Jacksonville BUZZ Magazine interviews YCC President and CEO, Kim Sirdevan

On September 8th, Kim Sirdevan spoke with Chelsea Vance from BUZZ Magazine. She discussed YCC’s history as a haven for children since 1974 and how YCC is maintaining this status by adding more programs designed to help children and their families. Click here to read the article.

The Youth Crisis Center is open 24/7 and has staff available daily to provide immediate guidance. The Youth Crisis Center Hotline is 904-725-6662.


The Youth Crisis Center, Butterfly Garden Luncheon: Celebrating the Wings of Change

Join the Youth Crisis Center on Friday, November 17th 2017 for our Butterfly Garden Luncheon, Celebrating the Wings of Change. YCC has a lot to celebrate, including our new focus towards awareness on the impact of trauma for youth and families and our recent collaboration with Jacksonville Area Sexual Minority Youth Network (JASMYN). Enjoy a garden picnic luncheon on our campus to celebrate and learn more about this alliance, and you’ll also have the opportunity to help us put the finishing touches on our new butterfly garden.

YCC, established in 1974 as Florida’s first runaway program, has grown to be one of the largest and well-known providers of services for children, adolescents, young adults and families. YCC’s nationally accredited programs provide residential crisis care services, mental health counseling, life skills training and transitional living assistance with the goal of strengthening families and restoring hope. In addition to these services, YCC is expanding our focus to include educating families and children about the effect that traumatic life events can have. Traumatic life events cause an increased need for mental health services and intervention. Our new collaboration with JASYMN is a part of YCC’s effort to be more inclusive while embracing families and transforming lives. Many LGBTQ youth and young adults experience rejection from their families and victimization through verbal and physical abuse by their peers and society. These traumatic experiences often have a negative impact that can lead them to join the growing population of homeless youth and young adults, thus increasing their susceptibility to suicide.

By offering support you will directly impact YCC by providing:

  • Immediate housing for homeless children and young adults
  • Crisis services, including suicide screening for those affected by trauma
  • Mental health counseling and psychiatric care
  • Life skills training
  • Nutritious meals for children and young adults in our residential programs

If you are interested in learning more about the different levels of sponsorship available and how to become a sponsor, please visit our website today and call 904-446-4966


Embracing Families. Transforming Lives.

First Coast Forum Interview with Kim Sirdevan, President and CEO of the Youth Crisis Center, and Brian Middleton

On August 30th Kim Sirdevan stopped by First Coast Forum to chat with Brian Middleton about the programs that the Youth Crisis Center offers and the repositioning of their brand. In 1974 former Councilwoman Gwen Yates founded the Transient Youth Center which was a safe shelter space for runaway youth. In 1982, it became Youth Crisis Center. Fast forward 43 years and the heart of the Youth Crisis Center is still very much the same. While expanding to provide more programs geared towards reuniting families they have shifted their focus from serving “at-risk” youth towards serving youth and families impacted by traumatic life events.

Youth Crisis Center offers six programs:

  • Residential Crisis Care
  • Family Link
  • Outpatient Behavioral Health
  • SNAP (Stop Now and Plan)
  • Touchstone Village
  • Project Safe Place

Another big conversation point in the interview is the new House of Hope emergency shelter initiative that YCC is launching in collaboration with JASMYN. This shelter will primarily serve homeless LGBTQ young adults ages 18-24 while acting as a safe space and providing important services that will assist in gaining skills necessary for self-sufficiency. YCC is hopeful to open the House of Hope in early 2018, a goal that is contingent on the receipt of critical recurring operational dollars. YCC is seeking funding opportunities to help support the necessary $650,000 in estimated first year operational costs for the emergency shelter.

Listen to the full interview below to learn more about the programs that the Youth Crisis Center provides and other ways you can get involved.

The Youth Crisis Center is open 24/7 and has staff available daily to provide immediate guidance. The Youth Crisis Center Hotline is 904-725-6662.

