Project Safety Net is a collaborative community network held together by a common interest of fostering youth well-being in Palo Alto. Our mission is to develop and implement a community-based mental health plan that includes education, prevention and intervention strategies that together provide a “safety net” for youth in Palo Alto, and defines our community’s teen suicide prevention efforts.
PSN Updates and Event Highlights
- Epi-Aid Investigation in Palo Alto Update:
- The CDC Epi-Aid final report was released on March 3rd. It is posted on the Santa Clara County Department of Public Health website with a message from its public health director Dr. Sara Cody. A response to the final report from PSN Executive Director Mary Gloner can be viewed here.
- Epi-Aid Community Coordinating Committee is co-chaired by the Santa Clara Public Health Department and Project Safety Net. The committee represents five jurisdictions: Community, Education, Government, Healthcare Systems and Members-at-Large. The committee’s primary objectives are the following: (1.) Review preliminary and final CDC/SAMHSA reports (2.) Develop and execute dissemination plan for CDC/SAMHSA reports and (3.) Review CDC/SAMHSA recommendations. Download the latest Epi-Aid CCC member list.
- Palo Alto Community Survey: Because the Epi-Aid could not include new data collection in the field, Project Safety Net implemented a community survey in Palo Alto to better understand local perceptions around youth suicide and prevention, which they will share with all partners involved in the Epi-Aid process. The survey reached 1,825 individuals with 1,582 who successfully completed it. Of those who completed the survey, 1/3 were students and nearly 50% were adult residents.
- Youth Conversations: PSN also partnered with the Palo Alto Unified School District and the City of Palo Alto to hold conversations with youth involved in suicide prevention activities, which will similarly be shared with all involved.
- Youth Voice/Youth Advocacy:
- Read Gunn High School’s The Oracle on their “Changing the Narrative” series that tells personal stories of strength, hope, healing and growth. Read Paly student and Campanile Lifestyle Editor, Aiva Petriceks’ article “Changing my narrative: discovering the value of counseling.” Read an op-ed from a Palo Alto teen for Palo Alto Online “Guest Opinion: Unmasking the truth — Beyond the stigma of mental illness.”
- The documentary “Unmasked” created by Gunn and Paly students that explores teen mental health in Palo Alto has been chosen “Audience Choice Winner” at the Student Filmmaker Awards.
- Learn about Paly and Gunn High School’s peer support program Sources of Strength (SoS) and Paly’s LETS Bring Change 2 Mind, a student-led club initiative that allows all teens the opportunity to learn and explore more about mental health topics in a safe and supportive environment. Contact Jonathan Frecarri to get involved at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read a past article on SoS from NPR on why it’s an effective peer support program.
- Means Restriction: Learn about the City of Palo Alto’s “means restriction” efforts to limit access to the railroad tracks. Research has shown that “means restriction” is an important part of a comprehensive approach to suicide prevention. The safety improvements are being done in conjunction with Caltrain. Safety improvements include fence installation and enhancements, vegetation and brush removal, and the piloting of an intrusion camera detection system. Read the latest research study from the Mineta Transportation Institute that reviewed current efforts of commuter railroads to reduce or prevent suicide on railways and discussed preventative activities affecting rail related suicides.
- Please visit our new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page about teen mental health, our community efforts on teen suicide prevention and fostering youth well-being. Read PSN Partner Meg Durbin’s guest opinion in the Palo Alto Weekly, “Community embraces responsibility to help our youth.”
- What can parents do right now to decrease the risk of suicide in their children?
by Adam Strassberg, M.D. (Guest Opinion: Keep Calm and Parent On)
- How to help someone in crisis
by Dr. Meg Durbin, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, and Dr. Shashank V. Joshi, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford, on behalf of the executive committee of the HEARD Alliance.
Featured Websites for Teens