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By Chris Neklason
Published May 13, 2024

People are nearby to throw you a line if you feel you are sinking. People are nearby to throw you a line if you feel you are sinking. Image credit: CoolR   Shutterstock/standard

May is Mental Health Month

This week, we note that May is Mental Health Month.  If you live in one of the 10 counties in our coverage area, we include links to groups focusing on supporting your health and well-being below. If not, know that your community has resources available to assist you with information a web search away.

Most importantly, if you or someone in your family is in crisis or having suicidal thoughts, call the California Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline at 988.

Also, as always: Peruse your cureated local News Feed; learn about a local nonprofit doing good work; and check out our Recipe of the Week.


California's Mental Health History

A harrowing number of young people report living in despair, while we witness thousands of our neighbors suffering in the streets. Jon Vankin on the unintended consequenses of a misguided health-care reform effort.


UPDATE: California’s Mental Health Crisis: How We Got Here

The California mental health crisis is tied to both homelessness and rising crime.
How the California mental health crisis emerged out of the state’s history of deinstitutionalization and laws designed to protect the mentally ill, as well as the communities around them.

A Visitation from the Northern Lights

A mega-storm on the sun and earth's magenetic field collabroated on a show over the weekend.


Aurora Borealis in the Santa Cruz Mountains


The Northern Lights appeared in Northern and Central California Saturday night.

Santa Cruz County Mental Health Resources

Life is the hardest job there is. Luckily, nobody's in it on their own.

Every community is home to a network of helpers to assist when things become more than one can handle alone.

We’ve gathered a list of Santa Cruz County nonprofit community groups with a mission to help people through times of crisis ill health and the challenges of aging or past service in the military.

If things are feeling too heavy or out of control, reach out.

And if you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, call the California suicide prevention and mental health lifeline now at 988.

Recipe of the Week

Our friends at Sacramento Digs Gardening publish a recipe from their gardens every Sunday, which we feature here so you can start your week with some yum.

See more recipes in their Taste Spring! cookbook.


Chilled asparagus soup an elegantly cool dish

Serve the soup chilled but not ice-cold for best flavor. Top with crème fraîche, chopped chives and a blanched asparagus top.
New! Spring asparagus blends well with green garlic


Impact Report Image for decorative use


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Santa Cruz County's Homepage

Our overview page for Santa Cruz County is updated daily with the latest state and local news, weather alerts, local government announcements and local blog posts and news snippets from community groups and individuals.
Direct your browser to santacruz.californialocal.com to catch up on the latest news in California and Santa Cruz County. Bookmark the link and visit often, there's a lot happening in your community!


Get to Know a Group

Recovery Café Santa Cruz logo Recovery Café Santa Cruz

This local nonprofit group provides a sober support network for individuals recovering from trauma.

→ Learn more

California Media Alliance logo

From Our Media Allies

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KSQD logo Two Founding Mother’s of the Santa Cruz Women’s Health Collective Reflect on Its History and Legacy

Santa Cruz has a powerful activist history, and one of the most impressive outcomes for our county emerged from the Women’s Health Collective of the early 70’s.

The Pajaronian logo Watsonville Kicks Off Ramsay Park Renaissance Project

Watsonville city officials gathered Friday to break ground on a major renovation and upgrade for Ramsay Park.

Santa Cruz Local logo Photo Essay: UC Santa Cruz Students Urge Divestment From Weapons Makers

More than 150 people have been part of a Gaza solidarity camp with at least 40 tents at UC Santa Cruz’s Quarry Plaza. Demonstrators have asked University of California leaders to divest from weapons manufacturers and made other demands.

The Pajaronian logo Demanding Divestment

After a late spring rain storm hit the area over the weekend, UC Santa Cruz students continued their protest of the Israel-Gaza war, occupying the University’s Quarry Plaza in an action meant to pressure the school into divesting from companies …

The Pajaronian logo Pajaro Valley Arts Names New Director

Pajaro Valley Arts (PVA) Board of Directors has chosen Miriam Anton as their new Executive Director.

Press Banner logo San Lorenzo Valley Schools Grapple With Declining Enrollment Post-Covid, Wildfires

San Lorenzo Valley classrooms still have hundreds of students fewer than they did before the coronavirus pandemic and massive wildfires rocked the region.

Press Banner logo Longtime Rec Manager Sues City of Scotts Valley for Disability Discrimination

Kristin Ard, a longtime municipal worker who’s been battling cancer, is suing the City of Scotts Valley for disability discrimination.

Hilltromper Santa Cruz logo Inaugural Santa Cruz County Wildfire Resilience Summit - June 6, 2024

Learn about wildfire resilience projects and resources for landowners at the inaugural Santa Cruz County Wildfire Resilience Summit.

Santa Cruz Local logo Second Apartment Complex Proposed on Almar Avenue in Santa Cruz

At a community meeting Tuesday, developers unveiled plans for a three-story building that could bring 38 affordable homes to the Westside.

Good Times logo Salinas River Beach State Park Hike

During my brief running phase, I ran in the Santa Cruz to Capitola Wharf to Wharf Race. I was dead last. The guy who was right in front of me, second to last, starts making fun of me.

Good Times logo Character Advancement

Sometimes life’s biggest chances come down to just a roll of the dice. Especially when that chance is on GAME Santa Cruz, the city’s first gaming cafe.

