Emergency Phone Numbers24-hr Crisis Lines: 855.278.4204 (Santa Clara) | 650.579.0350 (San Mateo) | 415.781.0500 (San Francisco) | 800.273.8255 or Text BAY to 741-741 (National)

In the wake of all the upsetting daily news,
please remember CHC is here for you and your family.

help@chconline.org or 650.688.3625

News related to teen mental health

Standard Depression Survey May Not Work As Well For Black Teens

A recent study, published in the Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research, suggests that different groups of people also talk about depression differently. In particular, poorer black kids discuss their feelings of depression differently than other demographic groups. Read more ›

Helping Strangers May Help Teens’ Self-Esteem

A study published in December in the Journal of Adolescence, suggests that altruistic behaviors, including large and small acts of kindness, may raise teens’ feelings of self-worth. However, not all helping behaviors are the same. The researchers found that adolescents who assisted strangers reported higher self-esteem one year later. Read more ›

How Making Art Helps Teens Better Understand Their Mental Health

Tori Wardrip, an art teacher at Lewis and Clark Middle School in Billings, Montana, wanted to explore the benefits of art more deeply while addressing some of the mental health issues she saw students experiencing. Read more ›

Being Popular: Why it Consumes Teens and Continues to Affect Adults

Popularity is a loaded word. For many adults, it evokes powerful memories of jockeying for position in high school cafeterias and hallways.

“The urge to be popular among our peers reaches its zenith in adolescence,” said Mitch Prinstein, a professor of psychology and author of Popular: The Power of Likability in a Status-Obsessed World.  “So the messages you get at age 14 about who you are and how the world works will affect how you behave when you are 40.” Read more ›

Why Are More American Teenagers Than Ever Suffering From Severe Anxiety?

Over the last decade, anxiety has overtaken depression as the most common reason college students seek counseling services. In its annual survey of students, the American College Health Association found a significant increase — to 62 percent in 2016 from 50 percent in 2011 — of undergraduates reporting “overwhelming anxiety” in the previous year. Surveys that look at symptoms related to anxiety are also telling. Read more ›

Netflix’s ’13 Reasons Why’ Linked to Suicidal Thoughts

A new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine and led by San Diego State University Graduate School of Public Health associate research professor John W. Ayers delved into Americans’ Internet search history in the days after the series 13 Reasons Why aired. He found that queries about suicide and how to commit suicide spiked in the show’s wake. Read more ›

In Tough Neighborhoods, Can High-School Mental Health Counselors Cut the School-to-Prison Pipeline?

When he was 16, DeMarrco Nicholson came home to find his mother unresponsive in the bathroom of their Washington, D.C., apartment, dead from sudden heart failure. In a matter of weeks, he was separated from his siblings, thrown into foster care and bounced from group home to group home in Anacostia, one of the poorest, high-crime neighborhoods in the nation’s capital. Read more ›

Standing Together. Delivering Hope.

Dear Friends and Colleagues,
 
We are deeply saddened by the tragic news that a 17-year-old Gunn High School student died by suicide this week and we know you are also. We all mourn the loss of another young person and empathize with the heartbreak facing his family and friends.  Read more ›

CHC in the Press: Teens Plan first-ever Teen Wellness Conference to ‘Harness Positive Peer Influence’

Under the direction of Bay Area teens, mental health and wellbeing advocates from Palo Alto, Stanford University and elsewhere are working together to plan the first-ever Teen Wellness Conference.

The free conference for teens ages 13 to 19 in September is unique in that it is being organized mainly under the direction of teenagers. Read more ›

Suicides in Teen Girls Hit a 40-Year High

The suicide rate among teenage girls continues to rise and hit a 40-year high in 2015, according to a new analysis released Thursday.

