Motherhood and Mental Health Focus of Discussion with Local Author – May 22

In honor of Mother’s Day and Mental Health Awareness Month, the Goleta Library is pleased to host Conversation with an Author: Thoughts on Motherhood, Mental Health, and Moving Forward When Life Goes Off-Script, on Sunday, May 22, from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. with local author Valerie Cantella. The library is located at 500 N. Fairview Avenue.

In this interview-style program, Ms. Cantella will share about the experiences which led her to write Off-Script: a mom’s journey through adoption, a husband’s alcoholism, and special needs parenting. Join this honest and authentic conversation about thought-provoking topics followed by Q&A.

Goleta Library Director Allison Gray said, “We’re thrilled to be able to gather in person again and to offer this program to our community. With the widespread impacts of the pandemic on mental health, we are pleased to be able to raise awareness and bring attention to this important topic, particularly through one of our local authors.”

Ms. Cantella is a Goleta resident and has served the community as a former City of Goleta employee and on the Goleta School Board.


Many people fantasize about their futures: a loving family, a dream job, and a house with a white picket fence. These dreams often turn into expectations for “happily ever after.”

For Valerie Cantella, childhood hopes of a soul mate, children, and a fulfilling career turned into a script … written and edited to perfection. But life did not follow her plan.

A lifelong battle with Type 1 diabetes, the unfolding trauma of mental health crises with a special needs adopted daughter, and her husband’s struggle with alcoholism shattered her childhood dreams. And nearly crushed her.

But sometimes, an off-script journey takes you through the unimaginable to where you were meant to be all along—amid hope and healing.

To see more upcoming events at the Goleta and Santa Ynez Valley Libraries click here.