Young People’s Mental and Emotional Health

Adult ISH host Nyge Turner talks with Stephanie Santos LCSW, about how the pandemic is affecting teens and young adults managing anxiety and depression. Nyge also brings in Adult ISH production assistant Jalen Black to ask some personal questions about trying to adjust to college life with AJ Deloney LCSW, a staff therapist at UChicago Student Wellness at the University of Chicago.

Young People’s Mental and Emotional Health

Our brains and what we have to manage change a lot from high school to being an adult. And, our thoughts and emotions change a lot, too. This week, Adult ISH host Nyge Turner talks with Stephanie Santos LCSW, who works with teenagers and young adults managing anxiety and depression through the pandemic. And, Jalen Black, our Adult ISH production assistant, joins Nyge with some personal questions about trying to adjust to college life with AJ Deloney LCSW, a staff therapist at UChicago Student Wellness at the University of Chicago.

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Episode Transcript

I’m Sam Choo, Executive Producer of Adult ISH. Before we get started, we wanted to give you a heads-up that this episode includes discussions of mental and emotional health topics. 

If you or anyone you know needs help right now, TEXT or call 988 to reach the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. That’s a free, confidential connection with a trained counselor by texting or calling 988.
And, if you just want information about mental health and substance use, you can call 1-800-662-HELP. That’s 1-800-662-4357.

Please take care as you listen.

Nyge: Welcome to Adult ISH produced by YR Media and brought to you by Radiotopia from PRX.  

I’m Nyge Turner.

This week, we’re checking in on our mental and emotional health. 

AJ: You’ve likely heard language on social media or in person about “mental illness,” “anxiety,” and “depression,” - especially through the pandemic.

Whether you’ve experienced these first-hand or felt the effects within your family, friend group, or extended community – mental health matters.

And for those of us who are Black, maintaining our sense of well-being could be particularly critical. Of course, that’s more simple to say than to actually do, especially when ignoring or suppressing your thoughts and feelings is way easier. But there can be a real cost—and it’s high.

AJ: Our [Black] population is dying faster and earlier. And that includes our black women, our black sisters. A lot of the underlying contributors to that are related to mental illness or more specifically, untreated mental illness. When we experience trauma, and many of us do on a daily basis, just, you know, for where we live, the environment, or what's happening as a society. In addition to that, we are also dealing or suffering with intergenerational and historical trauma caused by, you know obviously, our history with enslavement. And as Black men, we have the idea, not of our own, that it is unmanly or un-masculine to seek services for mental health. So instead, we identify the things that are unhealthy and easily accessible. So when you see issues, like with obesity or we talk about alcohol and substance dependence, those things are more accessible and easier for us to treat because society allows us to do those things. As opposed to, again, seeking treatment, seeking healthy alternatives to being treated.

Nyge: That’s AJ Deloney, a licensed clinical social worker and staff therapist at UChicago Student Wellness at The University of Chicago. He says Black people and everyone else should be more proactive in taking care of their minds so their bodies stay healthy.

AJ: So I want people, young people, to take more advantage of accessing mental health resources, because I think at some point we all go through something. Whether it's current racial trauma, whether it's trauma related to community violence, whether it is historical trauma – we're all dealing with those things. Right? But we do not access them to the level that we should be – mental health services.

Growing older is a multifaceted experience. You’re making new relationships while growing into a new person. Gaining more responsibilities. And creating new boundaries and really having to advocate for yourself.

And the mental and emotional toll of all this can really be a lot. Whether it’s reintroducing your new self to friends and family or getting to know the lay of the land at work, school, or even home – figuring out how to deal with the stressors of life and normalizing talking about our feelings is something everyone is working through. 

To discuss this complex phase of transitioning from teen to young adult, we’re in conversation this episode with two incredible individuals. AJ Deloney, whose voice you heard earlier, and Stephanie Santos, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She also owns Elevate Mental Health Services, a private practice specializing in one-on-one therapy with 13 to 21-year-olds managing anxiety and depression caused by life transitions and stresses - including the pandemic. 