Suicide rates doubled among girls and rose by more than 30 percent among teen boys and young men between 2007 and 2015, the updated breakdown from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds. Read more ›

CHC in the Press: Online Searches About Suicide Climbed After ’13 Reasons Why’ Premiere

Internet searches related to suicide increased 19% in the three weeks after the premiere of the Netflix show 13 Reasons Why, found new research. That increase translated to approximately 900,000 to 1.5 million more searches than would be expected without the show. Read more ›

Study Finds Digital Dating Abuse Worse for Girls

A new study by the University of Michigan and the University of California Santa Barbara found that girls are more negatively affected by digital dating abuse.

Researchers at the University of Michigan and University of California-Santa Barbara examined the impact of gender on high schoolers’ experience of digital dating abuse behaviors, which include use of cell phones or internet to harass, control, pressure or threaten a dating partner. Read more ›

Students Say They Don’t Know Where to Turn for Mental Health Services

“Kind Communities – A Bridge to Youth Mental Wellness” was released today by the Born This Way Foundation, which was founded by Lady Gaga in 2012 to assist young people in achieving mental and emotional well-being.

The survey cataloged a number of different issues as reported by 3,015 young people between the ages of 15 and 24, as well as 1,004 parents in an online survey,  including how students view their own mental health —including how they strive to alleviate mental health issues —  Read more ›

CHC Teen Mental Health Committee Campaign — Speak Mindfully

Speak Mindfully is a campaign that was created by the Teen Mental Health Committee with the goal of raising awareness, reducing stigma, and educating teens on how to speak mindfully to avoid language that undermines people’s valid experiences with mental illness. Read more ›

CHC in the Press: Children’s Health Council Launches Intensive Outpatient Program

The Children’s Health Council (CHC) launched its first Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) on May 8, marking a pivotal point in expanding local teen mental health services. The program will address the needs of high school teens ages 14 to 18 who show signs of significant anxiety, depression or suicidal thoughts. Read more ›

‘Alarming’ Rise in Children Hospitalized with Suicidal Thoughts or Actions

The percentage of younger children and teens hospitalized for suicidal thoughts or actions in the United States doubled over nearly a decade, according to new research.

A steady increase in admissions due to suicidality and serious self-harm occurred at 32 children’s hospitals across the nation from 2008 through 2015, the researchers found. The children studied were between the ages of 5 and 17, and although all age groups showed increases, the largest uptick was seen among teen girls. Read more ›

CHC in the Press: Program Introduces Mental Health Services

On May 8, Palo Alto’s Children’s Health Council (CHC) will debut its newest branch, the Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), which will focus on aiding teenagers struggling with depression or anxiety.

The IOP will use a variety of therapeutic methods, including mindful movement and family therapy, to provide comprehensive support and treatment for high schoolers, specifically those with high levels of anxiety, self-esteem problems, suicidal thoughts and histories of self-harm. Read more ›

13 Reasons Why: Important Update

Dear Friends of CHC:
 
Just as Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why was beginning to air in early April, we sent out a note of concern.

 One month later, we are learning that this is the most talked about show on social media and that it is more concerning than was originally thought. Two IOP teen therapists from CHC’s Adolescent Mental Health Services Department, Dr. Anna Parnes and Jennifer Leydecker advise, “If your kids have watched it or plan to watch it, it’s critical that you watch the program too so you are aware of the content.” For those of you who haven’t heard, the show is a fictional account of a teenage girl, Hannah, who dies by suicide and leaves behind audio tapes outlining the 13 people she blames for her death. We strongly suggest parent caution, monitoring and dialogue about the program and its topics of suicide, survivor guilt, sexual assault and bullying and shaming. 

Read more ›

CHC in the Press: Special Mental Health Program Launched for Teens

Palo Alto teens and families looking for mental health services that fall between occasional therapy and hospitalization soon will have that option.

With the help of an anonymous donor interested in reducing the number of teen suicides, the nonprofit Children’s Health Council has launched a 12-week Intensive Outpatient Program at its Palo Alto campus at 650 Clark Way.

