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)
Children's Health Council

News related to teen mental health

CHC in the Press: ‘Mental Health Doesn’t Go Away Over the Summer:’ Local Organizations See Spike in Demand for Services

Sarah Pistorino saw a therapist through the end of her freshman year at Sacred Heart Preparatory School. Then summer came — and with it, the end of her academic stress and fatigue — so she pressed the pause button on her therapy. But when school started up again in the fall, she felt a decline in her mental health. She now continues therapy through the summer months. Read more ›

CHC in the Press: The Complicated Relationship Between Screen Time and Depression

Some experts think that the rise in mental health problems in youth can be tied to an event in 2007: The introduction of the iPhone. Psychologist and author Jean M. Twenge wants us to believe that the “iGen”, the generation shaped by smartphones and social media use, born between 1995 and 2012 is “on the brink of the worst mental-health crisis in decades.” Read more ›

Adolescent Suicide Rate hits 20-Year High

Recent research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association indicates the suicide rate for teens ages 15 to 19 is at its highest point in 20 years, and that suicide is now the second-leading cause of death for that age group. Read more ›

NIMH-Funded Study Finds “13 Reasons Why” Associated with Increase in Youth Suicide Rates

The Netflix show “13 Reasons Why” was associated with a 28.9% increase in suicide rates among U.S. youth ages 10-17 in the month (April 2017) following the show’s release, after accounting for ongoing trends in suicide rates, according to a study published in Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. The findings highlight the necessity of using best practices when portraying suicide in popular entertainment and in the media. The study was conducted by researchers at several universities, hospitals, and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health. NIMH also funded the study. Read more ›

More U.S. Youth Seeking Help During Psychiatric Emergencies

The number of young people visiting U.S. emergency rooms with psychiatric problems is rising, driven largely by a surge in teens and minority youth seeking urgent help for mental illnesses, a new study suggests. Read more ›

Social Media Linked to Rise in Mental Health Disorders in Teens, Survey Finds

Mental health issues have risen significantly over the last decade and the rise of digital media may be one reason why, according to a national survey released on March 14. Read more ›

LGBT+ Teens in US, Rejected by Families, Struggling in Foster Care

LGBT+ teens in the United States are three times more likely than heterosexual teens to live in foster care, often after being rejected by their families over their sexuality, according to new research. Read more ›

One in Six U.S. Kids Have Mental Health Disorders, but Only Half Receive Treatment

Roughly in six U.S. kids have at least one mental health disorder, and only about half of them receive treatment from a mental health professional, a new study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics suggests. Read more ›

Only 5 Percent of Adolescents Meet Sleep, Exercise, Screen Time Guidelines

A study published in February 2019 in JAMA Pediatrics discovered that only 1 in 20 adolescents are meeting the guidelines and that a discrepancy exists between the sexes. Only three percent of girls get enough sleep and exercise and don’t exceed screen time recommendations, compared to seven percent of boys. Read more ›

Generation Z Reported the Most Mental Health Problems

Many members of Generation Z — young people between 15 and 21 — have taken more active roles in political activism this year, and a new survey indicates that the state of the nation is to blame for this generation’s stress levels. Read more ›

Jefferson Award in the Bay Area Goes to Nadia Ghaffari of TeenzTalk

Founder of the mental health nonprofit TeenzTalk, Nadia Ghaffari, was recently awarded a Bay Area Jefferson Award for “bringing hope and help to young people with mental health conditions.”  Read more ›

CHC and Stanford Children’s Health Launch Expanded Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for High School Teens Facing Severe Mental Health Challenges

Just over a year ago, CHC opened its doors to a new Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for teens in Palo Alto. Now, in collaboration with Stanford Children’s Health, the program is expanding to serve more adolescents struggling with self-harm, suicidal thoughts and behaviors, severe anxiety and depression.

Read more ›

‘Gaming Disorder’ Has Been Classified As a Mental Health Condition by the World Health Organization

The World Health Organization has added “gaming disorder” to the list of mental health conditions.

The addition will appear in the new version the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), the WHO’s standardized list of diseases and other medical conditions used by countries around the world. Read more ›

Sex and Drugs Decline Among Teens, but Depression and Suicidal Thoughts Grow

One in seven high school students reported misusing prescription opioids, one of several disturbing results in the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, a nationwide survey of teenagers that revealed a growing sense of fear and despair among youth in the United States.

The numbers of teenagers reporting “feelings of sadness or hopelessness,” suicidal thoughts, and days absent from school out of fear of violence or bullying have all risen since 2007. The increases were particularly pointed among lesbian, gay and bisexual high school students. Read more ›

CHC in the Press: ‘Breaking the Silence’ on Youth Mental Health

“There is so much I wish someone had told you.”

This quote, from an anonymous teenager directed to her future self, is from a new book a group of local teenagers wrote to address their sense that there is a lack of guidance to help young people cope with mental health issues. An unfiltered view of the experiences of local teens, the book aims to help any reader, young or old, better understand mental illness. Read more ›

CDC: U.S. Suicide Rates Have Climbed Dramatically

Suicide rates have increased in nearly every state over the past two decades, and half of the states have seen suicide rates go up more than 30 percent. Suicide is a major public health issue, accounting for nearly 45,000 deaths in 2016 alone. That is why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta decided to take a comprehensive look at suicides from 1999 to 2016. Read more ›

Teen Mental Health eNews

This Mental Health Awareness Month, we’d like to celebrate our schools, filled with heroes who—academic expectations notwithstanding—are increasingly responding to the mental health needs of our youth. To faculty, staff, coaches and administrators: you are there listening and advising, supporting kids who are struggling, identifying warning signs, coordinating with parents and providers, and partnering with organizations like CHC to provide the best possible support networks for our kids. You are saving lives every day. Read more ›

13 Reasons Why Season 2 | Important Update

Dear Friends of CHC:
 
While the official release date has yet to be announced, a select audience in LA will be screening season two of the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why this weekend, and buzz about the series abounds. Read more ›

Screen-Addicted Teens are Unhappy

Researchers found that teens who spent a lot of time in front of screen devices — playing computer games, using more social media, texting and video chatting — were less happy than those who invested time in non-screen activities like sports, reading newspapers and magazines, and face-to-face social interaction. The happiest teens used digital media for less than an hour per day. But after a daily hour of screen time, unhappiness rises steadily along with increasing screen time. Read more ›

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 ›

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