U.S. Health Officials Are Finally Paying Attention To Palo Alto School Suicides – Huffington Post

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Gunn, which is highly ranked and consistently sends kids to top colleges like Stanford, is actively looking for ways to minimize these occurrences.

“While we already have considerable prevention efforts in place including active monitoring of at-risk students, extensive counseling, our student Reach Out, Care, and Know organization, homework monitoring, and professional development efforts with teachers, we have plans to do more in the areas that directly link to student social emotional health,” Superintendent Max McGee said to parents last year.

Gunn principal Denise Herrmann is also figuring out ways to minimize stress in students’ academic lives. She reorganized class schedules so that students attend fewer classes per day, she told ABC News, and is making sure the school offers techniques to reduce stress, like yoga and one-on-one counseling. 

NBA star Jeremy Lin even responded to the disturbing suicide news shaking his hometown in an emotional Facebook post. A classmate and a friend of his died by suicide while he was a student at Palo Alto High School, he wrote. Lin, too, often experienced the pressures that the rigorous system places on high-performing students. 

“I realized that even though there was pressure to be great, I had a personal choice not to define myself by my success and accomplishments. I learned through my brother, my pastor and my friends that my identity and my worth were in more than my grades,” he wrote.

Suicide contagion among teens and young adults isn’t a problem that afflicts Silicon Valley exclusively. The CDC has also investigated incidents in two counties in Delaware, as well as in Fairfax, Virginia, where it found that 72 percent of youth suicides exhibited previous mental health problems.

If you or someone you know needs help, please call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of international resources.

U.S. Health Officials Are Finally Paying Attention To Palo Alto School Suicides – Huffington Post