The outpatient program starts May 8. It will serve teens 14 to 18 years old with moderate to severe symptoms of anxiety or depression, self-harm behaviors or suicidal thoughts. Read more ›

CHC to Open First Intensive Outpatient Program in Palo Alto for Teens, Spring 2017

Media Contact:
Micaelia Randolph, 707.933.7332, mrandolph@chconline.org
Yvonne Wolters, 650.867.7929, gbheron@mac.com
 
PALO ALTO, CA, February 14, 2017 —Thanks to the outstanding philanthropic leadership of an anonymous Palo Alto resident, CHC is moving forward with plans to launch Palo Alto’s first Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) this spring, filling a critical gap in teen mental health services. The IOP, located on CHC’s campus, will address the needs of teens between the ages of 14-18 with significant anxiety, depression, and/or suicidal thoughts. Read more ›

NIH Panel Develops 10-Year Plan for Preventing Youth Suicide

More than 42,000 Americans die from suicide each year. It’s the 10th leading cause of death in the United States and the second leading cause of death in youth (10 to 24 years of age) and young adults (25 to 34 years of age), claiming the lives of 12,073 individuals in these age brackets in 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Risk factors such as depression, other mental disorders, and substance use, along with precipitating events such as relationship loss or disruption; and environmental circumstances like barriers to accessing mental health treatment, can contribute to suicidal behavior.

An independent panel convened by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has developed a 10-year roadmap for advancing research to prevent youth suicide. The panel listed 29 recommendations that address three critical issues: improving data systems, enhancing data collection and analysis methods, and strengthening the research and practice community. Read more ›

Fear of Unknown Common to Many Anxiety Disorders

Several anxiety disorders, including panic disorder, social anxiety disorder and specific phobias, share a common underlying trait: increased sensitivity to uncertain threat, or fear of the unknown, report researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago. The finding could help steer treatment of these disorders away from diagnosis-based therapies to treating their common characteristics. Read more ›

Suicide Survivors Urge Open Conversations, Awareness Around Mental Health

Five women whose lives have been intimately, irreversibly touched by youth suicide — two by their own attempts and three by deaths of family members — spoke candidly about their experiences on a panel in Palo Alto Wednesday night, urging others to speak with the same candor about the oft-silenced topics of suicide and mental illness.

“Talking about suicide is what we all need to start doing, and talking about mental health conditions,” said Mary Ojakian, a Palo Alto resident whose son died by suicide as a college student in 2004. “That is where we need to go: understanding and awareness, which is pretty easy to get, for everyone.”

Read more ›

Teen Suicide is Contagious, and the Problem is Worse Than We Thought

Riley knew of at least two of the kids who had killed themselves the previous winter: an older girl at school (they had mutual friends) and a boy in her Christian youth group. Such peripheral connections are all that seem to connect most of the kids in the area who had killed themselves, and school and county officials began to worry they were witnessing a copycat effect…until copycat became too weak a word. It was more like an outbreak, a plague spreading through school hallways. Read more ›

CHC Rocktoberfest Rocks Out For Kids and Teens, Raising Funds For Affordable Teen Mental Health and CHC Programs

Media Contact: Micaelia Randolph, 707.933.7332, mrandolph@chconline.org
Yvonne Wolters, 650.867.7929, gbheron@mac.com

PALO ALTO, CA, October 24, 2016 —On Saturday, October 15th CHC hosted more than 350 community leaders, parents, professionals, and philanthropists at its Fourth Annual CHC Rocktoberfest fundraiser, held at NCEFT in Woodside. The benefit celebration and dance raised funds to expand affordable teen mental health services and to support CHC programs in Silicon Valley.

CHC Rocktoberfest, co-chaired by well-known community volunteers Calla Griffith and Anne-Marie Gambelin, has become one of the hottest tickets around, known for it’s fun mix of Oktoberfest with a California twist. Featuring farm-to-table food, and over 20 fine artisan wines and craft beers, as well as rock n’ roll, courtesy of the band LoveFool, guests were treated to a first-class evening out. Read more ›

UCSB Researchers Study the Effectiveness of an Innovative Program Designed to Help Youth Learn About Mental Health

Mental Health Matters, a program of the Mental Wellness Center, is in place in 35 classrooms in schools in Goleta, Santa Barbara, Montecito and Buellton, helping 11- and 12-year-old children learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of six major mental illnesses: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and stress disorders, major depression, bipolar disorders, eating disorders and schizophrenia.

Mental Health Matters is an innovative curricular unit designed for students approaching or in adolescence whereby they are taught basic facts about mental wellness.  Two formats are available:  one for sixth graders and one for ninth graders.  Students learn to recognize symptoms of mental health disorders and that treatment is available.  A secondary objective is to directly address the stigma too often associated with mental illness. The goal is to increase the students’ understanding of mental illness, reduce the associated stigma and share wellness practices.

But, does program actually work? Read more ›

Trauma from Childhood Bullying May Persist into College

New research finds that college students report the psychological impact of childhood bullying is on the same level as severe physical or sexual abuse.

The study of 480 college freshmen through seniors, indicated that the detrimental effects of bullying may linger for years. The emotional impact of the bullying can negatively affect a victims’ mental health well into young adulthood. 

While most of the investigation on bullying has focused on kindergarten through 12th-grade students, the struggles revealed by college students who participated in the research suggest a need to develop assessments and interventions for this population, according to the researchers. Read more ›

For Some Rural Teens, Psychiatric Help Is Now Just a TV Screen Away

Many U.S. states are facing a severe shortage of psychiatrists, according to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP). Psychiatrists and mental health advocates say America today needs more than 30,000 child and adolescent psychiatrists, and has only 8,300—and the need appears to keep rising.

Advocates have long scrambled for solutions to the problem: increase funding for clinics; expand loan-forgiveness programs so medical students might be encouraged to go into child psychiatry; increase the number of psychiatric beds in hospitals; and expand telehealth. Read more ›

CHC Launches Mental Health Initiative for Teens — Expands Affordable Teen Therapy, Community Education and Engagement

Media Contact: 

Micaelia Randolph, 707-933-7332, mrandolph@chconline.org
Yvonne Wolters, 650-867-7929, gbheron@mac.com

Palo Alto, CA July 29, 2016 — Children’s Health Council (CHC) today launches the CHC Teen Mental Health Initiative, focused on teen anxiety, depression and suicide. The CHC Teen Mental Health Initiative is an integrated program of community engagement, mental health education and affordable teen therapy, all aimed at preventing teen suicides and increasing the mental wellness of teens. The CHC Teen Mental Health Initiative will include comprehensive mental health education for parents, teens and schools to raise awareness of mental health issues, remove the stigma around discussing them, and educate the community about signs and symptoms of anxiety, depression and suicide for earlier identification and intervention. Read more ›

Gunn Grad Leads Local Crisis Text Line Effort

Libby Craig, a Palo Alto native and Gunn High School graduate, spent four hours every Sunday night for several months this year as a volunteer crisis counselor for Crisis Text Line, a free, confidential, 24/7 support service accessible nationwide by simply texting the number 741741. Recently, she joined the nonprofit organization full time and is leading Crisis Text Line’s efforts to grow the service in the Bay Area, in part in response to the youth suicide clusters in her own hometown. Read more ›

Epi-Aid Preliminary Report on Youth Suicide

In November of 2015, the California Department of Public Health, on behalf of the Santa Clara County Public Health Department, asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to assist our community in better understanding youth suicide in Santa Clara County.

 In partnership with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the CDC is conducting an Epi-Aid investigation on youth suicide. Using a public health approach, the purpose of this Epi-Aid is to understand the characteristics and trends of fatal and non-fatal suicidal behavior among youth in Santa Clara County.

Read more ›

Teen Mental Health Initiative: Announcing New Opportunities and Activities for Teens

Palo Alto and the neighboring SF peninsula communities have been significantly impacted by teen anxiety, depression and suicide. Children’s Health Council’s Teen Mental Health Initiative focuses on this serious issue and what we can do about it. 

The Teen Mental Health Initiative began with CHC’s 3rd annual Breakfast in February, which included an interactive panel discussion with experts who offered a variety of perspectives, strategies, and recommendations for supporting teens in crisis.  After the breakfast, CHC extended these important discussions through a variety of community outreach efforts,  such as workshops, forum discussions, and community coffees.

