News

In face of pandemic, psychologist to lead webinar on suicide prevention

Free event will connect people with resources, support

Palo Alto University and the Santa Clara County Behavioral Health Services Department are hosting a free webinar this Friday to help people recognize the signs of individuals with suicidal thoughts and the proper steps to take toward prevention.

Dr. Joyce Chu, a clinical psychologist and psychology professor at Palo Alto University will lead the online event.

The workshop will help participants learn how to recognize the signs of suicide; sensitively ask someone whether he or she has suicidal thoughts; connect people with the right resources and support; and understand how to be culturally sensitive about the topic.

Navigating a global health crisis is understandably challenging. With an unprecedented scale of job losses and physical distancing orders caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, there are many mental health stressors people could be struggling with.

"We don't have a definitive data on what the mental health effects would be," Chu said, "But we certainly know that some of the triggers for mental health issues are being activated by the current situation — for example, social isolation, financial stress and an astounding number of people with loss of income."

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Everybody reacts differently to those stressors, Chu said. It's why understanding how to carefully approach someone and knowing the right words to use when bringing up a sensitive topic such as suicide are crucial.

"How do you connect with someone and make them feel comfortable enough to be able to open up to you and feel like they do have somebody that's supporting them? It's incredibly important," Chu said.

Differing cultural and racial identities can change the way people experience and process mental health challenges, according to Chu. Different cultural backgrounds can place people in different contexts of a crisis even when everyone is experiencing the same pandemic.

"Recently, there have been reports of increases in hate crimes and discrimination (against) Asian Americans," Chu said. "And that is known to be a cultural salient warning sign more so for ethnic minorities."

The event is scheduled for this Friday, April 17, from 10-11:30 a.m. Interested participants can register at the university's website.

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Immediate resources for suicide prevention:

• Palo Alto University's Gronowski Center 650-961-9300: A sliding scale psychology training clinic dedicated to providing compassionate counseling and psychotherapy services to adults, older adults, couples, adolescents, children, and families in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties.

• Suicide and Crisis Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).

• In the event of an emergency, call 911 and ask for a crisis intervention trained officer.

-----

In distress over COVID-19? There is help.

Anyone who is experiencing depression or heightened anxiety because of the public health crisis can find help through local resources:

In Santa Clara County:

• 24/7 Behavioral Health Services Department Call Center: 800-704-0900.

• Crisis Text Line: Text RENEW to 741741.

• 24/7 Suicide and Crisis Hotline: 855-278-4204.

• If you are experiencing an emergency, call 911 immediately.

In San Mateo County:

• Behavioral Health Services & Resources - 24/7

• Access Call Center - Toll-free number: 800-686-0101 | For the hearing impaired: 800-943-2833.

• If you are experiencing an emergency, call 911 immediately.

For seniors, people with disabilities: The Institute on Aging has a Friendship Line for people ages 60 and older and adults with disabilities who feel isolated: 800-971-0016.

For youth: A list of local resources for young people who need mental health support, as well as their family and friends, can be found here.

-----

Find comprehensive coverage on the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by Palo Alto Online, the Mountain View Voice and the Almanac here.

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In face of pandemic, psychologist to lead webinar on suicide prevention

Free event will connect people with resources, support

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Thu, Apr 16, 2020, 9:49 am

Palo Alto University and the Santa Clara County Behavioral Health Services Department are hosting a free webinar this Friday to help people recognize the signs of individuals with suicidal thoughts and the proper steps to take toward prevention.

Dr. Joyce Chu, a clinical psychologist and psychology professor at Palo Alto University will lead the online event.

The workshop will help participants learn how to recognize the signs of suicide; sensitively ask someone whether he or she has suicidal thoughts; connect people with the right resources and support; and understand how to be culturally sensitive about the topic.

Navigating a global health crisis is understandably challenging. With an unprecedented scale of job losses and physical distancing orders caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, there are many mental health stressors people could be struggling with.

"We don't have a definitive data on what the mental health effects would be," Chu said, "But we certainly know that some of the triggers for mental health issues are being activated by the current situation — for example, social isolation, financial stress and an astounding number of people with loss of income."

Everybody reacts differently to those stressors, Chu said. It's why understanding how to carefully approach someone and knowing the right words to use when bringing up a sensitive topic such as suicide are crucial.

"How do you connect with someone and make them feel comfortable enough to be able to open up to you and feel like they do have somebody that's supporting them? It's incredibly important," Chu said.

Differing cultural and racial identities can change the way people experience and process mental health challenges, according to Chu. Different cultural backgrounds can place people in different contexts of a crisis even when everyone is experiencing the same pandemic.

"Recently, there have been reports of increases in hate crimes and discrimination (against) Asian Americans," Chu said. "And that is known to be a cultural salient warning sign more so for ethnic minorities."

The event is scheduled for this Friday, April 17, from 10-11:30 a.m. Interested participants can register at the university's website.

Immediate resources for suicide prevention:

• Palo Alto University's Gronowski Center 650-961-9300: A sliding scale psychology training clinic dedicated to providing compassionate counseling and psychotherapy services to adults, older adults, couples, adolescents, children, and families in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties.

• Suicide and Crisis Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).

• In the event of an emergency, call 911 and ask for a crisis intervention trained officer.

-----

In distress over COVID-19? There is help.

Anyone who is experiencing depression or heightened anxiety because of the public health crisis can find help through local resources:

In Santa Clara County:

• 24/7 Behavioral Health Services Department Call Center: 800-704-0900.

• Crisis Text Line: Text RENEW to 741741.

• 24/7 Suicide and Crisis Hotline: 855-278-4204.

• If you are experiencing an emergency, call 911 immediately.

In San Mateo County:

• Behavioral Health Services & Resources - 24/7

• Access Call Center - Toll-free number: 800-686-0101 | For the hearing impaired: 800-943-2833.

• If you are experiencing an emergency, call 911 immediately.

For seniors, people with disabilities: The Institute on Aging has a Friendship Line for people ages 60 and older and adults with disabilities who feel isolated: 800-971-0016.

For youth: A list of local resources for young people who need mental health support, as well as their family and friends, can be found here.

-----

Find comprehensive coverage on the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by Palo Alto Online, the Mountain View Voice and the Almanac here.

Comments

timetrip
Mountain View
on Apr 16, 2020 at 11:54 am
timetrip, Mountain View
on Apr 16, 2020 at 11:54 am
1 person likes this

[Post removed.]


Megan
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 16, 2020 at 12:20 pm
Megan, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 16, 2020 at 12:20 pm
1 person likes this

[Post removed.]


The Cuckoo's Nest
Crescent Park
on Apr 16, 2020 at 1:51 pm
The Cuckoo's Nest, Crescent Park
on Apr 16, 2020 at 1:51 pm
4 people like this

[Post removed.]


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