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

You’re Invited! PSN Community Meeting- “Portraits of Mental Health & Wellbeing”

Wednesday, February 28, 2018
3:30-5:30 pm
Rinconada Library, Palo Alto
Please join us for a special Partner-In-Action presentation by Sarah E. Kremer, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, Board Certified Art Therapist, and PhD Candidate. Ms. Kremer will share her individual doctoral project involving a collaboration between Notre Dame de Namur University, Acknowledge Alliance, and Stanford University’s Center for Youth Mental Health & Wellbeing. The title of her Partner-In-Action presentation is “Portraits of Mental Health & Wellbeing: Using Digital Photography to reduce Mental Health Stigmatization.”
RSVP Today!

Recently released- 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. 

Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) Needs Assessment: Online Survey
Request for consumer participation!
Santa Clara County Behavioral Health Services Department (SCCBHS) has hired Resource Development Associates (RDA), a consulting firm, to hear about the county’s mental health needs and the strengths and gaps in the mental health system. As part of this effort SCCBHS has planned surveys for mental health consumers. Surveys may be taken online, or a paper copy is also available if you need to support your consumers and administer the survey. Click here for more information regarding how to participate.

“13 Reasons Why” Resources & Information

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

  • 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.