16 November 2023
Katya Cengel’s story of resilience and recovery
The narrative in Katya Cengel’s new memoir “Straitjackets and Lunch Money” is set in motion by her volunteer work at a juvenile detention facility in the Bay Area in 2012. The experience served as a catalyst, unearthing memories of her own past. In 1986, at the age of 10, Cengel was hospitalized in the now defunct psychosomatic unit of Stanford Children’s Hospital, battling an extreme eating disorder. At the time of her admission, she weighed a mere 55 pounds. Her story is a reflection on the evolving landscape of mental healthcare and support for young people facing similar challenges.