campaign to raise awareness for the youth mental health crisis and offer direct support to children, youth, parents, and caregivers across San Diego County. 

Throughout the month of May, our Y is free and open to young people between the ages of 13-24. Learn more about how to access this!

Be Kind to Your Mind: A Mental Health Guide for Young People - Download


Throughout the month of May, we are hosting weekly support groups for parents and caregivers to learn positive parenting techniques while connecting and sharing with others.

Be Kind to Your Mind: A Mental Health Guide for Parents & Caregivers - Download

Parenting & Caregiver Support 101: A Conversation with Youth Development Experts

Parenting is hard. But it doesn't have to be. Join us to:

  • Learn parenting techniques to reduce stress and navigate difficult situations
  • Connect with others on the joys and challenges of parenting
  • find answers that can strengthen your family's mental health and well-being

Throughout May, the following branches will be hosting a support session. Download a flyer for your respective branch for more information. Sessions are free and open to the public. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2022 5:30 – 7:30pm
Magdalena Ecke Family YMCA

Tuesday, May 10, 2022 5:00 – 7:00pm
John A. Davis Family YMCA

Wednesday, May 11, 2022 5:00 – 7:00pm.
*Facilitadoras biliguales disponibles!
Toby Wells YMCA

Thursday, May 12, 2022 5:00 – 7:00pm
Dan McKinney Family YMCA

Monday, May 16, 2022 5:30 – 7:30pm
*Facilitadoras biliguales disponibles!
South Bay Family YMCA

Tuesday, May 17, 2022 5:30 – 7:30pm
*Facilitadoras biliguales disponibles!
Copley-Price Family YMCA

Tuesday, May 17, 5:00 – 7:00pm
Joe and Mary Mottino Family YMCA

Wednesday, May 18, 2022 5:30 – 7:30pm
*Facilitadoras biliguales disponibles!
Border View Family YMCA – En español solamente.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022 5:30 – 7:30pm
*Facilitadoras biliguales disponibles!
Jackie Robinson Family YMCA

Tuesday, May 25, 2022 5:30 – 7:30pm
*Facilitadoras biliguales disponibles!
Ryan Family YMCA

Thursday, May 26, 2022 5:30 – 7:30pm 
*Facilitadoras biliguales disponibles!
Mission Valley YMCA


At the Y
YMCA Youth & Family Services Counseling and Teletherapy Services
YMCA Childcare Resource Service Behavior Consultation Services
YMCA Be Well Webinars
YMCA Afterschool Programs (Expanded Learning and Character Builders)
YMCA Camps
In the Community
San Diego County Mobile Crisis Response Team
(888) 724-7240

UCSD Center for Mindfulness UCSD Center for Mindfulness
National/General Resources
Inward Bound Mindfulness Education - Mindfulness Retreats for Teens and Young Adults





Download This

Bouncing Forward: Activities to Foster Resilience: We made this journal as a special way for you to think, write and draw about your thoughts and feelings.

Buffering the Effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences: This is a guide to Protective Factors: Parental Resilience, Social Connections, Knowledge of Parenting & Child Development, Concrete Supports in Times of Need, and Social & Emotional Competence of Children. 

Call for Connection: Through phone-based support, we offer a listening and empathetic ear to problem-solve challenges with parenting, support in coping with the current stressors, and guidance in helping children understand what is going on. These brief consultations are free and confidential. Call 619-521-3055 or email [email protected] to get started.

Creating a Calm and Quiet Space: A great way to help your brain turn off the worries is to have a quiet and calm space to regain control over high-stress situations and redirect to a calm, focused activity.

How to Self-CAAVE: COMPASSION. AWARENESS. ACCEPTANCE. VALIDATION. EMPOWERMENT. Applying these traits to ourselves can help you connect with yourself in a caring and nurturing way.


Our Partners

We believe so deeply that mental health requires a whole-of-society effort. Thank you to the following partners for joining us as we normalize the conversations about mental health.

Throughout the month of May, Billion Creation will be alongside our Y sharing information, resources, and tips to improve mental health. Look out for weekly flash auctions of one-of-a-kind hats on their website. Proceeds will go to the Y's programs supporting mental and behavioral health support.


Thank you to Fresh Clean Tees for graciously donating 500 tees to the mental health initiative.








In the News

US Surgeon General highlights teens' mental health crisis in San Diego visit (KPBS, April 4, 2022)

Surgeon General discusses mental health with San Diego high school students (San Diego Union-Tribune, April 4, 2022)

U.S. Surgeon General Talks Mental Health With Lincoln High Students (NBC San Diego, April 4, 2022)

US surgeon general to visit San Diego this week (Fox 5 San Diego, April 4, 2022)

Surgeon general discusses mental health with Southern California high school students (Los Angeles Times, April 5, 2022)



Let’s Talk

We are actively looking to partner with companies, foundations, and community philanthropists to support our comprehensive programming designed to promote overall well-being for the spirit, mind, and body. Reach out here!

Invest in Our Future

The Y has dozens of programs focused on improving our community’s mental health and overall well-being. Gifts of all sizes are welcome. Interested?