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PSN Community Collaborative E-News
October 29, 2015

Dear PSN Community Collaborative,
The upcoming months will be a sensitive time for our Palo Alto community as we remember the student deaths by suicide that occurred last school year.
These can naturally be very difficult times for suicide loss survivors. We want to support them as much as possible.
We will all need to have heightened awareness, sensitivity and compassion during this time and be particularly mindful to support the grieving members of our community, especially family members, students and teachers who have been deeply affected by loss.
For the next several months, mental health providers from ACS along with the Palo Alto Police Department, PAUSD administrators and staff, and Kara, will be on heightened alert and ready to help those in need. Track Watch Guards will also be working during train hours of operation.
As community partners we ask you all to remain resolute in the continuing support of youth and teens in all environments. Look after each other and be present for teens that appear to be in distress and be ready to provide support. Encourage teens to talk to their parents and caring adults during times of grief and distress. We ask all adults to watch for warning signs in teens, whether they are your children or someone else’s child. If you are a teenager, be caring and alert to what your peers, friends and siblings are doing, and let an adult know if you are concerned about someone.
If you know of someone who is in immediate crisis, the Santa Clara County Suicide and Crisis Hotline is available at 1-855-278-4204 at any time or 911. Another resource is EMQ Families First’s mobile crisis unit which provides assessments of minors who may have suicidal thoughts; they can be reached at 408-379-9085.  Listed below are some additional resources to help those in need.
If you haven’t already done so, we encourage you to take a Question, Persuade and Refer (QPR) class to learn the warning signs of suicide and what to do to help prevent this most preventable of deaths. Project Safety Net has access codes to an online version of this training, if interested please email Tanya Schornack.  

We thank you in advance for your continued support.
Warmest regards,
Minka van der Zwaag, PSN Co-Lead
Brenda Carrillo, PSN Co-Lead
In this Issue
Save the Date!
PSN Community 
Collaborative Mtg.

Thursday, 11/19/2015, 4-6 pm

Riconada Library, Embarcaero Room, Palo Alto, CA 
Please RSVP.
Drink and light snacks provided.
International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day
November 21, 2015

It’s the one day a year when people affected by suicide loss gather around the world at events in their local communities to find comfort and gain understanding as they share stories of healing and hope. Click here to find a group near you.
Additional Mental Health Resources
Here are some additional mental health resources to support those in need:

PSN Partner Events & Opportunities

This section highlights announcements, education and professional developmental opportunities in mental health shared by our PSN Community Collaborative partners.
Mental Health 3 Now 3rd Annual Tools for Change
Saturday, November 7, 2015, 9 - 6pm at the Hilton San Francisco Financial District
750 Kearny St., San Francisco, CA 94108 

This unique two-day event features dynamic speakers to bring technology leaders, mental health experts, users/consumers, researchers, international program innovators, and community members to explore and leverage the convergence of fast moving technologies in the future of mental health and wellness.

New PTAC Community Calendar
PTA Council has launched a new Community Calendar where key event planners from our community will be urged to first look at the calendar and try not to overlap with other programs already scheduled and urged to collaborate with each other on similar content events to reduce the number of events per year and help increase attendance at the ones that are scheduled. Currently it will be on the PTA Council website with plans to put it on the district website as well as any other sites that seem appropriate. To post events to this calendar, contact PTAC Parent Education.

The Waiting Period Play (Recommended by PSN Partner Trudy Palmer)
San Francisco Mainstage. 1062 Valencia St., San FranciscoTheater artist Brian Copeland’s one-man show The Waiting Period, which premiered at the Marsh San Francisco in 2012, is all about grappling with suicidal depression and what to do when you feel like nothing can be done. Despite the bleak subject matter, it’s a wonderfully funny show that explores some of the darkest depths of the human psyche. You can buy tickets at
 “...admirably courageous, urgent and yet charmingly told.” –SF Gate

YES for Schools (Youth Empowerment Seminars)

YES! is a program which offers youth practical tools and life skills to manage stress and emotions. The program is currently being implemented in Gunn High School's  physical education (PE) classes.  For more information about the YES! program, please contact SF Bay Program Director Priya Mayureshwar.

Add a Lime Green Mental Health Awareness Twibbon to Facebook or Twitter 
Show your support for mental health awareness and stigma reduction by adding a lime green twibbon to your Facebook or Twitter page. 
Youth Voice in Action
Gunn High School's "The Oracle" has a new section called "Changing the Narrative." In their words: "Changing the Narrative" is a phrase we like to define as changing the conversation and shifting the mindset on campus. We want to help change the narrative by normalizing everyday struggles and showing the beauty of vulnerability. To make this step, The Oracle will publish personal stories of strength, hope, healing and growth every other week.
Youth Voice - Mental Health
Advocacy & Support Opportunitie

Supporting"Youth Led Voice" empowers youth to thrive. Here is a list of local youth groups that have banded together to promote mental health awareness and erase the stigma of getting help.

