La Quinta Desert FLOW center focuses on youth mental health

Staff at Desert Flow, a transitional youth center, pose for a photo.  Left to right Sara Figueroa, Robbi Wilkinson, Alisa Huntington, Alex Garcia, Elizabeth Esquivel, Javier Sanchez at their offices in La Quinta, California, September 7, 2022.

Jennifer De Leon graduated top of her class from Palm Desert High, but when it came to applying to college, the world seemed to collapse around her.

“I would always go to the next highest level,” he said. “Honours, Advanced Placement. Then I broke down.”

“I wasn’t in good shape,” De Leon added. “It was just too dark. Everything was pointless.”

He started taking pills from his parents’ medicine cabinet and was hospitalized after drinking a bottle of liquid Tylenol.

De Leon, who turned 20 in December, has been receiving treatment from Riverside University Health System Behavioral Health for over a year since then.

During this time, while barely getting out of bed, he began to hold a job and re-establish relationships with his parents and friends.

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