Stephanie: Yes. So, my name is Stephanie Santos. My mission in my business is that all teens and young adults can come and feel safe to feel seen and heard so that they can heal through any trauma or experiences that they are currently enduring. And, I love it. 

Nyge: In your work – what about growing older are young people looking forward to, and what are they dreading? 

Stephanie: So I think a lot of teens are just looking forward to be independent and getting away from their parents. I think that's the hardest thing I see in the work that I do is parents have a hard time letting go, and all teens want to do is just be free. So they are excited to be free. I have a client who I was seeing her when she was in high school, and now she's in college and she's just thriving and she's doing what she does best. She's making her own friends and kind of learning responsibilities and learning consequences for her decisions. And so I think being on their own and having that independence is what they look forward to. I think the hard thing that they have and work hard in regards to dreading, is learning all of those life skills that maybe their parents haven't taught them, right? Eating, how to cook food for themselves, how to wash their laundry. I mean, like I was in college, I didn't know how to do that. So it's just all of those independent life skills that they have to learn that sometimes their parents haven't really taught them, unfortunately. 

Nyge: What common emotional and mental growing pains do you see teens navigating as they transition from youth to young adults? 

Stephanie: Yeah, I find a big one that I teach is self-advocacy. I think creating boundaries with our parents and with our friends and in our current relationships. And so one thing I do is I teach my kids, like what do boundaries look like? Like if you were if someone says something to you and that may have caused you to feel angry, that could be a boundary-crossing. Let's talk about how we can address that with that person. And so a lot of it is, helping them learn their voice, learn what they're about, what their personal boundaries are, how to communicate those needs and feelings and thoughts to that person. Sometimes most of the time at the time, it's their friends and their and their family. And a lot of the anxiety that my clients feel are from pressures of school, pressures of friendships, pressures from romantic relationships, pressures from family to try to get those straight A's to go to a good college. And so a lot of what I do is teach, not only teach boundaries, but how to cope with the stressors that are going on in their lives, and to normalize them, like, hey, like I had anxiety too. I'm fine now. Like, it's okay and we can work on this together. 

Nyge: I know you're doing a ton of work with, with your clients on, on these things. But what are some of the things that you do to work with people on setting those boundaries? And, maybe like renegotiating some of those relationships in that way. 

Stephanie: So I think a big one is learning themselves. What are their values? Right? What are things that are important to them? Is it school? Is it their family? Right? Is it their health? Is it their mental wellness? So let's look at those values and let's kind of take those apart. Right? If someone asks us to do something and we don't really have a good feeling about it, let's check ourselves. Right? Hmm, I wonder why my body is giving me those signals. My stomach's hurting when they do that. I try to avoid that person when I'm around them. Right? These are all clues that something's up. So we really need to pause and allow ourselves to be like, “Why are we feeling this?” Hmhm. And so I kind of walk through those patterns and those steps with my clients so they can learn that awareness piece. And once the awareness comes, we can talk about how to say those things. And we kind of do a lot of role-playing. So we have to learn how to express what they're feeling and what they're thinking in their own terms. So I think the key is a self-awareness and identifying your values, because once you know what your values are and your deal breakers, especially in relationships, I think that's the first start. 

Nyge: Kind of how this topic came up was one of the young people we were working with on this episode. He mentioned that the pandemic brought on some pretty unique challenges with making that transition. So I'm curious what new growing pains has the pandemic introduced for young people making this transition in life? 

Stephanie: I have a lot of clients too that have social anxiety where they're afraid to go out, and they're afraid to engage. And, I can only imagine that that could be from being locked up in your house for a few months and not really learning how to go out there and kind of having that gap. And I think it definitely changed the dynamics in the home. Parents are always gone at work and now they're home. So now you're seeing these other tiers of issues that you probably never would have dealt with unless you were home together. Mom's around more like she does things that I don't like, or you start seeing patterns more that you probably wouldn't have thought of. 