LETS BC2M Program (New at Palo Alto High School) 
LETS BC2M (Lets Erase The Stigma and Bring Change to Mind) is a high school program dedicated to erasing the stigma of mental illness by increasing education and awareness, fostering student empowerment, building mentoring opportunities, and encouraging youth to change the perception of mental health in their schools and communities. This student-led club initiative allows all teens the opportunity to learn and explore more about mental health topics in a safe and supportive environment. As students engage and talk about mental health, we allow them to normalize the conversation and eliminate stigma within their community. Clubs have already been started at Castilleja School, Menlo School, Woodside Priory School, Los Altos High School , Cupertino High School, Nueva School and Palo Alto High School. To join the Palo Alto High School club, contact advisor Jonathan Frecceri.

ROCK (Reach Out, Care, Know) at Gunn High School
Gunn's student-led peer support network known as ROCK ("Reach Out. Care. Know."), founded in 2009 in response to student suicides. Through trainings, outreach and activities, ROCK members offer social and emotional support for any student needing a safe and sympathetic ear. Contact Gunn Advisor Paul Dunlap

Source of Strength Program (Gunn and Palo Alto High School
SoS is a group of diverse students and adults from many different corners and cultures of our school and community. SoS mission is to ensure that during the rough times no one gets so overwhelmed or hopeless that they want to give up. In addition, their mission is to spread Hope, Help, and Strength into every corner of our community.  Contact Gunn Advisor Paul Dunlap and Paly Advisor Jonathan Frecceri.

Youth Speaks Out (Gunn and Palo Alto High School)
Students in the Youth Speaks Out art program at Palo Alto & Gunn High share the experience of being young in our community, through the direct artistic expression of painting, photography, poetry and creative writing, ceramics and sculpture. Contact Carolyn Digovitch

Palo Alto Alumni Dialogues (Local)
Learn about upcoming organized Palo Alto High School and Gunn High School Alumni dialogues on growing-up in Palo Alto and how their lives have changed.

Mental Health Hackathon (Local)
Slated for sometime next year, join local Palo Alto youth and Stanford undergraduates to develop apps to improve mental health and reduce stigma. Contact Amia Nash for more information.

Each Mind Matters (CA Initiative on Mental Health Awareness)
Each Mind Matters is California’s Mental Health Movement. Their goal is to amplify the voices of all people who want to put an end to this stigma, creating a community where everyone feels comfortable reaching out for the support they deserve.

Directing Change Student Video Contest (California)
Create a 60-second Public Service Announcement (PSA) video to prevent suicide or help change minds about mental illness.
Youth & Community Education Events 

This section highlights mental health education events, support groups and resources for youth, parents, and caregivers.

For event submissions, please send it to Tanya Schornack
Youth Events & Resources
Free the Teens
Sponsored by SELPA1 CAC in partnership with CHAC (Community Health Awareness council of Mountain View)
Thursdays,  6:00 – 7:30pm, CHAC office at 590 W El Camino Real, Mt. View
$10 per group session, sliding scale

“Free the Teens” is a uniquely designed group for teens combining group therapy with creative art based expression.  Teens will also be given the space to express the issues they are facing, develop problem-solving skills and learn to build a sense of community within the group. Intake screenings for teens commence September 2015.  Please call Elizabeth Wilson @ (650) 965-2020 to schedule an intake interview for this group.

Students with a Gateway (SWAG) (On-going)
Sponsored by Youth Community Service and the City of Palo Alto Recreation
Wednesdays, 3-4:30pm, Sept. 2 - Dec. 2, 2015
Mitchell Park Community Center, Palo Alto

SWAG is an afterschool leadership program for middle school students hosted by Youth Community Service (YCS) and the City of Palo Alto Recreation. Students will explore topics regarding the environment, civic engagement, health, hunger and homelessness. SWAG will include speakers, service trips, leadership training and team building.

Reach & Rise Mentoring Program (On-going)
Sponsored by the YMCA
For Youth Ages 6-17

Reach & Rise™ is a national one-to-one mentoring program determined to move youth from risk to resiliency. The program helps build a better future for youth by matching them with an adult mentor for one year. Free of cost to families, trained mentors work to understand cultural and social development, mental health issues, risk factors, and offer ways to communicate and relate to youth. Contact Program Director Mike Anderson.

Free Drop-in Teen Yoga (On-going) 
Sponsored by the Palo Alto Medical Foundation
Tuesdays, 4-5pm

67 Encinal Avenue, Palo Alto
This fun, interactive curriculum incorporates physical exercise, breath work and activities that help to energize, manage stress and connect better with themselves and their peers. No registration required.

Outlet: Free Drop-in for LGBTQQ Youth (Spanish and English) (On-going)
Sponsored by Adolescent Counseling Services
590 W. El Camino Real, Mountain View, CA 94041 (Mondays, 6-8pm, English; 2nd & 4th Fridays, 6-9pm, Spanish)
These are peer support groups where youth have a chance to share and listen to personal stories in a safe and welcoming space. LGBTQQ youth ages 10-18 are welcome.

