CALIFORNIA: Community Survey Gives Snapshot of Palo Alto Perception on Youth Suicide

April 14, 2017

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News
Speaker:  California

The Mercury News

A community collaborative in Palo Alto has carried out a survey to learn about local perceptions of youth suicide. Project Safety Net initiated the survey in response to an epidemiological investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which found that Palo Alto has the highest youth suicide rate in Santa Clara County. The survey, which collected responses in three languages from 1,825 participants, included questions about help-seeking, community supports, and accessibility of treatment for mental health issues. It found that about two-thirds of respondents had knowledge of mental health services and positive attitudes toward help-seeking. Becky Beacom of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation and Sutter Health said that these findings indicate a need for expanded outreach. The survey also identified a need to address the negative bias among some young people who consider suicide “shameful” and depression untreatable. According to Beacom, the survey helps shed light on how youth and adults in the community think and feel about suicide. “For the first time, we could really collect the voices of Palo Altans,” she said.

Spark Extra! Visit the Project Safety Net website.