Nyge: Yeah

Stephanie: So, I think it's not only in the family but in the school and in the relationships that these kids have with their families and their friends. 

Nyge: This time period in life is so crucial to so many young people's lives because they're balancing all these new levels of responsibility with new levels of freedom. For teens feeling overwhelmed with both, can you share any tips on how to manage those emotions? 

Stephanie: So the first thing I would do is encourage – talk to someone that you're close to, a friend or even a mentor or coach, someone that you feel comfortable with. If you don't have anyone, journal. Journaling is a great way to get it out. Music, art, there's other ways that you can get it out if you don't have someone. And then once you get it out, I would really encourage you to ask for help. And sometimes that's the hardest thing, and especially if you have parents that don't believe in therapy or what it's like, but asking for help, talking to a professional. And also, I'm really big on self-care plans. So, if you don't want to do any of those things - create a self-plan. For example – mine is, I exercise five days a week. I really take pride in eating well, hydrating, reading books that are going to help my mindset, reading books that are historical fiction. Like that's fun, too. So, just finding what works for you is ideal. 

Nyge: A lot of your content on TikTok is centered around young people experiencing anxiety. Can you talk to us about what that might look/feel like? 

Stephanie: So anxiety, like some of the common symptoms of anxiety can – and this is what I teach my clients, because I think that awareness part is really important is even for parents – signs to look for. So if your kid is reporting more stomach aches or headaches, maybe just not really interested in things that they like to do. Having lots of panic attacks and panic attacks, I'm realizing a lot of kids don't know what panic attacks are. So some signs of panic attacks are hyperventilating, feeling like you can't breathe, feeling like you're going to pass out or die even extreme. Right? And just getting tunnel vision where you can't see what's around you. You're just totally honed in on what you're experiencing. And then also just lightheadedness or dizzy. And those are panic attacks where when we internalize our thoughts so much, they actually spiral and can cause us to have these physical symptoms that look like panic attacks, which is wild to me, that our mind has that much power over us. And so a lot of the anxiety is the stomach aches, the headaches, the appetite is off, the sleeping is off, maybe some weight loss as a result of the eating patterns or sudden weight gain as a result of the sleeping patterns. Insomnia, not sleeping at all. Not sleeping or sleeping too much. And just tense or are on edge all the time, worrying that things are never going to get better. Those are just some of the basic symptoms that people that have anxiety can experience. 

Nyge: Yeah, definitely, and how do you work with clients to assist them with their anxious thoughts and those behaviors? 

Stephanie: So we are really big on - in the therapy world, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). And so that big idea is, we help clients understand the correlation between our thoughts, feelings and behaviors. So if we can understand what we think, if we can control that, then we can control what we feel. And then as a result, we can control how we behave. So if I have anxious thoughts, I'm going to feel anxious feelings. If I'm anxious, my thought is ‘I can't go into that mall, everyone's going to look at me.’ Then, I'm going to feel nervous and I want to avoid it. So as a result, I'm not going to go to the mall. But if you reframe those thought patterns and you say, like ‘I am, you know, I may not have it all together, but I really need to go buy that perfume at Bath and Body Works because I really like that smell’. Then I'm going to be, and then you tell yourself I'm going to be okay. Everything is going to be alright. You start feeling more confident and you're going to go into that store and get what you want. So there's power in our thought patterns. And so as therapists, that's what we do is we help reframe those thought patterns. 

Nyge: So you just talked a lot about the work that you do with that, with people who are dealing with anxiety and how you treat that. What can people who are going through that type of treatment look forward to as an end result from that work? 

