September 30th is National Podcast Day! To celebrate, we asked staff and In My Backyard producer, Matthew Murray, to share a selection of their favorite episodes!

In My Backyard is an open conversation about children and mental health where Patricia Costales, CEO of The Guidance Center, speaks with experts about the many factors that contribute to emotional distress in children, how to address those factors and how to create a community where all children have the help they need to be healthy and happy.

Season 1 Episode #7 – Trauma and The Brain: A conversation with renowned Psychiatrist, Professor and founder/Senior Fellow of the Child Trauma Academy: Dr. Bruce Perry. The Child Trauma Academy teaches practical and viable interventions that help a child recover from #trauma. Their #mission is to help improve the lives of traumatized and maltreated children by improving systems that educate, nurture, protect and enrich these children.

Season 1 Episode #16 – The Tragedy of Suicide: Patricia speaks with Sal Pena and Courtney Cruz, from the Suicide Prevention Center at Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services. The Suicide Prevention Center was founded in 1958 as the nation’s first 24/7 suicide crisis line. It remains a model today for effective suicide crisis services, training professionals nationally and internationally in preventing suicide. They field roughly 100,000 crisis calls annually.

Season 1 Episode #17 – The Aftermath of Suicide: In this episode, Patricia discusses the heartbreaking aftermath of suicide with Rick Mogil and Julia Asea from Suicide Bereavement Services at Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services. Created for people bereaved by suicide, this program addresses the special needs of people struggling with complex grief, which often accompanies a loved one’s suicide.

Season 1 Episode #18 – Understanding Eating Disorders: Patricia consults with Dr. Julie Orris, the owner and Executive Director of Evidence Based Therapy Orange County and one of the founders of Evidence Based Therapy Partners. Julie is a licensed psychotherapist and consultant in a number of evidence-based treatment modalities. She is certified in Dialectical Behavior Therapy by the Linehan Board of Certification and is a Diplomate with the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. Her specialties include self-injury, suicidal thinking and eating disorders, amongst others.

Season 1 Episode #20 – Alternative Crisis Options for Schools: Patricia speaks with Jackie Ochoa, AMFT, and Yessenia Arevalo, ASW, School Resources Clinicians from The Guidance Center who work in partnership with campus police for the Long Beach Unified School District to develop the School Crisis Response Clinician Program that provides therapeutic crisis intervention and assessment services, in lieu of an armed law enforcement response.

Season 1 Episode #22 – Psychological Testing in the Clinical Assessment: This episode discusses one element of the mental health experience, standardized psychological testing in the clinical assessment. Patricia speaks with Dr. Dawn Vo-Jutabha, Chief Clinical Officer of The Guidance Center. Dawn earned her doctorate in clinical psychology with an emphasis in children and families from Clark University in 2005. Since then, she has dedicated herself to working with underserved children and families in community mental health.

Season 2 Episode #1 – Suicide and Elite Student Athletes: This episode discusses the recent heartbreaking pattern of completed suicides by elite female student athletes. Patricia speaks with Dr. Julie Amato, a licensed clinical and sports psychologist and CEO of Elite Mindset Sports Psychology, who works with high-level athletes and teams across the country.

Season 2 Episode #2 – The Impact of Foster Placement on Youth: In this episode, Patricia speaks with Wendy Carpenter, Chief Executive Officer of Penny Lane Centers. Founded in 1969, Penny Lane today offers preventative services, Substance Abuse Treatment, residential care, transitional and permanent housing for former foster youth, foster care and adoption services as well as outpatient mental health care. Wendy began her career at Penny Lane as a clinician, finding a professional home where she has served since, as a leading advocate across the county and the state for services to our foster youth.

Season 2 Episode #4 – The First Episode of Psychosis: Patricia speaks with Catrina Flores, a clinician from Mental Health America – Los Angeles. Catrina specializes in working with a population we call transition-aged youth, namely those complicated years from 16 to 25. Further, MHALA is known for their work with the most displaced mentally ill adults in our community. In this setting, Catrina works very closely with youth who are experiencing First-Episode Psychosis and all the complications that accompany that.

Season 2 Episode #5 – STORIES: A conversation with Guidance Center staff members, Debbie Lambert and Saira Patina about what inspired them to choose a career in community mental health and how they manage to maintain a sense of self-care in this field.

We hope you find the insight of Patricia and her guests enlightening and informative on the subject of mental health and the mental health of those around you. Our podcast aims to inform and provide insight into the many factors and challenges that play a role in children’s emotional distress. By shining a light on these issues, we hope to reduce the stigma of mental illness and create a community where all children thrive. New episodes resume on October 15th! 

In My Backyard is brought to you by The Guidance Center, a children’s mental health agency in Long Beach, CA. In My Backyard is produced by Patricia Costales and Matthew Murray. Thank you to Jay Vincent B for original music. All other music licensed through SoundStripe. Thank you to our listeners and supporters.

Please visit or text HOPE to 562-262-5689 to make a one-time donation or join our Hope and Healing Club to become a monthly donor today. And subscribe to In My Backyard on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts.