Welcome to the Hope Happens Here Podcast presented by Be Well OC.

Be Well OC is a transformative movement bringing together public, private, academic and faith-based organizations, as well as others, to create a coordinated system of mental health care and support for all Orange County, California residents. 

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Podcast Overview

Hope Happens Here is hosted by Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Kate Gosney.

Kate Gosney’s broad experience in behavioral health and addiction treatment allows her to present authentic and meaningful conversations about mental health, dive deep into topics like suicide prevention, substance use disorders, mental health equity, resources and even explore timely issues like dealing with mental illness during a world pandemic.

Along the way, Hope Happens Here will continually spotlight brilliant voices from our community, showcasing the powerful the work being done to provide best-in-class mental health care and resources to all. Hope Happens Here will be a place for intimate and insightful conversations around all aspects of mental health in Orange County and beyond.

Hope Happens Here will explore the real experiences that people are facing in our community today, reflecting on stories, experiences and research that will help us all learn and grow together.

Hope Happens Here. May we all be well.

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Podcast Episodes

Dr. Michelle Jo Park: Meeting Seniors Where They Are

August 25, 2021

Dr. Michelle Jo Park works with the Council on Aging – Southern California, where she serves as the program psychiatrist for its ReConnect Program. She shares how her practice has changed over the course of the pandemic, including the benefits and obstacles of an all-virtual practice. She also discusses the impact of the pandemic on our older adult population. 

Dr. Dani Milliken & Liz Hawkins: Demystifying Mental Health Treatment

August 11, 2021

Dr. Dani Milliken serves as the Director of Mental Health at CHOC, Children’s Hospital of Orange County. Liz Hawkins is a long-time volunteer at CHOC and mental health advocate. In this episode, they discuss what mental health treatment for children and teens actually looks like and help to demystify that process. They also share insights that may be helpful to caretakers seeking mental health treatment for their children. 

Andi Long: They Didn't Know We Were Seeds

JULY 28, 2021

Andi Long is the founder of the Bloom Foundation, a social-emotional learning program that encourages middle and high school girls to grow from bullying. Having experienced bullying when she was younger, Andi took the lessons she learned and created this curriculum to help the next generation of young women cope with bullying incidents. In this episode, Andi discusses cyberbullying among teens, its effects and how girls can navigate bullying experiences. 

Johnice Williams and Orlando Vera: Nothing About Us Without Us

JULY 14, 2021

Johnice Williams and Orlando Vera are co-founders of Peer Voices of OC, a group that works to empower individuals who live with mental health conditions. They share their experiences navigating the mental health care system, the need for self-advocacy and the stigma associated with mental health. 

Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer: The Societal Cost of Mental Illness

June 30, 2021

Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer has been involved in the criminal justice system for more than 20 years. During that time, he has seen how mental illness and substance use disorders impact societies as a whole and the devastation they can have on families. In this episode, he shares some of his insights – both personal and professional – as well as what is happening in Orange County’s mental health arena. 

Marsha Staring: A Story of Recovery and Resilience

June 16, 2021

 Ten years ago, if you had told Marsha Staring that she’d be where she is today, she would have told you that you have a better chance of having coffee with God. Once homeless and living with drug use and alcoholism, Marsha has transformed her life. She is now 9 years sober and works every day to help others who are in need. This is her story. 

Daniel Patterson: Creating Life Tools from Life Experiences

June 2, 2021

 Daniel Patterson is a strong advocate for adolescent mental health and wellness. Drawing on his experience as a former educator, as well as someone in recovery, he discusses the importance of prioritizing teens’ well-being. 

Sheriff Don Barnes: Mental Health and the Criminal Justice System

May 19, 2021

 Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes has been in law enforcement for more than 30 years. Today, he discusses the relationship between the mental health and wellness of communities and the criminal justice system. 

Dr. Clayton Chau: Navigating a Community Through a Pandemic

May 5, 2021

 Dr. Clayton Chau has had a busy year. As the director of the Orange County Health Care Agency and acting county health officer, he has helped Orange County to navigate the pandemic. During this episode, he discusses the importance of community in addressing physical and mental health challenges, as well as his own personal experiences.

Dr. Mario San Bartolome: The Perfect Storm

April 21, 2021

 Dr. Mario specializes in addiction. During this episode, he shares pertinent information about addiction and also discusses how COVID-19 has impacted those struggling with addiction and substance use disorders. 

Ellen Ahn: Checking In On the AAPI Community

April 7, 2021

Ellen Ahn has served as the Executive Director of Korean Community Services for the past 15 years. Prior to her current position there, she worked as a corporate attorney. Not feeling emboldened by her career path, she discovered her true passion for mental health through a volunteer position at Korean Community Services. Ellen discusses how the current hateful environment and recent events are impacting the mental health of the AAPI community and how that community is working to cope and heal.

Iliana Soto Welty: Drawing Out Stigma

MARCH 24, 2021

Having worked with ethnic communities for nearly 20 years, Iliana Soto Welty is keenly aware of the stigma and barriers that each ethnic community in Orange County faces as it relates to mental health. She discusses these struggles, as well as a unique way that she and MECCA are working with these communities to create healing. 

Dr. Heather Williams: Trained in Everything But Their Own Mental Health

MARCH 10, 2021

First responders deal with trauma every single day. Yet, they are often not trained in how to maintain their own mental wellness. Dr. Heather Williams, who specializes in helping first responders with their mental health, discusses the gaps that exist and the barriers – both internal and external – that first responders often face in regards to mental health and wellness.  

Kay Warren: Embracing Brokenness on the Road to Healing

FEBRUARY 24, 2021

After losing her son to suicide, Kay’s passion for mental health and wellness became even stronger. She shares the important role that the faith community can play in helping those who are struggling. 

Dr. Adela Cruz: Going Back to School?

FEBRUARY 10, 2021

As kids continue to return to the classroom, their new “normal” will look much different than it did pre-COVID. Dr. Adela Cruz discusses how students, parents and professionals in her district are coping and adapting.

Dr. Miguel Gallardo: Changing the Narrative

January 27, 2021

Dr. Miguel’s approach to mental health care is simple – let me learn what works for you, your culture and your community and use that power to find a better way to be. Hear from him about the issues facing our ethnic communities and how we can make our approach to mental health care more inclusive.

Dr. Heather Huszti: A Parallel Epidemic

January 27, 2021

Working on the front lines with children, therapists and the clinical team at Children’s Hospital of Orange County, Dr. Heather Huszti shares what’s going on in the world of mental health as it relates to kids and the pandemic, and practical steps we can take to support them.

Steve Pitman: One Size Does Not Fit All

January 27, 2021

Growing up with a brother who suffered from a severe mental illness, Steve learned how important it is to support those struggling with mental health issues. He shares how that has inspired and informed the work he does today.