Stephanie: Yeah. So I think, first of all, sometimes anxiety doesn't always go away. Sometimes, it's just acknowledging that it's a part of us, right? Sometimes, I have anxiety, too, but I know how to manage it now. So instead of it being this foreign creature that's like a monster, it's an ally. It's a friend of mine now, so I can sense it when it's coming. I can sense what triggers [anxiety] it. I can control it. And I think that's the thing is that I feel more confident that clients are going to leave more confident when they leave my office, that they're going to feel like, you know what? I have anxiety, or I have depression, but it's okay because I have the skills to navigate it, and I have the skills to know that in the moment when it happens, I'm in control, and I am more empowered and confident through that. 

Nyge: Yeah, definitely. How can folks in the community with young people better support them? And also, what are some common grievances that young people have with the older generations? 

Stephanie: Oh, man, I think. When I think of how the community can support our teens, I think it's first awareness of being aware of what are the issues our teams face. Everything from, the pressures that they have with drugs, alcohol, substance abuse, sex, the academic pressures, navigating relationships, independence. And so I think having a conversation around these hard topics that parents don't want to talk about. Right? And so I think it's just having these conversations, like here on this podcast, using platforms that we have to educate. And then, supporting is just being empathetic to where our kids are at and not thinking like just because they're kids, they don't have a voice, or their voice doesn't matter. No, it does matter. And we need to hear them and provide a space for them to do that, whether it be in therapy, whether it be on a platform like this, whether it be on social media, like kids need an outlet. And I think teenagers and young adults especially. And so we need to provide a space where they can feel heard and seen. 

Nyge: Definitely. And, how can people like teachers, guardians, family members listening to the show right now show up better for their young people in their lives? 

Stephanie: As therapists, we always have to show up for our clients, right? And the best way to show up is to love yourself first. So, are you doing what you need to do to love yourself? That's the first thing I would say is really loving yourself first, and really coming from a place that's overall going to be beneficial. Because if you, if you take care of yourself, then you can take care of others better. I'm really a believer in that. 

 I think for all the young adults and teens that listen to this, I think first of all, I want to say we're proud of you. We're rooting you on. You're navigating this part of your life right now. That's really challenging. You have a lot of decisions about your future. You're at major crossroads, and follow your gut. Seek mentorship. Seek help. You're not alone in what you're experiencing. And if you ever think that you're alone, believe me you’re not. And I tell my clients all that all the time. Like, it's okay, everything is going to work out. Just be there. Just lean into this season of your life, learn, it's a great season, and ask for help. And I think for parents - and for parents, especially listening that may have teens or kids in college – trust that you did everything you could to invest in them as parents and that they have it. They have it figured out. Let them. Let them explore. Let them make decisions. Check on them, but also not too much. Let them kind of navigate the season, and when they need you, they will come back.

Again, that’s Stephanie Santos, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who specializes in providing individual therapy to teenagers and young adults (13-21) who struggle with anxiety and depression. You can connect with Stephanie on her website, Instagram, and TikTok at ElevateMHS.

Just ahead, we’re returning to AJ Deloney, a therapist who works with university students and staff who are experiencing the significant changes of jumping in and out of college life.

Nyge: Now, I want to introduce you to the creative mind behind this episode on Youth Mental and Emotional Health – Jalen Black, one of our Adult ISH Interns.

Jalen: Hey, Nyge!

Nyge: So, why was mental and emotional health something you wanted to talk about this season?

Jalen: Well, I recently made it through my first semester in college and throughout that semester it was very hard balancing out things like classes, my internship, and just life in general. I felt like I was barely just getting by and I felt like a lot of that was maybe due to the online pandemic that cut two of my high school years off. And I know a lot of freshman currently in college feel the exact same way. 

Nyge: So, where do you want to go from here?