Today, Children’s Health Council is pleased to announce new opportunities and activities for teens that will be offered as part of our Teen Mental Health Initiative. Led by CHC’s Dr. Anna Parnes and Bridget Stolee McCormick, LMFT: Read more ›

10 Things You May Not Know About Anxiety Disorder

Despite how common they are, anxiety disorders continue to be belittled as mere worrying instead of debilitating, disabling conditions that require treatment.

While a little bit of anxiety can be beneficial by helping us keep safe, people with untreated anxiety disorders experience overwhelming, uncontrollable feelings of dread or fear that can interfere with daily life and prevent them from doing the things they want to do. Learning more about these conditions is one way to help combat mental health stigma and get help to the people who need it.

Olivia Remes, lead author of the analysis and an anxiety researcher at the University of Cambridge, reviewed 48 of the best or most comprehensive studies on anxiety prevalence around the world and was able to pinpoint which cultures, genders and age groups are most likely to be affected. Read more ›

Facebook Rolls Out Suicide-Prevention Tools Globally

Facebook is rolling out worldwide tools aimed at preventing suicide, expanding its reach beyond the United States. Working with mental health groups such as Forefront, Lifeline and SAVE.org, Facebook started working on suicide prevention about a decade ago after a string of teen suicides in Palo Alto.

Since then, as Facebook has grown to 1.6 billion users worldwide, social media is playing a larger role in how people — especially teens — share their thoughts and lives with others. Read more ›

Social Media Use Linked to Depression

The more time young adults use social media, the more likely they are to be depressed, according to new research from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

The findings could guide clinical and public health interventions to tackle depression, forecast to become the leading cause of disability in high-income countries by 2030. The research, funded by the National Institutes of Health, is published online and scheduled for the April 1 issue of the journal Depression and Anxiety.

Read more ›

Youth Suicide Rates Have Climbed Since 1999, Data Show

Stunning increases in U.S. suicide rates for all ages gripped headlines today as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new data on the subject.

Overlooked in many stories: While the numbers of suicides for children remain low compared to other populations, girls aged 10-14 had the highest growth in suicide rates of any group between 1999 and 2014, the most recent year reported in federal data. In that time, the rate of suicides for girls in that age group tripled, growing from 0.5 per 100,000 people to 1.5 per 100,000 people. Read more ›

Why Do Girls Tend to Have More Anxiety Than Boys?

Why is it that girls tend to be more anxious than boys?

It may start with how they feel about how they look. Some research has shown that in adolescence, girls tend to become more dissatisfied with their bodies, whereas boys tend to become more satisfied with their bodies. Another factor has to do with differences in how girls and boys use social media. A girl is much more likely than a boy to post a photo of herself wearing a swimsuit, while the boy is more likely to post a photo where the emphasis is on something he has done rather than on how he looks. Read more ›

Preventing Teen Suicide: Schools Target Asian Parental Expectations

A growing dialogue within Asian communities is playing out in many of the Bay Area’s high-performing school districts, but the challenge of easing student pressure is also raising tensions and even a backlash from parents and highly motivated students — who worry reforms might dumb down learning.

California’s Asian teen suicide rate has fluctuated over the years, but through 2013 — the latest figures available — generally remained below the rate of white teens. Educators and doctors, however, say the signs of stress are disturbing . . . Read more ›

U.S. Panel Reaffirms Depression Screening for Adolescents

Adolescents between 12 and 18 years old in the U.S. should be screened for depression, according to guidelines reaffirmed by a government-backed panel of prevention experts.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) says about 8 percent of U.S. adolescents experience major depression each year. Less is known about how common the condition is among younger children, however. Read more ›

Disturbing Suicide Cluster Prompts CDC to Start Investigation in Palo Alto

In Palo Alto, members of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s epidemiological assistance team are scheduled to begin an investigation this week on the “suicide contagion” risk in a similar way they may investigate a viral or bacterial outbreak that spreads through a community. As federal officials arrive in Palo Alto, they will face a community that is trying to find innovative ways to combat suicide when it becomes a “contagion.” Read more ›

Parents Start Local Mental-Health Support Group

A group of parents who saw a need for a locally based, ongoing group to support other parents concerned about the mental health and well-being of their teens will be launching such a group this month.

