May Mental Health Awareness Month

May Mental Health Awareness Month

According to NAMI (National Alliance of Mental Health), “One in five American adults experienced a mental health issue and one in 6 young people experienced a major depressive episode” but more than half of people with a mental health condition in the U.S. did not receive any treatment in the last year.

Why do people still suffer in silence with mental health? This question challenges the thought process behind our current system that targets mental health awareness. Sometimes taking a step back and evaluating your current approach is the best way to make the appropriate changes to ensure progress. As an employee of Crittenton for the past 12 years, I can say through experience that we’ve made a significant impact in the communities and populations we serve, which can be seen through community outreach, education for children and families, and our overall presence in the community. To encapsulate, this blog entry is intended to provide education, statistics, and Crittenton’s commitment to growth.

In 2020 alone, the U.S. had one death by suicide about every 11 minutes, and according to NAMI, “Suicide remains the second leading cause of death among youth aged 10 to 14 and adults 24 to 35.” A recent accomplishment to target this statistic was pushed by NAMI, who advocated for the implementation of “988”, our new National Suicide Prevention Hotline. This number change signifies the continuous adaptation of mental health care to increase accessibility to crisis interventions and further support those in need. This hotline is free, confidential, available 24/7/365, and with interpretation services of over 150 languages, including Spanish. The implementation of the “988” Hotline in our communities is set to start on July 16th, 2022.

How can we make an impact here at Crittenton, you ask? First and foremost, our dedication and passion for our craft is at the forefront of this conversation. The Crittenton workforce, as a whole, has shown a commitment to learn and grow professionally, which in turn has a positive ripple effect on the populations we serve. For example, current agency therapists are gaining proficiency in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT) to continue boosting our agencies efforts to deliver trauma informed care. Other notable evidence-based practices Crittenton therapists gain proficiency in include: Seeking Safety, Individual Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivation Interviewing (MI), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and crisis oriented recovery services (CORS). Crittenton understands the value of education, which is why our clinical teams are so well-versed and prepared to support all children, youth, and families in need.

As you may know the demand for mental health treatment has risen over the past few years due to the current global pandemic. At this time, there is a shortage of mental health professionals to accommodate the increased needs of mental health services in our communities. As Crittenton work towards its Mission of offering behavioral health care, safe shelter, and individualized support to help people in need heal from trauma and reach their full potential, we need to highlight our efforts so that the incoming workforce can be well-aware of Crittenton’s commitment to excellence. Crittenton offers a variety of roles and opportunities across different departments for our employees to grow within the agency. I, myself, started out as a practicum student, later being hired on as a therapist, and eventually landing at my current position as a Clinical Director. Everyone’s journey looks different, but if you are looking for a stimulating career where you are advocating for the most vulnerable children and youth we encourage you to apply for a job at Crittenton! Happy Mental Health Awareness Month!


Mr. Anthony Guerrero, LMFT, Clinical Director of Intensive Mental Health Services in Norwalk (Spa 7), has more than 12 years of experience in the Mental Health field as both a Therapist and Clinical Director. Anthony has a background as a student/athlete as he played football for the University of Florida from 2002 to 2004. Anthony has worked in various programs within the agency, which include the UCP program, Family Reunification Program, Foster Care Program, URM Program, STRTP Program, and now Outpatient services. In addition, he also holds a Master’s of Science in Counseling/Marriage, Family and Child Therapy.

Crittenton Services for Children and Families (CSCF) is a nonprofit child welfare and behavioral health organization that offers behavioral health care, safe shelter, and individualized support to help people in need heal from trauma and reach their full potential. Established and incorporated in 1966, Crittenton has an experienced and dedicated workforce operating 24 hours a day / 7 days a week. We provide a continuum of care programming effort that includes short-term residential, family preservation, integrated behavioral health, wraparound services, outpatient mental health, school-linked mental health, transitional age youth programming, and foster care services with a service plan area throughout Southern California that covers Orange, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside Counties.


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