Jalen: I want to pull in another YR Star and peer teacher. Their name is Arwyn [Rogers], and they talked about their challenges with sharing their thoughts with family…

Arywn: I had a hard time expressing my emotions a lot with my family because they didn't – like my parents, didn't express their emotions to me. So I never knew how to do that properly. And, bullying was also a thing a lot in, like, elementary school. I have a few therapists and I go to my mom a lot, but I also go to my music, and I write a lot, like journaling. 

Nyge: What I enjboyed about listening to Arywn was the comment she made about her parents. You know? Kind of like really not being able to share their emotions. That is something that I can really identify with. My parents were kind of the same way. Mainly my Dad. And so I never really had that model and that has been something I’ve had to like, personally learn just as I’ve grown up. What about you? 

Jalen: Yeah it was definitely like some hard parts with dealing with the online pandemic.  I felt like I couldn’t really, like, express my frustrations and feelings to my parents because they never really went through that. And there was never really that pause in their educational life. 

Nyge: Right. 

Jalen: And, just having to explain to them why I lost so much motivation and why I was experiencing a lot of burnout through the semester and everything. So I feel like that’s what I related to, and like music definitely helped me a lot also.

Nyge: Yeah, you know, and that’s a great transition to the interview we did with AJ Deloney. He is a licensed clinical social worker and staff therapist at UChicago Student Wellness at the University of Chicago.

AJ: So, my name is AJ Deloney. By the way, my gender pronouns are he, him, his. And I provide direct services to college students as a full time job. But, I also have a private practice where I provide therapy mainly to Black men. 

Nyge: So you're also a staff therapist at the University of Chicago. Can you talk to us a bit about how your role on campus, and what that is, with working with undergrad students? 

AJ: Absolutely. So the biggest things that I deal with, surprisingly, are related to relationships and adjustment. Adjustment to being more independent. And I think that's especially significant post-pandemic, where a lot of young people have been isolated for a couple of years. They don't remember or they never had the experience of socializing with their peers. And then they come to a university like this, where there's a lot of pressure to do well academically. And they are more withdrawn from seeking services, identifying the support group to be successful in this environment. In addition to my day-to-day, you know, my day-to-day activities, and role, I’m also responsible for part of the outreach here. So, you know, I'm getting out on the campus, I'm having conversations to let people know that there are therapists that identify with them in their culture. Right? This is still a profession that is mainly made up of white women and, you know, just students of color, students from various backgrounds don't find that as a way to communicate. But, it's just hard to engage with someone you feel like does not share any background with you, any experiences. 

Jalen: So, my main topic was about managing responsibilities

AJ: Okay.

Jalen: And my first question was, when you're talking to freshmen or students that are new to campus, what are some aspects of living on campus or living alone for the first time that could make it kind of difficult for them?

AJ: So, you know, when you come to college, you no longer have a parent that is harassing you to get up on time every morning or go to bed at what is an hour that will leave you productive the next day. That is now your responsibility. And it can be challenging. It can be challenging to want to hang out with people and get to know them until two in the morning, and then the next thing you know, you're not able to study or do an exam well, or, you know, you don't show up fully present the next day. So that's, that's one of the bigger challenges with freshmen and responsibilities. 

Jalen: That was definitely a lesson that, like I learned my first semester, managing responsibilities and like wanting to do good in my work, but then also like, wanting to like, make friends and everything. And I feel like- I was seeing like, the aspects of both sides. Because like, sometimes like, I would be worried about like, making friends to where it would, like, affect in my schoolwork.

AJ: I think it's, it's important to compartmentalize your social circle, right? Identifying the friends that are great for hanging out with, but not as, as great for helping you with studying or making sure you're taking care of your business. Or maybe the person that you actually sit down with and go over your ideas for your research, so to speak. Not everyone is going to contribute the same thing to your circle. So just having a recognition of that. Who's going to be good for me at this particular point during this particular activity? 

Jalen: So my next question was, do you have any tips or advice for young people learning on how to balance the million things that's going on in their lives? 

