It Takes a Village to Tackle the Teen Mental Health Crisis

In Gonzales, California, Young People Are Turning to One Another—With the Support of Their Community—to Address a National Problem

How will California ever solve the mental health crisis among its young people?

Perhaps by empowering young people to do the job themselves.

That, at least, is what happening in the state’s most innovative small town, Gonzales (pop. 8600), in the Salinas Valley.

Starting in early 2020, middle school and high school students—members of the Gonzales Youth Council, a parallel city council for the young—have taken the lead in documenting the damage the pandemic was doing to their peers. But they didn’t stop there. Using their data, they created a new mental health …

How the Kids Are Getting to All Right

The Voices of the Youth Mental Health Crisis Are Hurting, Honest, and Wise

This article is a co-publication of Zócalo Public Square and State of Mind, a partnership of Slate and Arizona State University focused on covering …

The Small California Farm Town That Puts Kids First

Against All Odds, Gonzales—Population 9,000—Offers Services That Touch the Lives of All Its Young People

What if California actually decided to put the needs of its poor kids first? What would that look like?

Here’s one answer: it might look like Gonzales, a small city of …

Could California’s Population Actually Shrink?

As the Golden State Hits 40 Million This Summer, Trends Point to a Less Populous—and Challenging—Future

This should be the summer when the population of California finally surpasses 40 million.

We should celebrate by reflecting on just how small we are.

Of course, we won’t. California, like an …

Dancing in New Orleans to Overcome Division

A Crescent City Transplant Creates a Diverse Non-Profit, and Finds a New Home

Five years ago, I moved from New York to New Orleans. The reasons included a need to escape from the New York grind, a lover’s terminal brain cancer, and a …