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.



Art Therapy

Art therapy is defined as “…a treatment based on the interaction of the creator, the creation, and the therapist” (Freilich and Schechtman, 2010, p. 98). There are many ways to define art therapy and the definition itself is debated on across the field, along with the difference between an art therapist and a creative counselor. An art therapist has had training and has the knowledge of development through art and a creative counselor uses expressive arts incorporated into psychotherapy, but has not had proper training (Rosen & Atkins, 2014). I am a clinician, who would be classified as a “creative counselor” by this definition. I work with children every day and incorporate art assessments to help build rapport with my clients. Historically, art therapy was based off of the psychoanalytic theory, but more art therapists are started to lean towards a more humanistic model. The analysis of a client’s artwork is influenced by which theory the art therapist practices more and will determine the interpretation of the work. Art therapy assessments are meant to support or question mental health diagnoses and are meant to show visual representation of symptoms. I also use these art assessments in sessions to assist children and adolescents with expressing themselves in a visual manner, especially when a youth has a particularly difficult time finding words for their emotions. Incorporating art assessments and elements of art therapy into my practice has provided me with additional tools when assisting our youth in overcoming their challenges and providing a different medium for them to express themselves.
If you or someone you know needs help please contact the  Youth Crisis Center Hopeline at 1-877-720-0007 or the Jacksonville Youth Crisis Center at 904-720-0002.

Healthy Boundaries

Boundaries are guidelines, rules or limits that a person can create that that teach us acceptable and unacceptable behavior.  

It’s important to set boundaries in order to communicate what you will and will not tolerate from a person or a relationship. It’s a way of setting limits in a way that is healthy and allows you to practice self-care and self-respect.

The types of boundaries I will discuss are physical, emotional and intellectual.

Physical boundaries provide a barrier between you and an intruding force, like plastic gloves protect your hands from germs.  Physical boundaries include your body, sense of personal space, and privacy. An example of physical boundary violation would be a person who gets very close to you when they talk. An immediate response would be to step back to regain your personal space. By doing this you would be sending a non-verbal message that the person invaded your personal space. If the person continued to move closer, you might protect your space by telling him or her to stop crowding you. Other examples of physical boundary violation would be inappropriate touching, looking through someone’s person mail or reading someone’s journal. There are only a few examples of personal boundary violation.

Emotional and Intellectual boundaries protect you sense of self-esteem and ability to separate your feelings from others. When you have weak emotional boundaries, you expose yourself to being affected by others words, thoughts and actions and end up feeling wounded or bruised. Examples of emotional boundary violation would be sacrificing your plans and goals in order to please others; blaming others for your problems instead of accepting your responsibility; verbal abuse; assuming other know what you feel.

Healthy boundaries allow you to protect physical and emotional space from intrusion, separate your needs, thoughts and feelings from others; and empower yourself to make healthy choices.

If you or someone you know is having issues with boundaries and needs help please contact the Youth Crisis Center Hopeline at 1-877-720-0007 or 904-720-0002.


Adapted by the Violence Intervention and Prevention Center from, and Boundaries: Where You End and I Begin by Anne Katherine.

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Electronics

As an Outpatient therapist, I work with clients that come in with a wide array of diagnoses. However when I sit back and look at the clients I work with the most, the diagnosis that is most prevalent is Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD.

Per the DSM-V Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder has 3 subtypes: 1) predominately inattentive presentation; 2) predominantly hyperactive/impulsive presentation; or 3) combined type.

There are 9 symptoms of inattentive type:

  1. Often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in work, school work, or other activities
  2. Often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities
  3. Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
  4. Often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish school work, chores, or other duties in the work place.
  5. Often has difficulty in organizing tasks and activities
  6. Often avoids or is reluctant to engage in tasks that required a sustained mental effort
  7. Often loses things necessary for tasks for activities
  8. Is often easily distracted by extraneous stimuli
  9. Is often forgetful of daily activities

There are 9 symptoms of hyperactive/impulsive type:

  1. Often fidgets with or taps hands or squirms in seat
  2. Often leaves seat in situations when remaining seated is expected
  3. Often runs about or climbs in situations where it is inappropriate
  4. Often unable to play or engage in leisure activities quietly
  5. Is often “on the go” acting as if “driven by a motor”
  6. Often talks excessively
  7. Often blurts out answers before questions have been completed
  8. Often has difficulty awaiting turn
  9. Often interrupts or intrudes on others

If you or someone you know is suffering from ADHD and needs help please contact the Youth Crisis Center Hopeline at 1-877-720-0007 or 904-725-6662.

“The Baby Blues”: Postpartum Affective Disturbances

Motherhood, a role that can be described as an attainment of a woman’s true adulthood, fulfillment, and happiness. Yet, simultaneously, childbirth is regarded as a crisis in women’s lives that places them at risk for psychiatric disorders (Lee, 1997). The natural fluctuations in hormone levels that are associated with parturition are viewed as problematic. These fluctuations are believed to be the cause of postpartum affective disorders despite the fact that there is little evidence of a direct causal link (Llewellyn, Stowe, & Nemeroff, 1997; Nicolson, 1998).


There are three types of postpartum psychiatric disorders that are recognized. The most common, and least severe, is known as the maternity or baby blues. Between 50 and 80 percent of new mothers are believed to be affected by the baby blues, the symptoms of which are irritability and tearfulness that last for about two weeks after the birth. Postpartum depression affects approximately 10 percent of new mothers. Its symptoms include sadness and crying, self-blame, loss of control, irritability, tension, anxiety, and difficulty sleeping; the symptoms can last six months to one year after the birth. Postpartum psychosis, which can occur anytime during the first two weeks after the birth, affects the fewest women (about .1 to .2 percent). Women diagnosed with postpartum psychosis experience hallucinations and delusions that typically involve their infants (Cox, 1986; Whiffen, 1992).


Postpartum depression is the focus of most of the scientific and clinical literature (Johnston-

Robledo, 2000). Although some researchers (Nicolson, 1998; Whiffen, 1990) argue that there is no convincing evidence for postpartum depression as a clinical entity separate from depression at other times in women’s lives, it is recognized as a separate category in the DSM-IV (American Psychiatric Association, 1994). Among the justifications for its inclusion are that women who are at the highest risk of the diagnosis are those who have a family history of depression (O’Hara, Schlechte,Lewis, & Varner, 1991) and those who were depressed during their pregnancies (Graff, Dyck, & Schallow, 1991).


Researchers and clinicians can find ways to utilize their expertise to provide resources and educational opportunities for new mothers. For example, perinatal care is currently focused primarily on the physical aspects of childbirth. If a mental health component were routinely provided, it would give women opportunities to discuss their emotional states (Maunther, 1993). If longer maternity stays at hospitals were possible, nurses could make use of the time to provide additional education about postpartum adjustment and encourage women to discuss their feelings with other new mothers in the hospital.


We as counselors, case workers, victum advocates, psychiatrists, and psychologists can and should apply our skills to conduct research on postpartum adjustment in more diverse groups of women, to write for the popular press or suggest stories and angles to journalists, to lobby for longer maternity hospital stays and paid maternity leaves, to educate medical and nursing practitioners, and to offer to work in partnership with childbirth educators. New mothers need more and better sources of information about their experiences, and feminist professionals should take steps to help provide them.
If you or someone you know is suffering from Postpartum Depression and needs help please contact the Youth Crisis Center Hopeline at 1-877-720-0007 or 904-720-0002.