AJ: Yes. So obviously, it's going to be time management, but time management in a way that identifies shorter term goals. If you are a young person and you're thinking about all of the exams, you've got all the reading at midterm, for instance, it's going to be overwhelming. And that leads to being more anxious. And when you have that high anxiety and feeling overwhelmed, you tend to freeze, or you tend to identify things that help you in the moment. Right? So maybe you go to the gym or you watch your favorite TV show instead of doing the work that you need because it's overwhelming. And as you allow more time hesitating – we call that procrastination. That work builds up, right? So now you physically have more to do, and it's not just in your head. So what you need to do is set shorter term boundaries. So for instance, maybe I have an assignment due in two days that I need to start reading for. Well, today I'm going to list the top three things that need to be done short term, whether it is reading for that assignment, whether it's washing clothes, maybe you got some dishes to do – but just listing the three things that you need to do for the day, not the whole list. If you get those three things, great. It's a bonus. If you can't do self-care, then you identify something you want to do that's going to be helpful in the future. But you want to compartmentalize those things better. Instead of looking at the totality. An example I used to use, and maybe I need to start cutting back now, is Thanksgiving. You go home for Thanksgiving, and you've got a million dishes that you can have. And you're very excited, and you load your plate up. Next thing you know, you're already full, and you haven’t even eaten. Focus on what's on the fork.

Nyge: Being seen as an adult can be really difficult when you're young. How do you advise young people to create boundaries with adults in their lives to establish themselves as adults themselves? 

AJ: That is a great question. Where do I start with that? You know, so this may be more of a challenge for people. It's not something you can just wake up today and say, ‘I want to change how I move or how I communicate.’ But learning better communication strategies, and maybe that means talking to a therapist or someone else that has that knowledge. But what I would say is, first of all, have a game plan.

If you're going to have a conversation with parents or other older people about these boundaries that you want to set, you want to make sure everyone's calm. You want to have a plan of what you want to say, and you want to be direct with it. So it can go like, “You know, I love you all, and I'm appreciative that you paid my tuition and that you've always been supportive. However, you know, I'm away at school. I'm learning to be more independent. I'm learning to understand what works best for me. And these are the things that I need in order to remain healthy.” Right?

Whether it is only calling twice a week or once a month, whatever, to check in with your parents and that, and asking them to understand that. Or maybe you're returning home for a holiday, and you don't feel up to spending all day Christmas with the entire family. Right? So sharing in advance, this is what I need to have peace. 

Nyge: That’s powerful. Yeah. 

AJ: Yeah. And I mean like just like you experienced growing pains transitioning to adulthood, parents also experience growing pains of having to let go of being this protective as they have been. So we have to give grace on both sides. Right? 

Nyge: Yeah

AJ: So allowing them grace if they still act in a way that treats you like a child, right? You want to remember that it's a new practice to enforce boundaries. And it's a new practice for people to learn your boundaries. 

Jalen: So, what do you think are some unique challenges that people of color face when transitioning into adulthood? 

AJ: So. Obviously, I'm at a predominantly white college right now, and I think those two experiences – being here versus an HBCU, can be different – but, I want to start there. So first of all, not being afraid to be nice or connect with people that look like you. Maybe you come from a background where a head nod is good. Right? And that's it. And you keep moving. Well, you want to establish some real relationships in college because those are going to be the people that help you get through. Whether it's emotionally, financially, or academically, you want to establish a circle. Create a circle of people that are like-minded, whether it's values or academic goals. Right? So that's the first thing. The second thing is again going back to accessing mental health services. If you feel like you're experiencing something where you want to talk to someone, it doesn't have to be major. Right? But if you're looking to speak with someone, process stress, anxiety, maybe you've had trauma in childhood. This is going to be the safe space where you can share it and not feel like somebody is going to bring it up as soon as you end the relationship or friendship, whatever. Right? And it's different because that is not how we operate in our [Black] community. So, as you're transitioning into college, this is an opportunity, again, for you not only to address the challenges you're having but to change the generational patterns around it. 

