The CHC Breakfast
Breaking the silence and changing the tide on teen mental health.
On February 2, 2016, at Sharon Heights Country Club in Menlo Park, 300 local parents, educators, clinicians and community members gathered for The CHC Breakfast, Co-Chaired by Calla Griffith and Catherine Harvey.
This year’s event addressed the sobering topic of Anxious and Depressed Teens. The teenage suicide rate in the Bay Area is alarming—and it’s been reported to be four to five times the national average right here in Palo Alto. At the breakfast we heard from Stacy Drazan, a Woodside resident who lost her 17-year-old daughter to suicide in 2014, and Jenny Jaffe, a local high school graduate who later graduated from NYU, who has struggled with mental health issues and founded Project UROK.
We listened to the personal stories of our speakers and looked to our panelists for answers and hope. The format was open, and audience members asked or wrote nearly 60 questions for Drazan, Jaffe, and our panelists Denise Pope, Julie Lythcott-Haims, and CHC’s Dr. Ramsey Khasho and Chris Harris. Many of these responses are now posted on CHC’s website.
The response to the event was so overwhelming and emotional that CHC has added teen mental health events for parents, kids and the community to keep the conversation going. What we realized through the breakfast is that there are unmet needs in our community and these needs are much larger than just Palo Alto.
Through conversations with local agencies and providers and a recent pro bono study with McKinsey & Company, we identified 25 unmet teen mental health needs and 35 potential solutions.
By digging deeper, CHC explored the feasibility of three potential solutions that align with CHC’s mission and deliver on our commitment to: reducing the stigma around mental health; increasing awareness,education/ understanding, and action; and connecting those in need to those who can help.
As we make new strides in teen mental health, we are grateful to the McKinsey & Company team, the advisory committee, including Robert Keller; Ross Jaffe, MD; Antonio Hardan, MD; Victor Carrion, MD; Steven Adelsheim, MD; Ben Choi; Manisha Agrawal; Julie Terrell Hooper and Beckie Robertson for their dedication and guidance. Stay tuned for announcements about CHC’s new teen mental health initiative and check our website for information, events, and opportunities for involvement.