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  • Client Info
  • Donate
  • Get Help Now
    • Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

      If you or someone you know is in crisis, call or text:

      9-8-8
      (24/7, free & confidential)

      Or chat with a crisis counselor:
      Chat Now

      Peer-to-peer support for teens
      (Teen Line)
      800-852-8336
      6pm-10pm PST

    • Get Services

      For mental health or substance use services, call intake:

      LA County:
      888-807-7250

      Mon-Fri 8:30am-5:00pm

    • Crisis Counseling

      If you or someone you know has experienced thoughts of suicide, made a suicide attempt, or lost someone to suicide, we provide healing during and through your crisis.

      Get Help Today

The Healing Goes Both Ways

Think back to when you were young. Did you have someone in your life who you could go to when you needed support? Someone who held space for you without judgement – to guide and protect you?

For Kris Eterea (They/them), Program Coordinator at Our Third Place, having the opportunity to show up as a safe adult for youth in our Transitional Age Youth (TAY) Program is a full circle notion. From a very early age, their life experiences prepared them for a role in mental health and helping others. Kris always felt energized by connecting with peers facing difficult issues, listening and helping them to feel validated.

After graduating with a master’s in social work from USC, Kris began working in community mental health with clients on Skid Row. Shortly after the pandemic, they joined Didi Hirsch working in the adult Full-Service Partnership (FSP) division before moving to the TAY program. 

In working with youth, there are so many unique opportunities to watch their growth and healing come to fruition. Didi Hirsch hosts a Youth Summit in the summer where youth ages 14-18 build community, practice the skills they’ve learned in therapy, and step out of their comfort zone in a safe environment. Throughout the course of nine weeks, participants and therapists work on a collaborative project. Most recently, the project was a short, animated film called, Thin Air.

Kris recalls a teen that participated in the Youth Summit that was very reserved and closed off at the start of the program. Over the summer, they became invested in participating in the summit in a way that was meaningful for them. They started speaking up more, offered suggestions during the creation process, and, ultimately, volunteered to voice a main character in the film.

At the end of the summit, the movie premiered. There was a particularly impactful moment in which the teen came and stood by Kris, not saying anything, but just wanted to be in their proximity after a big night.

“As someone who has had a lack of healthy adults [growing up], being able to see how the youth engage with me is validation that I am a healthy adult – even if it’s someone who just wants to stand next to you. I’m so glad to be able to show up in that way for our youth,” said Kris. “Seeing that I am able to make those connections, build trust, and can be a safe adult for a young person that I did not have growing up – The healing goes both ways.”

Kris facilitates weekly art therapy groups and sessions at our youth drop-in center, Our Third Place, in Glendale. For a virtual tour of the space, click here.

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