May Mental Health Matters

Welcome to 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.

Updates and Event Highlights

  • Please RSVP for our next PSN Community Collaborative meeting Wednesday, June 22nd, 4-6pm at the Lucie Stern Community Center Ballroom.  Are you interested in reducing youth mental health stigma and supporting youth voice?  Please join us for our next meeting where you will have the opportunity meet and hear from members in our community who have the same interest.
  • Free QPR (Question Persuade Refer) Suicide Prevention Course – Tuesday, June 14, 2016, 6-8pm. QPR training helps you learn the signs of suicide, and what to do to help prevent this most preventable of deaths. QPR, modeled after CPR training, is an emergency response to someone in crisis. You will learn about myths and facts related to suicide; warning signs of suicide; how to ask the right questions; how to persuade someone in crisis to seek help; and to refer them to resources. Class will be held at Lucie Stern Community Center, Fireside Room. Register here.
  • Epi-Aid Investigation in Palo Alto Update:
    • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) have completed the field portion of the Epi-Aid investigation of youth suicide in Santa Clara County, which took place February 16-29, 2016.
    • The Epi-Aid team is analyzing 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.
    • Because the Epi-Aid could not include new data collection in the field, Project Safety Net is in the process of collecting 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. They 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.
    • The team conducting the Epi-Aid investigation will prepare a brief preliminary report and then a comprehensive report including final findings and recommendations. The CDC/SAMHSA team will take the lead in preparing the reports, with the Santa Clara County Public Health Department (SCCPHD) providing feedback based on discussions with community stakeholders. SCCPHD will work with community stakeholders to review the recommendations, disseminate these reports, and support our community in considering policies and programs to address the findings. SCCPHD expects that the preliminary report will be released around early- to mid-June; however, this date is subject to change.
    • For the latest updates, please check this website frequently and for general information, please  link to the Epi-Aid OverviewCDC/SAMHSA field visit and Epi-Aid Investigation FAQs. 
  • 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.
  • 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.