Hilltromper Silicon Valley logo Tips on Ticks for Lyme Disease Awareness Month

Partly due to global warming and the proliferation of ticks, Lyme disease is the fastest growing infectious disease in the US. Here’s how to protect yourself.

The Pajaronian logo Sheriff’s Fentanyl Crisis Response Team Uses Education, Enforcement

After 133 people died in Santa Cruz County in 2023 after overdosing on Fentanyl, the Sheriff’s Office has launched a new way to address the problem, with a special focus on the people who deal the dangerous drug.

The Pajaronian logo The Future of the Rail-Trail: Montesino and McPherson Share Their Thoughts

As long-time elected representatives for the northernmost and southernmost reaches of Santa Cruz County, we believe the community conversation over the Rail Trail should be thoughtful, respectful, and inclusive.

  California Local Pin Marker  

Recent Local News

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• Rail Trail Segments Impact Mobile Home Parks

The Santa Cruz Regional Transportation Commission has informed some residents of two mobile home parks in Live Oak of a need to move their units 1 to 4 feet due to encroachment over lot boundaries.

(05/13/2024) → Lookout Local

• Oversize Vehicle Ordinance Extension Granted

The California Coastal Commission granted a two-year extension to the controversial City of Santa Cruz ban on overnight RV street parking.

(05/09/2024) → Lookout Local

• Coastal Commission to Consider RV Parking Ban Appeal

The California Coastal Commission is set to consider an appeal of the City of Santa Cruz ban on overnight parking mandated by the Oversized Vehicle Ordinance.

(05/07/2024) → Santa Cruz Sentinel

• Capitola Wharf to Reopen in August

While it might be reopening in August, Capitola is still in the process of developing a long-term vision for the iconic wharf.

(05/07/2024) → Santa Cruz Sentinel

• Whale City Bakery Expands to Aptos

Long a fixture in Davenport, a second location of the Whale City Bakery Bar & Grill is set to open in Aptos at 7941 Soquel Drive.

(05/07/2024) → Edible Monterey Bay

• New PVUSD Superintendent Heather Contreras Profiled

An introduction to new Pajaro Valley Unified School District Superintendent Heather Contreras.

(05/07/2024) → Lookout Local
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Government Announcements

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Image of County of Santa Cruz seal. County of Santa Cruz   (05/13/2024)

Change in South County Human Services Department Location

Image of County of Santa Cruz seal. County of Santa Cruz   (05/13/2024)

Cambio en la ubicación del Departamento de Servicios Humanos del Sur del Condado

Image of City of Capitola seal. City of Capitola   (05/11/2024)

Seasonal Parking Permit Enforcement Starts May 20th, 2024

2024 Seasonal Neighborhood Residential Parking Permits are Available Now! $25.00 each Permit Parking enforcement begins May 20th and continues through to September 20th. Parking Permits are sold at the Capitola Police Department Business Office, and the office is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm, excluding Holidays. Please review the permit rules if you are establishing with us …
Image of United States seal. United States   (05/10/2024)

Healthwest Minerals Inc. DBA Mt Capra Products Recalls Goat Milk Formula Recipe Kit and Warns Consumers Against the Use of Product as Infant Formula

Healthwest Minerals, Inc. d/b/a Mt. Capra Products of Chehalis, Washington, is recalling 1,506 boxes of Goat Milk Formula Recipe Kit on the recommendation of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and advises consumers to immediately discontinue use of the product as infant formula. The FDA is conc
Image of City of Watsonville seal. City of Watsonville   (05/10/2024)

Now Hiring: City Manager

Image of United States seal. United States   (05/10/2024)

Western Mixers Produce & Nuts, Inc. Recalls Yogurt Covered Pretzels Because of Possible Health Risk

Western Mixers Produce & Nuts, Inc. of Ontario, CA is recalling Yogurt Covered Pretzels, because the yogurt coating has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with wea
Image of United States seal. United States   (05/10/2024)

Voluntary Recall of Select Great Value Organic Black Chia Seeds Due to The Possible Presence of Salmonella

Natural Sourcing International is initiating a voluntary recall of one lot of Great Value Organic Black Chia Seeds 32 oz. due to the potential presence of Salmonella that may be in some of the finished products. Salmonella can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or
Image of State of California seal. State of California   (05/10/2024)

Robert Rivas CA Assembly 29:
May Revise Response - Joint Statement from Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas and Budget Chair Jesse Gabriel

May Revise Response - Joint Statement from Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas and Budget Chair Jesse Gabriel hagamasc Fri, 05/10/2024 - 11:53 Title Press Secretary Email Cynthia.Moreno@asm.ca.gov Phone 916-319-2029 Friday, May 10, 2024 Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas, Budget Chair Jesse Gabriel Respond to Governors May Revision SACRAMENTO, CA On Friday, Speaker of the Assembly Robert Rivas (D-Salinas) and Assembly Budget Committee …
Image of City of Watsonville seal. City of Watsonville   (05/09/2024)

Library Closure: Memorial Day

Watsonville Public Libraries will be closed in observance of Memorial Day on Monday, May 27.
Image of City of Watsonville seal. City of Watsonville   (05/09/2024)

Officers issue dozens of citations during Distracted Driving Awareness Month