El Camino Health’s ASPIRE program equips youth with coping skills amid stress. 

When Julia (they/them), a 14-year-old who had been in therapy for three years, crushed up a bottle of antidepressants and ibuprofen with the intention of ingesting them, their mom, Lisa, knew it was time for a new approach to her child’s mental health care. 

“This was one of the scariest nights of my life,” said Lisa, who asked to be identified only by her first name to protect her minor child, in an email. “Julia and I stayed up so late that night while they shared their feelings with me. I tried my very best to stay calm, ask questions, and listen, but it is not easy when you see your kid losing the battle to their depression.” 

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