Community Notebook: Children's Health Council to host forum on youth-suicide study | News | Palo Alto Online |


Community Notebook: Children's Health Council to host forum on youth-suicide study


Palo Alto nonprofit Children's Health Council (CHC) will host this Wednesday, Sept. 7, a community forum to discuss the initial findings from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) epidemiological study of youth suicide in Santa Clara County.

Ramsey Khasho, director of The Center at CHC, will present the study's findings and then lead a discussion about the "important cautions and implications of this report for teen mental health in Palo Alto and the neighboring communities," an event description reads.

The CDC released its preliminary findings this July, shedding some early light on the factors, from diagnosed mental illness to problems at school, that have played a role in youth suicides in Palo Alto and across the county over the last 13 years. A more in-depth, final report is expected by the end of this year. The final report will include further data, analysis of media coverage of suicide and recommendations for the community.

On Wednesday, Khasho will also present results from an eight-week study of teen mental health that consulting firm McKinsey & Company conducted this spring at the nonprofit's request. CHC asked the firm "to study the community to see what the greatest needs are around teen mental health and to give us guidance about where we could have the most impact knowing so many other agencies and groups are involved with this topic," CHC Communications and Marketing Director Micaelia Randolph wrote in an email to the Weekly.

Children’s Health Council recently launched its Teen Mental Health Initiative, which seeks to increase access to services, as well as community engagement and education around youth mental health.

At the Aug. 24 meeting of youth well-being collaborative Project Safety Net, Khasho said that CHC had no waitlists for its teen therapists, a rarity in a community that reports a high demand for and difficulty to receive prompt, high-quality mental-health services.

Wednesday’s forum will take place from 6:30-8 p.m. at Children’s Health Council, 650 Clark Way, Palo Alto.

For more information and to register, go to


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17 people like this
Posted by List of issues
a resident of another community
on Sep 6, 2016 at 11:59 am

#1 - Lack of sleep (teens need 9-9.5 hours) driven from:

#2 - too much homework (every study published says the benefits of homework max out at the 2 hour mark, yet every school still allows 3-4 hours worth to be assigned every night). Shouldn't educators make science-based decisions about homework assignments and effectiveness? (School accountability)

#3 - mobile/internet addiction (parent accountability to limit)

#4 - intense competition for grades AND college worthy extra-curriculars (both internal and parental pressure)

#5 - few/no mental health professionals available and insurance not accepted. Frankly, the # of teens needing help would drop rapidly if they had enough sleep, less homework and less pressure to be extraordinary

13 people like this
Posted by CMR
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 6, 2016 at 2:54 pm

I would like to add to "List of issues" another item.

#6 - Not identifying and providing services to children with learning differences.

My son was suffering with severe depression and diagnosed with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder (aka Asperger's syndrome) in the last semester of his Senior year. The depression arose from his inability to function normally in school.

His second grade teacher suggested testing, but the principal steered us away from that option. I also found out that he would sit semi-fetal during most if not all of his middle and high school classes. We had no idea, and his counselor had no idea. Only one teacher reported this behavior to his counselor (Sr year). My son missed out on a decade of assistance in dealing with his that could have either avoided or lessened his subsequent depression. He is starting his adult life with a fresh new 504 and very few skills to help him manage his ASD.

Kids are falling through the cracks and not getting the services they need until it manifests itself as severe depression. Proactive is better than reactive. Identify and help these children early on.

2 people like this
Posted by Recap?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 8, 2016 at 9:26 am

I could not go. Can anyone provide a summary/links? Also, who to contact with public input/data?

Like this comment
Posted by Recap?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 11, 2016 at 9:17 am

Can anyone pls provide a recap? Everyone I know who planned to go could not.

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