|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.
Join the Palo Alto Community and the PSN Team at the South Bay Out of the Darkness AFSP Walk on Sunday, Oct 23, 2016. Our goal is to change the perceptions about mental wellness, reduce mental health stigma and promote suicide prevention.
October is National Bullying Prevention Month. The campaign is held during the month of October and unites communities nationwide to educate and raise awareness of bullying prevention. Unity Day, the signature event of National Bullying Prevention Month, has been recognized in the United States since 2011. To participate in Unity Day, individuals, schools, communities, and businesses wear or display orange to show support for students who have been bullied.
PSN Updates and Event Highlights
- Please RSVP for our next meeting on Wednesday, October 26th meeting, 4-6pm at the Rinconada Library Embarcadero Room. At this month’s meeting, PSN will feature two presentations. The first presentation will feature PAUSD high school wellness staff and students describing the inspiration and launch of the new wellness centers at Gunn and Palo Alto high school. For our second presentation, in honor of October is National Bullying Prevention Month, Executive Director Anne Ehresman from Project Cornerstone will talk about its 41 Developmental Assets program for youth. You will also hear about upcoming community events from our community partners.
- Read our latest issue of Project Safety Net e-News (September 2016).
- Epi-Aid Investigation in Palo Alto Update:
- The CDC Epi-Aid Preliminary Findings on youth suicide in Santa Clara County have been posted, with a message from Dr. Sara Cody, Santa Clara County Health Officer and Director of the Public Health Department. Read PSN Executive Director Mary Gloner’s Letter to the Community that talks about the purpose, process, preliminary findings and next steps.
- The Epi-Aid team is continuing to analyze existing data in order to make recommendations on youth suicide prevention strategies that can be used at the school, city, and county levels. This includes information on current youth suicide prevention and wellness programs and activities and policies provided by Project Safety Net’s (PSN) collaborative partners.
- The final report is scheduled to be released in early 2017; however, the date is subject to change to the CDC’s other priorities. For the latest updates, please check the PSNPaloAlto.org website. For the latest updates, please check this website frequently and for general information, please link to the Epi-Aid Overview, CDC/SAMHSA field visit and Epi-Aid Investigation FAQs.
- 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 email@example.com. 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