The QT Cafe (On-going)
Sponsored by The LGBTQ Youth Space
375 Cambridge Ave., Palo Alto
A safe and open drop-in space for LGBTQQ+ & ally folks between the ages of 13-25. Come get connected to community resources, free wi-fi, volunteer opportunities, and other folks in the community. For more information, please contact Helen at: or 408-841-4105.

"We're Talking” teen website
Sponsored by PAMF
This website provides comprehensive health information and answers to specific questions for Bay Area teens. It also serves as a resource for parents who want help in talking with their teens about sensitive issues, and for high school teachers who want to integrate health information into their classroom curriculum.  It includes an online survey for teens on sleeping.
Community Events & Resources
Stanford  Youth Mental Health Research Study
Sponsored by Stanford Department Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Stanford is conducting a research project to formally understand the needs and opinions of local youth with regard to mental health. The study is open 14-19 year olds in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. Some groups will be focused specifically on needs of the local Asian-American community and some will be general to all.  For more infomration, contact Vicki Harrison at or (650) 725-3772.

For Dads Only: The Joys and Challenges of Raising Daughters (all ages)
Sponsored by Parents Place Palo Alto
Thursday, October 29, 2015 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM 
Palo Alto, CA

Research shows that a close relationship with their father—or another positive adult male—is crucial to girls’ healthy development. We will discuss the many ways dads model for and guide their daughters, provide information about child development, and suggest father-daughter activities that can help men increase their knowledge and satisfaction in their role as fathers. With Kirk Stuepfert, MSW. Fee $45.

Adolescent Depression: What We All Should Know
Monday, November 16, 2015, 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM
Free and open to the public
UCSF Cole Hall Auditorium
513 Parnassus Avenue, San Francisco, CA

Adolescence is a challenging time during which the risk for depression increases among youth. Approximately 11% of adolescents between 12 and 17 years of age have a major depressive episode. Register to learn about factors associated with adolescent depression, its impact on development and health, and the most current approaches to its treatment.

"The Mask You Live In" Film Screening
Parents Place Palo Alto
Wednesday, November 18, 2015 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM 
Palo Alto, CA

The Mask You Live In which premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. This film explores boys’ struggle to stay true to themselves while negotiating America's narrow definition of modern masculinity, repressed emotions and gender stereotypes. Experts in neuroscience, psychology, sociology, sports, education, and media weigh in, presenting empirical evidence of what some are calling the "boy crisis" and offering tactics to combat it. The Mask You Live In illustrates how we as a society can raise a healthier generation of boys and young men. Following the screening there will be a community conversation with Karen Friedland-Brown and Rachel Sklar, expert parent educators from Parents Place.

PTSA Parent Network Projects
Do you have a high schooler in PAUSD and want to connect with other parents? Parent Networks are informal gatherings for parents and guardians from each grade level to get acquainted, share parenting ideas about high schoolers, get information on navigating Paly or Gunn and the college process. These meetings occur on a monthly basis often in parents’ homes or, in some cases, at the school.

The Healthy Teen Project (Website)
The Healthy Teen Project provides Intensive Outpatient and Partial Hospitalization treatment programs for teenagers who struggle with eating disorders in the San Francisco Bay Area

Project Cornerstone’s Asset-of-the Month (via YMCA Silicon Valley) (Website)
Each month, a resource kit will be released containing newsletter content, discussion topics, and activities to support asset building by parents, teachers, and other adults as well as youth-serving programs.
PAUSD’s Bully Prevention Resources (Website)
Across the nation, bullying has become one of the primary issues of concern within K-12 education. It is important that incidents of bullying and harassment, especially as they may relate to disability, race/ethnicity, gender, gender-identity, gender expression, nationality, religion, or sexual orientation, be addressed and investigated seriously. Best practices, effective strategies, interventions, and resources to prevent and address bullying can be found at the following link.

Challenge Success Parent Education Videos (Website)
Dr. Madeline Levine, Dr. Denise Pope, and Challenge Success Advisory Board member, Dr. Ken Ginsburg, discuss answers to some frequently asked questions they hear from parents around the country. This includes FAQs videos and Kids in the House videos. Sample topics include “How Being Overscheduled Effects Kids”;  “Signs of Stress in Childhood”; and “How do Parents and Kids Define Success Differently.”
Lucile Packard Children Hospital’s Preteens and Teen Video Library (Website) 
Here is just a sampling of free online community health lectures offered by LPCH experts:
PSN and Mental Health News in Palo Alto (Palo Alto Weekly, On-going page that captures the numerous voices, opinions and news coverage on teen well-being.)

Changing the Narrative: Personal stories of strength, hope, healing and growth (Published every other week)
Gunn High School's The Oracle, October 26, 2015

Focusing on kindness, inclusion on Unity Day
Palo Alto Online, October, 21, 2015

New mobile clinic supports medically underserved youth

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