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Children's Health Council

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

January 5, 2016, News

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.

“Right now, we are facing a pressing issue in the community we love and call home: how to keep our kids from being over-stressed and overwhelmed,” said Dr. Ramsey Khasho, Director of The Center and Director of Clinical Services for Sand Hill School at CHC. “Sadly, the teen suicide rate in Palo Alto and the neighboring communities is 4-5 times the national average. We are a community in crisis.”

Many concerned community members from local schools, hospitals, clinics and organizations around the Bay Area have pulled together to draw greater attention to this community challenge. While much effort and many gains have been made to build awareness and advocacy, a gap in service delivery geared towards teens struggling with anxiety and depression still remains. The CHC Breakfast will bring experts together to offer a variety of perspectives on teens in crisis, and offer ideas on what we can do about it.

The CHC Breakfast will feature a panel of parents and experts, moderated by CHC’s Dr. Ramsey Khasho. The panel will include:

Stacy Drazan—Mental Health Advocate, Mother of Shelby Drazan (July 25, 1997-October 14, 2014)

Julie Lythcott-Haims—Author, New York Times Bestseller, How to Raise an Adult. Ms. Lythcott-Haims will share her compelling views about parenting and what she calls “overparenting” and its effect on kids.

Denise Pope— Co-Founder, Challenge Success. Ms. Pope, a senior lecturer at the Stanford University Graduate School of Education, is a long-time advocate for teens. Ms. Pope will talk about Challenge Success and how schools and families can create more balanced and academically fulfilling lives for their kids.

Chris Harris, MEd—Director of Esther B. Clark School at Children’s Health Council. Mr. Harris works daily with students at EBC School at CHC, which focuses on kids with social emotional and attention challenges.

Jenny Jaffe—Founder/Executive Director, Project UROK. Ms. Jaffe’s Project UROK provides online content for teens suffering from a wide variety of issues—depression, inattention, anxiety, and more.

Event Sponsors include Merrilee Harris, Sheila and Keith McWilliams, Stanford Children’s Health/Lucile Packard Hospital, and Palo Alto Weekly.

The CHC Breakfast follows a November 2015 call-to-action meeting in which CHC brought 60 key community leaders, professionals, parents and philanthropists together to collaborate and take action to confront the problem of teen anxiety, depression and suicide. The group, which included parents and key representatives from Stanford, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Kara Grief Counseling Services, Project Happiness, Acknowledge Alliance, Bay Area Children’s Association and more, identified critical gaps in services and barriers to treatment. The group also prioritized top concerns, the most urgent of which is removing the stigma of talking about teen suicide. “The CHC Breakfast is the next actionable step to bring the discussion on teen anxiety, depression and suicide into the community to enable safe, non-judgmental conversations among families, kids, teachers, and professionals,” said Dr. Khasho.

“I am grateful that our community cares so passionately for our children who are in crisis,” said Dr. Rosalie Whitlock, Executive Director, CHC. “It has been heartwarming to see how the community is coming together in love and action to address teen depression and suicide. By bringing the discussion about teen suicide into the public conversation, I believe that we can reduce the stigma of talking about teen suicide, and help our children suffering from mental health issues find the treatment they need.”

We hope you will join Children’s Health Council’s Dr. Ramsey Khasho and an extraordinary panel of parents and experts for an interactive panel discussion, breakfast, and community call to action, to realize the promise and potential for stressed and overwhelmed teens. For more information, visit https://www.chconline.org/chcbreakfast/

About Children’s Health Council

Children’s Health Council (Palo Alto) has been serving kids, youth and teens in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties as well as the greater San Francisco Bay Area for over 60 years. The goal of the agency is to remove barriers to learning regardless of language, location, learning style or ability to pay. At CHC, we specialize in ADHD, Learning Differences, Anxiety & Depression and Autism with our Center, two schools, Community Clinic, and Parent and Teacher Education. No matter how big or how small the issue is, we’ll help you navigate your child or teen’s journey together. www.chconline.org

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