Youth Crisis Center CEO and President Kim Sirdevan interviewed by iHeart Radio

On Sunday August 6, 2017, Kim Sirdevan, President and CEO of the Youth Crisis Center, was interviewed by iHeart Radio about their current happenings, the repositioning of their brand, and new collaboration with JASMYN. The Youth Crisis Center, founded in 1974, is known as Florida’s first runaway program, has grown to be one of the largest and best-known providers of services for children, teens, young adults, and families. 43 years later YCC serves over 1,300 clients annually by helping to provide therapeutic intervention to stabilize families in crisis situations.

Kim Sirdevan has been with the Youth Crisis Center for 17 years. Kim knew at an early age that she wanted to help children by giving them an opportunity to have a voice when often their concerns were overshadowed by life occurrences. After earning her master’s degree in social work, she joined YCC as a therapist, where she was able to listen and provide therapeutic guidance and support for the children and families who desperately needed direction.  Now, as President and CEO of the Youth Crisis Center, she continues to provide children and families therapeutic intervention by creating policy and programs that are relevant to the ongoing challenges of our community as well as advocacy at the state level through dialogue with state legislators.

Listen to the full interview below to learn more about the important and impactful services YCC is providing in the Jacksonville community and surrounding counties.

The Youth Crisis Center is open 24/7 and has staff available daily to provide immediate guidance. The Youth Crisis Center Hotline is 904-725-6662.



May is Mental Health Awareness Month

mental health ycc

In honor of May being Mental Health Awareness Month, this blog post will focus on getting rid of the stigma surrounding mental health. Mental Health Awareness Month was started in 1949 and continues to share resources to help people and heal emotional and psychological wounds. Those who are affected by mental illness continue to be treated differently by society and Mental Health Awareness Month continues to fight these perceptions. Mental health can be defined as anything that deals with our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Our mental health helps to determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. There are many different factors that can contribute to mental health. These factors include:

  • Biological factors, such as genes or brain chemistry
  • Life experiences, such as trauma or abuse
  • Family history of mental health problems

According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness, 1 in 5 U.S. adults will experience a mental health condition in a lifetime, and even more people will be touched by mental illnesses through family members and friends. This is why it is so important to de-stigmatize mental health, as so many are personally affected or know someone who is affected. Here are some statistics that illustrate just how common mental illness is:

  • 1 in 10 young people experience a period of major depression
  • 1 in 25 Americans live with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, Bipolar disorder, or major depression.
  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States for adults and is the 2nd leading cause of death for ages 10-24. Every day in our nation there are an average of over 5,240 suicide attempts by young people grades 7-12.

These numbers are only increasing as people struggle to balance their mental health with the stresses of everyday life. Positive mental health allows people to realize their full potential, cope with the stresses of life, and work productively. There are several ways you can improve your mental health. First and foremost is receiving professional help. Other ways include:

  • Connecting with others
  • Getting physically active
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Developing coping skills

Warning Signs:

If you are not sure if you or someone you know is living with a mental health concern, experiencing one or more of the following behaviors or feelings can be an early warning sign that there is something deeper going on:

  • Change in sleep and eating habits
  • Pulling away from people and usual activities
  • Having low or no energy
  • Feeling helpless or hopeless
  • Having unexplained aches and pains
  • Feeling unusually confused, forgetful, on edge, angry, upset, worried or scared
  • Experiencing severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships
  • Experiencing behavioral concerns that disrupts school, work, or family
  • Having persistent thoughts and memories you can’t get out of your head
  • Hearing voices or believing things that are not true
  • Thinking of harming yourself or others
  • Inability to perform daily tasks like taking care of your children or getting to work or school

These signs can be indicative that an individual is struggling, so reaching out is crucial. It is important to ask for help if you or someone you know needs it. The Youth Crisis Center is a wonderful resource to those who are struggling or have questions. Mental illness does not have to be isolating. Youth Crisis Center’s crisis line is open 24/7 for anything you may need, even if it is just to talk.

Resources available:

Youth Crisis Center

  • Toll Free: 1-877-720-0007
  • Local Number: 904-725-6662
  • Email: info@ycc.org

Mental Health America:

  • 24 hour crisis center: 1-800-273-TALK
  • Text MHA to: 741741

National Institute of Mental Health:

  • 1-800-662-HELP
  • 1-866-615-6464