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Project Safety Net (PSN) mobilizes community support and resources in Palo Alto for youth suicide prevention and mental wellness.  We are a coalition working on community education, outreach, and training; access to quality youth mental health services; and policy advocacy.
Our vision: Young people are empowered, in partnership with the whole community, to advocate for themselves and their peers. Youth suicide is ended. Stigma is non-existent, and high-quality mental health services are culturally relevant, accessible, and well-utilized. We envision a community where youth and young adults feel safe, supported, and accepted.

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Project Safety Net Announcements

updated 11/16/2021

Innovation Tournament: Seeking Ideas from the Community 

Project Safety Net and Palo Alto University are hosting a two-phase innovation tournament to crowdsource ideas for promoting youth mental health and suicide prevention in Santa Clara County.

Do you have a big idea for helping youth feel safe, supported, and accepted?

Submit your idea here: https://paloaltou.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_7TAXAHVK4l1V0CW.

How it works:

Fall 2021 (Phase I): Submit your ideas for improving youth wellbeing
Winter 2022 (Phase II): Rate ideas submitted by other Santa Clara County residents
Spring 2022: Winning ideas and next steps announced

We believe that the best ideas come from our community and want to hear from you. You will receive a $10 gift card for submitting your idea.

Questions? Contact Principal Investigator, Dr. Alayna Park: (650) 427-0613, apark1@paloaltou.edu

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Project Safety Net y la Universidad de Palo Alto están organizando un torneo de innovación de dos fases para obtener ideas para promover la salud mental de los jóvenes y la prevención del suicidio en el condado de Santa Clara.

¿Tienes una gran idea para ayudar a los jóvenes a sentirse seguros, apoyados y aceptados?
Envía tu idea aquí:
https://paloaltou.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_7TAXAHVK4l1V0CW?Q_Language=ES-ES.

Cómo funciona:
Otoño de 2021 (Fase 1): Envíe sus ideas para mejorar el bienestar de los jóvenes
Invierno de 2021 (Fase 2): Califica las ideas enviadas por otros residentes del Condado de Santa Clara
Primavera de 2021: Anuncian ideas ganadoras y próximos pasos

Creemos que las mejores ideas provienen de nuestra comunidad y queremos escuchar de ti. Recibirás una tarjeta de regalo de $10 por enviar tu idea.
¿Preguntas? Comunícate con la investigadora principal, Dra. Alayna Park: (650) 427-0613, apark1@paloaltou.edu

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Project Safety Net 和 Palo Alto University 正在舉辦一場創新比賽,以眾包創意,以促進Santa Clara縣的青年心理健康和自殺預防。

您是否有幫助青少年感到安全、支持和接受的好主意?

在此處提交您的想法:

https://paloaltou.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_7TAXAHVK4l1V0CW?Q_Language=ZH-T.

規則:

秋天2021(第一階段): 提交您改善青年福祉的想法
冬天 2022(第二階段): 其他Santa Clara縣居民提交的評分建議
春天2022: 獲勝的想法和下一步宣布

我們相信最好的想法來自我們的社區,並希望收到您的來信。您將收到一張 10 美元的禮品卡,用於提交您的想法。

有問題? 請聯繫 Dr. Alayna Park: (650) 427-0613, apark1@paloaltou.edu

Project Safety Net and the City of Palo Alto Joint Letter
Strength in Community 

Letter released on October 29, 2021.

Please click here for PDF of the letter.

COMMUNITY RESOURCES

Local grief support, counseling, and resources:

  • Local clinics that will triage and/or see individuals affected by our local loss:
    • Sutter Health/Palo Alto Medical Foundation, 650-321-4121
    • Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital and Clinics, 650-723-5511 (children and teens) and 650-498-9111 (adults)
    • El Camino Hospital ASPIRE Intensive Outpatient Programs, 650-940-7000 (Mountain View); 408-866-4021 (Los Gatos).
    • Mills Peninsula Intensive Outpatient Programs, 650-696-4666.
  • Support for individuals who are suicidal or in crisis and those around them:
    • The Santa Clara County Suicide and Crisis Services line, 1-855-278-4204 (available 24 hours, 7 days a week)
    • California Youth Crisis Line, 1-800-843-5200, org.
    • Trevor Project Lifeline specializing in crisis help for LGBTQ youth, 1-866-488-7386
    • Uplift Family Services, 877-41-CRISIS (877-412-7474)
    • Text “BAY” or “RENEW” to Crisis Text Line at 741741

Mental Health Matters! 

You are not alone. We recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic environment has brought all of us many challenges and uncertainty. Please refer to our Mental Health Resources page.

PSN Stands in Solidarity

Highlights

Suicide in California – Data Trends in 2020, COVID Impact, and Prevention Strategies
On July 28, 2021, CA Department of Public Health presented webinar on California suicide data trends, pandemic’s impact to mental health, and evidence-based suicide prevention strategies, including to support youth. View the slide deck here.

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.

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

  • 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

Outlet

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.

ReachOut.com

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

ACS

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

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.