Nyge: I'm curious: What questions should young people ask themselves to understand what type of adults they'd like to be at this stage in life? What should you be? What should you be asking yourself? 

AJ: I think you should be open to trying new things. Right? So, what have I experienced in the past that made me happy? Was it being in the service of someone else? Would you be interested in volunteering? Do you find that you enjoy cooking or art? But maybe your family doesn't feel that that pays well enough for you to pursue it educationally. Just being open to experimenting. You know, take an open art class, go to the gym, maybe do a martial arts thing, you know, just trying to think of things off the top. 

Nyge: Yeah. 

AJ: But just, you know, before I identify or define who I am, let me try some things and see what feels organic, before I start labeling. 

Jalen: So my last question for you is, what about growing older? Do you enjoy and like, what about growing older can young people look forward to

AJ: Great question. I think the thing that I enjoy most about growing older now is that I have two sons in their 20s, and my youngest son just shared with me that they’re expecting a baby this summer. So that means I'm going to be a granddad. 

Nyge: Congrats. Congrats. 

AJ: And, you know, 20 years ago, didn't want no parts of that. Maybe even five years ago. But now that it's actually going to happen, I'm shopping for stuff and the baby hasn't even been born yet. And it's a boy. So, you know, it's something about having sons, especially where you can see them grow and recognize your contributions to that growth. Right? This is the next me. So I think that's the most exciting thing. And it’s the thing that makes me most happy. Watching them grow. Watching them navigate life and still coming to me when they have questions or challenges. Right? 

Nyge: Perfect. Yeah. Thank you. Thank you so much for that. Thank you for coming on this interview. We really enjoyed it. 

AJ: You know, it was a pleasure. Like I said, talking to the two of you, as it does feel like I'm talking to my sons to an extent. Right? Two younger Black men that I want to impart my knowledge on, with hopes that you will do the same for younger people. 

Jalen: That’s AJ Deloney, a licensed clinical social worker and staff therapist at UChicago Student Wellness at the University of Chicago. You can connect with AJ online at

If you or anyone you know needs help right now, TEXT or call 988 to reach the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. That’s a free, confidential connection with a trained counselor by texting or calling 988.
And, if you just want information about mental health and substance use, you can call 1-800-662-HELP. That’s 1-800-662-4357.

Nyge: Adult ISH is produced by YR Media, a national network of young artists and journalists creating content for this generation.

Our show is produced by Fredia Lucas, and by me – your boy, Nyge Turner.

Jalen: Our engineer is James Riley, and our audio engineering fellow is Christian Romo.

Nyge: YR’s director of podcasting is Sam Choo.

Jalen: YR’s senior director of podcasting and partnerships is Rebecca Martin.

Nyge: Our interns are Menelik Ransom and Jalen Black - who definitely earned a producer credit on this episode.

Original music for this episode is created by these young musicians at YR: 

Jalen: Christian Romo, Anders Knutstad, Noah Holt, Jacob Armenta, Chaz Whitley, Michael Diaz, Sean Luciano Galarza, and David Lawrence.

Music direction by Oliver “Kuya” Rodriguez and Maya Drexler. 

Nyge: Art and visuals are produced by the youth co-led design team at YR Media. 

Creative Direction by Pedro Vega Jr. Designs by Jess Smolinski, Marjerrie Masicat and Brigido Bautista.

Jalen: Project management by Eli Arbreton. 

Nyge: Special thanks to Kathy Chaney and Kyra Kyles.

Jalen: Adult ISH is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a network of independent creator-owned, listener-supported podcasts. Discover audio with vision at

Nyge: And if you haven’t reviewed our show on Spotify or Apple Podcasts, please be sure to do so. Five stars is much-appreciated.

Jalen: You can follow us on all the socials at @YRAdultISH. And on that note…

Nyge: Later!

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