La Quinta Desert FLOW center focuses on youth mental health

Employees at Desert Flow, a transitional youth center pose for a photo.  Left to right are Sarah Figueroa, Robbie Wilkinson, Alyssa Huntington, Alex Garcia, Elizabeth Esquivel, Javier Sanchez in their offices in La Quinta, California, September 7, 2022.

Jennifer De Leon graduated near the top of her class at Palm Desert High School, but when it came to applying to college it seemed like the world was crashing down around her.

“I would always just go to the next highest level,” she said. “Honors, Advanced Placement.” Then, I broke down.”

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

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

For more than a year since then, De Leon, who turned 20 in December, has been treated by Riverside University Health System.

During that time, she went from barely leaving her bed to holding down a job and rebuilding relationships with her parents and friends.

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