The mental-health subcommittee of parent-advocacy group SELPA 1 CAC will host its first “Parent Chat” on Tuesday, Feb. 23, at the Los Altos Library. The group is supposed to be peer-driven, though a licensed marriage and family therapist will attend as a facilitator, and is open to parents of any children ages 14 and up. Read more ›

‘Changing the Tide’ on Youth Mental Illness

More than 300 local parents, educators, clinicians and community members gathered Tuesday morning to discuss ways to combat what one speaker called the “new norm” for teenagers in the area: alarmingly high rates of anxiety, stress, depression and death by suicide.

The Children’s Health Council (CHC), a Palo Alto nonprofit that supports youth with anxiety, depression, ADHD and learning differences through services and school sites, devoted an annual breakfast panel to the topics. CHC billed the event as a “call to action” for a community continuing to cope and learn from two separate youth suicide clusters in the last several years. Read more ›

CHC Breakfast to Focus on Teens In Crisis and What We Can Do About It

Media Contact:   

Micaelia Randolph, 707-933-7332, mrandolph@chconline.org
Yvonne Wolters, 650-867-7929, gbheron@mac.com

Palo Alto, CA, January 5, 2016 — Each year, Children’s Health Council (CHC) hosts a breakfast and panel discussion on a topic of interest to parents and the community. These events bring together well-known speakers, writers and professionals whose insights can help with the critical job of raising our children and teens. The 3rd CHC Breakfast in this series will be held on Tuesday, February 2, 2016, at the Sharon Heights Golf and Country Club, Menlo Park from 8:30am – 11:00am. Tickets are $100 per person, and will include breakfast and an interactive panel discussion on the serious issue of teen anxiety and depression in our community and what we can do about it. The event is hosted by Co-Chairs Calla Griffith and Catherine Harvey, CHC, and its Board of Directors, with 100% of event proceeds going toward CHC’s Teen Initiative.

Read more ›

Study Finds Links Between Bullying and Eating Disorders

Being bullied in childhood has been associated with increased risk for anxiety, depression and even eating disorders. But according to new research, it’s not only the victims who could be at risk psychologically, but also the bullies themselves. Researchers at Duke Medicine and the University of North Carolina School of Medicine were surprised to find that in a study of 1,420 children, those who bullied others were twice as likely to display symptoms of bulimia, such as bingeing and purging, when compared to children who are not involved in bullying. The findings are published in the December issue of International Journal of Eating Disorders. Read the full article on Medical News Today.

Mental Health Once Again Most Common Cause of Hospital Admission Among CA Children

Nearly 40,000 California children ages 5-19, or 5 of every 1,000, were hospitalized for mental health issues in 2014, according to the most recent data available on kidsdata.org. In fact, since 2008, Mental Diseases and Disorders have accounted for the largest share of hospital admissions of children ages 0-17 in California. Read more ›

Many Kids with Mental Health Issues See Only Pediatricians

One in three children who were diagnosed and treated for mental health conditions on an outpatient basis saw their primary-care doctors for this care, a new study reports. Using data from a nationally representative survey, the researchers found that about 35 percent of children receiving mental health care in the past year had appointments only with their primary-care physicians compared with about 26 percent who saw only psychiatrists and 15 percent who saw only psychologists or social workers. To get a glimpse at who provides outpatient mental health services to children throughout the country and the types of diagnoses and medications prescribed, the researchers analyzed data from about 43,000 children in the United States ages 2 to 21 between the years 2008 and 2011. Read more ›

M Magazine Publishes Article by Dr. Katherine DeVaul

“My Kid Is Fine: How Teen Depression Deceives Us” written by Dr. Katherine DeVaul of Children’s Health Council was published in the October 2011 issue of M magazine. Read more ›