WPFP12: Rising Like a Phoenix: A Journey of Self Discovery, Crushing Stigma, and Empowering Youth with Liesl Moldow


In this Episode

- SEASON FINALE - “What would happen if we told the truth about our lives?” In this final episode of season 1, Liesl Moldow shares her real, raw, and incredibly inspiring parenting journey. When Liesl graduated from business school, she had plans to change the world. She had no idea how her parenting experience would set her on a different – and vastly more meaningful – course. Liesl and her husband Charles have four kids, one who was born with acute special health care needs. The stress of caregiving nearly brought Liesl to her knees. Her path of self-discovery, along with her other daughter’s alarming struggles with anxiety, spurred her to do something to make a difference. Liesl co-founded a nonprofit, called Safe Space, to empower young people to change the conversation around mental health issues. In this refreshingly transparent conversation, we talk about crushing stigma, a new approach to supporting emotional wellbeing, and how caring for yourself as a parent can make the biggest impact.

Note: SEASON 2 begins this fall!

About Liesl

Liesl Moldow, is Co-Founder of Safe Space, a non-profit organization based in the Bay Area that empowers young people to change the conversation around mental health issues. Their mission is to promote mental wellness, reduce stigma, and develop solutions to enhance the lives of all young people.

Liesl has more than 18 years of sales and management experience. Before joining SafeSpace, she worked at various internet and telecommunications companies both in sales and strategy areas. She is the mother of 4, and after experiencing anxiety and depression as a teen, she is more determined than ever to help other young adults develop tools and coping mechanisms to manage their own difficulties. She has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a B.S. from Stanford University.

What You’ll Learn

  • Why Liesl and her partners decided to establish a youth-driven program to support emotional health.

  • How our crisis-oriented system often misses the preventative care that young people need.

  • How Safe Space created a “virtual” continuum of care that spans from early intervention and prevention to acute inpatient services.

  • Why peer-driven support is an important piece of the puzzle.

  • What kinds of programs middle and high-schoolers created to support each other.

  • Why the older generation is more likely to keep mental health issues private.

  • How privacy around medical information contributes to the hush-hush mentality around mental health issues.

  • How emotional wellbeing is like a muscle: you have to work at it.

  • An exciting way that social technology is being used to support emotional wellbeing

  • How adult alliance groups are creating a village of support to help youth recover and thrive

  • Why we need to let go of anger

  • How leading a healthy life is the best thing we can model for our kids

  • How focusing on friends who are “energy givers” makes a difference

  • Why we need to ditch the supermom model for a new paradigm

  • Liesl’s top advice for parents who are feeling overwhelmed

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Resources Mentioned

  • Safe Space is a nonprofit organization that Liesl co-founded. It empowers young people to change the conversation around mental health issues.

  • HeadSpace is an Australian non-profit organization for youth mental health established by the Australian government in 2006. This is the model that Liesl and her partners had in mind when they were developing Safe Space.

  • 7 Cups is a website which provides online therapy and free support to people experiencing emotional distress by connecting them with trained listeners. The listener, trained in active listening, interacts with the person seeking help via an anonymous and confidential chat. They are one of Safe Space’s partners.

  • Safe Space has partnered with a number of organizations to provide a full continuum of care that spans from early intervention and prevention to acute inpatient services. You can learn about their partners here.

  • Article Liesl mentioned: A Friends-and-Family Intervention for Preventing Teen Suicide – Researchers are focusing new attention on boosting social connectedness for teens following hospitalization for suicide attempts or ideations here.

Kendra Wilde