The members of the PSN Community Task Force have defined 22 specific strategies, actions and recommended next steps in the body of this report. Some of the recommendations are specific to the City, School District or youth-serving organizations while others are specific to parents, teens and the general community.
The PSN Community Task Force shares a sense of urgency with the entire community and we are resolute in continuing to support youth and teens and their social emotional health. The City of Palo Alto, School District, parent, teen, medical, mental health and faith communities along with many youth-serving non-profits who make up the PSN Community Task Force, are steadfast in our commitment and hope of a sustainable coalition focused on a supportive community environment for our youth and teens.
Everyone must play a role to look out after one another, and we must remain vigilant in our commitment to help those in distress find the support they need. Teens must be encouraged to talk to their parents or a caring adult when a friend or they themselves are in distress. All adults need to watch for warning signs in teens, whether in their own children or a friend’s child. We must urge all teens to be caring and alert to what their peers, friends and siblings are saying or doing, so they can seek help if mental health concerns are recognized.
The Palo Alto community has come together in an extraordinary way during the 2009-10 school year as evidenced in this report. A great deal of work from all segments of our community have contributed to shape this plan of action, of which much progress has been made.
However, the PSN Community Task Force must also continue to ask how effective are the community efforts, what gaps remain and how does our community best overcome those gaps, in spite of diminishing resources.
- QUESTION 1:
What has been positive, encouraging and effective this past year?
- QUESTION 2:
What are our greatest gaps? (or holes in the safety net)
- QUESTION 3:
Where would you like to see us go from here?
- QUESTION 4:
How do you see us getting there?
Below is a list of Priority Next Steps that are the result of the responses to the above questions by the PSN Community Task Force. Moreover, the Priority Next Steps draw from the 22 strategies described in this report, and are a result of a year of learning, planning and implementing a community response to the tragic and complex public health crisis that has impacted our community.
The recommendations in this report and the Priority Next Steps described below are the best collective thinking of the PSN Community Task Force, which is made up of a broad cross section of community members, national experts on suicide prevention, physicians and mental health professionals from Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, Palo Alto Medical Foundation and Adolescent Counseling Services, Palo Alto parents, the teen community and youth-serving non-profits.
It is the collective recommendation and hope of the PSN Community Task Force that the recommendations below and in the body of this report be implemented.