Project Safety Net



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.

Project Safety Net Highlights and Events

PSN Community Meeting
November 28, 2018
3:30 pm-5:30 pm
Rinconada Library
Embarcadero Room
1213 Newell Road, Palo Alto
RSVP Today!
Please join us for a special Partner-In-Action presentation by Sources of Strength! Sources of Strength facilitators will discuss how parents, educators, and students can work together at home and in our schools to prevent the epidemics of bullying and suicide.  Presenters will provide an overview of the Sources of Strength program, and how it works to develop awareness and a shared vocabulary  so that families can support the work that is being done in schools.

2018 LGBTQ Youth Report
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation and University of Connecticut released the largest of its kind survey of more than 12,000 LGBTQ teenagers across the nation, revealing the persistent challenges so many of them face going about their daily lives at home, at school, and in their communities. View the LGBTQ Youth Report here.

Recently Released: Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Vital Signs Report- “Suicide Rising Across the US”
Suicide rates have been rising in nearly every state, according to the latest Vital Signs report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  In 2016, nearly 45,000 Americans age 10 or older died by suicide.  Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death and just one of three leading causes that are on the rise.

Project Safety Net’s 2018 Calendar of Events!
Our 2018 Calendar of Events features dates for upcoming outreach events and PSN Community Meetings. Learn what we have planned for the year and save those dates!

Updated! HEARD Alliance Toolkit for Mental Health Promotion & Suicide Prevention K-12
In September, 2016 the State of California enacted into law the “Pupil Suicide Prevention Policies” requirement, AB2246. This Toolkit has been revised in order to support this law. It is meant to be used as a resource for schools as they implement their Pupil Suicide Prevention Policy.

The content of the Toolkit is drawn from State and National guidelines and from current research and recommendations regarding youth mental wellness and suicide prevention. The goal is to ensure that California schools can participate fully in their broader community’s effort to prevent youth suicide. Information about what schools can do to promote youth mental wellness before mental health concerns arise, how to recognize and respond to a mental health crisis, and how to support a school community after a suicide loss is included.  Click here to access the latest version of the toolkit. 

“13 Reasons Why” Resources & Information

Project Safety Net is pleased to offer the following digest of resources in response to the Netflix series, “13 Reasons Why.”

13 Reasons Why, Season 2
Santa Clara County Behavioral Health & Santa Clara County Office of Education “13 Reasons Why” Season 2 Notification Letter to Parents and Educators

Pre-Release Statement from Experts on the Upcoming Release of “13 Reasons Why,” Season 2

Press Release: International Coalition of Experts Issues an Alert Regarding the Release of “13 Reasons Why, Season 2”

13RW Work Group
An international coalition of leading experts in healthcare, mental health, suicide prevention, and education called the 13 RW Work Group came together to develop messaging and resources regarding “13 Reasons Why” for parents, educators, clinicians, youth and media to help guide young viewers through tough subject matter.  Please visit their website: www.13reasonswhytoolkit.org

Webinar- Responding to 13 Reasons Why: Recommendations for School Personnel
Suicide prevention experts have raised numerous concerns about the television program “13 Reasons Why.” The program depicts the struggles of an adolescent named Hannah who dies by suicide. Many viewers have been binge watching the program which can increase the intensity of their experience. This webinar outlines those concerns and provide practical information for how school personnel can respond to support students who have or are currently viewing the program and provide them with accurate information about suicide and sources of assistance.  Specific recommendations for parents and the appropriate ages for youth viewing the program are also shared. Webinar presenters include Scott Poland, Ed.D., professor at NSU’s College of Psychology, a nationally recognized expert on youth violence, suicide intervention, and self-injury and Kathy Espinoza, Assistant VP of Ergonomics and Safety at Kennan & Associates and principal architect of the Kennan SafeSchool and SafeColleges training program. Project Safety Net hosted a community viewing of the webinar on May 31, 2017. To access the complimentary webinar, click here.

Project Safety Net News

  • PSN Community Meeting- February 28, 2018- “Portraits of Mental Health & Wellbeing”
    At this community meeting, PSN featured a special Partner-In-Action presentation by Sarah E. Kremer, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, Board Certified Art Therapist, and PhD Candidate. Ms. Kremer shared her doctoral project involving a collaboration between Notre Dame de Namur University, Acknowledge Alliance, and Stanford University Center for Youth Mental Health & Wellbeing, and led an interactive experiential activity for meeting participants, giving them an opportunity to create their own Portrait of Mental Health using digital tools. The presentation opened up a discussion on the benefits of art therapy, and its role in promoting mental health.

  • PSN Collaborative Action Teams Meeting- August 23, 2017
    • On August 23, Nadia Ghaffari, founder of TeenzTalk.org was featured as PSN’s Partner-In-Action. Ms. Ghaffari shared information about the Teen Wellness Conference that will be held on September 30th. Executive Director Mary Gloner provided an overview of PSN 2.0 activities to date, and initiated a discussion with community members regarding prioritizing strategies for Year 1 of the 2017-2020 Road Map/Strategic Plan.
  • PSN Community Meeting- June 28, 2017
    • On June 28, 2017, The LGBTQ Youth Space was featured as PSN’s Partner-In-Action. Vivian Nguyen, PSN’s Social Justice Intern was spotlighted as a Youth-In Action for her “May is Mental Health Awareness Month” art project. Executive Director Mary Gloner provided an update on PSN 2.0, sharing a preliminary list of Collaborative Action Team partners, and the activities they identified as key priorities for implementing the PSN 2.0 Road Map/Strategic Plan.
  • 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 OnlineGuest 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 jfrecceri@pausd.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.

Featured Resources

  • 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


Outlet is an LGBTQQ Youth organization based in Mountain View, California. As the Peninsula’s only comprehensive LGBTQQ Youth organization, including bilingual Spanish language services, they work with local communities to support and empower LGBTQQ Youth.



Reach Out is run by the Inspire USA Foundation.  Inspire’s mission is to help millions of young people lead happier lives.



Adolescent Counseling Services empowers teens and their families in our community to realize their emotional and social potential through counseling and preventive education.

Trevor Project

The Trevor Project

The Trevor Project is the leading National organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth.