Mental Health Literacy for the Youth with Ross Szabo

In this episode, we talk to Ross Szabo on the importance of educating young people about mental health. We learn about how mental health has been stigmatized as a phrase and a concept at large, as well as the approaches to take when talking about mental health with children and young adults.

Nov 22nd, 2022

Episode Notes

Memorable Moments:

  • 6:20 One of the most important things there is teaching kinds of sensitivity around what is a mental health disorder and what isn’t.
  • 6:25 The conversations that are getting normalized now aren’t actually beneficial. They’re dismissive of people’s experiences.
  • 8:06 Mental health literacy and mental health education are different from social-emotional learning.
  • 8:36 Mental health literacy is important because the definition of mental health isn’t having a problem. It’s how you address challenges in your life.
  • 8:56 Mental health should be taught the same way as physical health. What schools are mainly afraid of is becoming therapeutic centers. But there is a way to take a public health approach to mental health.
  • 12:12 In the professional setting, put up boundaries and only share things you’ve processed. Give yourself the outlet so that you’re not stuck to take things back or wish you didn’t share some.
  • 13:27 One of the most important things you can do as a parent is to model the behavior you want to see in your kids. The largest form of education will always be through example. It’ll never be words.
  • 16:40 It’s natural for kids to have different things they like and have those things shift throughout adolescence. There’s nothing wrong with that. But when it gets deeper than that, when you see that they’re not able to do the things they used to do for a longer duration of time, that’s when it’s time to call someone in.
  • 18:05 As you go through the early decades of your life, you spend so much time building and trying to find what works for you that it takes a while to get to a place where you can be more present and be in a place where you’re connecting.

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This podcast is hosted by Allison Walsh and Dr. Angela Phillips. It is produced by Allison Walsh, Ashley Tate, and Nicole LaNeve. For more information or if you’re interested in being a guest on this podcast, please visit

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Ross Szabo

Ross Szabo is a social innovator who pioneered the youth mental health movement. He is the Wellness Director and founding faculty member at Geffen Academy at UCLA, where he has created a program for students to learn about mental health once a week throughout their education from grade 6-12. Ross is also an award winning speaker, author and the CEO of Human Power Project, a company that designs mental health curriculum.