Partnering for Mental Health: The Conversation Continues

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How CHC Community Partnerships Address Teen Mental Health

PALO ALTO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#Advancement–On March 16, 2017, Children’s Health Council (CHC)’s 4th Annual
Breakfast showcased CHC partners who are successfully making strides to
combat teen anxiety, depression and suicide. Over 300 parents,
professionals and community members attended the event, held at Sharon
Heights Golf and Country Club in Menlo Park. The program was moderated
by Ramsey
Khasho
, PsyD, Director of The Center at CHC, and featured three of
CHC’s many partners: Nancy Lublin, Founder & CEO, Crisis Text Line;
Jayne Appel, WNBA star and Bring Change 2 Mind Ambassador; and Dr. James
B. Everitt, Director, Office of Mission Initiatives & Institutional
Planning, Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton. Each shared their personal
motives for raising awareness about teen anxiety, depression and
suicide, and touted the critical role partnerships play in building
solutions. The Breakfast was hosted by Co-Chairs Catherine Harvey and
Perri Guthrie. Sponsors included Stanford Children’s Health/ Lucile
Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, Taube Philanthropies and Wilkes
Bashford. The CHC Breakfast raised awareness and critical dollars for
CHC’s continued work. Thanks to generous community support, all
donations to CHC’s Teen Mental Health Initiative (TMHI) will be matched
up to two million dollars.

CHC launched TMHI in 2016 to reduce teen suicide and improve youth
wellness by providing affordable therapy, free community education and
leveraged community engagement. “We’ve seen extraordinary compassion for
struggling teens and their families,” said Khasho at the Breakfast.
We’ve seen hope, renewed life and advocacy bursting out of the crushing
pain of local community parents who have lost their children to suicide.
We’ve witnessed the selfless generosity of so many people across the
community who’ve volunteered their time, made generous financial
contributions, and encouraged us with words of affirmation and kindness,
all for the sake of strengthening our children’s futures. This is
important work that we must continue to do together.”

Nadia Ghaffari, a charismatic junior at Los Altos High School and
founder of TeenzTalk.org, kicked off the Breakfast program.
TeenzTalk.org connects teens worldwide with mental health resources and
provides a platform for teens to connect. Ghaffari also participates in
CHC’s Teen Mental Health Committee, a unique opportunity for teens to
take part in mental health innovation. “Thank you, CHC, for letting
teens be a part of the conversation,” she said.

Nancy
Lublin
’s innovative approach to business, teens and technology has
led her to build three companies that emphasize social good. But it was
while still CEO of her second company, DoSomething.org, that an
unexpected event shifted Lublin’s focus to mental health. A staff member
received a troubling text message from an at-risk teen and shared it
with Lublin. “It was an ‘aha’ moment,” Lublin recalls. “If someone is
feeling so scared and desperate that they reach out by text, then we
need to build something that gives them this kind of support.” In 2015
Lublin launched Crisis Text Line (CTL), a nonprofit that offers free,
24/7 anonymous text-message counseling for people in need. In 2016, CTL
processed 32 million messages, helping an average of 2,500 people each
day. And they are leveraging this anonymous data for social good:
analyzing trends to research key high-risk words, days/times and
demographics. “We are so glad to partner with CHC and its expanded
affordable therapy services,” said Lublin. “CHC’s efforts to bring the
community together through partnerships, and its’ soon-to-open Intensive
Outpatient Program (IOP) is so needed,” said Lublin. www.crisistextline.org.

For Jayne
Appel
, retired WNBA Star and Bring
Change 2 Mind
Advocate, the focus on mental health came from
personal experience: Appel’s close family member was diagnosed with
schizophrenia. Not understanding the illness, Appel felt confused and
embarrassed. It took years to find the right doctors, the right
diagnosis, and the right medications. “I still feel bad for thinking
schizophrenia meant that my family member was crazy. I now know that he
could no more control his behavior than I could stop breathing,” said
Appel. She went on to star in basketball at Stanford University where
she studied psychology, followed by time playing for the Women’s
National Basketball Association on the San Antonio Stars. Appel used her
star status to raise awareness and reduce stigma of mental health as an
advocate for Bring Change 2 Mind. Bring Change 2 Mind works to reduce
stigma and end discrimination around mental illness through influential
Public Service Announcements, school education programs, and a social
movement. www.Bringchange2mind.org

James
B. Everitt
, EdD, Director of the Office of Mission Initiatives &
Institutional Planning at Sacred Heart Schools, has worked in both
public and private schools for the past 22 years. During this time,
Everitt has seen a distinct change in student health concerns. Earlier
in his career, mental health was an off-campus issue, not discussed or
addressed at school. Nowadays, students require—and parents expect—more
support at school. “The top two types of stress we see today are anxiety
and panic attacks,” said Everitt. School staff members are now aware of
the potential for suicide, they have learned the warning signs, and
schools have put systems in place to support vulnerable students. “In
any school, independent or public, having a strong school/parent
partnership is the single most important factor in successfully
supporting a student who struggles,” said Everitt. “We are proud to
partner with CHC to help build whole support systems between students,
families and schools so students can take healthy risks, and learn from
successes and failure.”

Teen mental health and wellness is a complex issue that is top priority
for our community,” said CHC Executive Director, Dr. Rosalie Whitlock.
There is so much important work to be done and none of us can solve it
alone. We must continue to partner and leverage our collective strengths
to support our teens.” The CHC Breakfast Co-chairs agreed, closing the
event by saying, “We are here to speak up and speak out to save lives.
We want our children, our friends’ children and our community of young
people, to be able to find wellness, hope and resiliency. This is the
reason we are here today.”

About CHC:

CHC has been providing top-rated education and mental health services to
families in the Bay Area for over 60 yrs. Specializing in ADHD, Learning
Differences, Autism, and Anxiety & Depression, CHC has two schools, two
clinics, and a strong program of free community education. CHC’s Teen
Mental Health Initiative is an expansion of CHC’s work with teens and
families with anxiety and depression, and offers a continuum of care and
support that includes affordable teen therapy, free community education,
and leveraged community partnerships. The goals of the initiative are to
connect those in need to those who can help, increase awareness, remove
stigma, and reduce teen suicide.

Through the initiative, CHC has expanded its services to include:

  • increased affordable and accessible therapy and psychiatry services
    for teens and families
  • the first IOP in Palo Alto for Teens (Spring 2017)
  • a series of community education classes about teen mental health to
    build awareness and understanding
  • a Leadership Collaborative, in conjunction with Stanford, of over 40
    leaders across multiple agencies, to promote easier access for Bay
    Area teens and their families to mental health services
  • a forum and platform where teens can raise issues about teen mental
    health and use their voices to implement change in the community.

For more information, visit www.chconline.org

Contacts

for Children’s Health Council
Micaelia Randolph, 707-933-7332
mrandolph@chconline.org
or
Yvonne
Wolters, 650-867-7929
gbheron@mac.com