Tapping the power of friendship to boost teen mental health | December 7, 2012 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - December 7, 2012

Tapping the power of friendship to boost teen mental health

Gunn's 'Sources of Strength' program reports success after first year

by Chris Kenrick

An effort to bolster teen mental health at Gunn High School by harnessing the power of peer influence has shown success in its first year, according to survey results.

This story contains 1059 words.

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Staff Writer Chris Kenrick can be emailed at ckenrick@paweekly.com.


Posted by Word Critic, a resident of Atherton
on Dec 7, 2012 at 1:12 pm

Why is the headline to this story about teen "mental health" instead of teen "wellness". The first has such a stigma of something not "normal", whereas the issues mentioned are all commonplace and worthy of help and compassion...and often impact us as adults.

Posted by Looney tunes, a resident of Southgate
on Dec 7, 2012 at 6:04 pm

The article makes it sound as if Gunn students are psychotic, not just excessively stressed. Holistic health and a whole child approach should be addressed, not labeling kids as mentally ill as if they need psychiatric care. Are they basing the school academic.system on China's, or what?

Posted by Sylvia Sanders, a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 8, 2012 at 7:25 am

Thank you to the outside experts, Gunn students, and staff for embracing these meaningful programs. It's an example of putting the money where the mouth is. That the percentage of students who feel they have someone to talk to about their problems has increased is a move in the right direction.
As a teacher, a parent, and a community member, I am grateful for these programs.

Posted by helpful, a resident of Menlo Park
on Dec 8, 2012 at 9:50 am

Word critic adn Looney tunes,
I understand your concern. And yet, were you here in 2009 when so many Gunn students committed suicide? This effort is not about general wellness. It is a directed effort to help those who feel depressed or suicidal. Although I agree that "mental health"carries a stigma, I think it is a more accurate and appropriate headline than "wellness" (a concept I also support). Wouldn't it be great if, instead of obscuring the headline, we could instead de-stigmatize the phrase "mental health." That starts from within, with your own attitude. See if you can help be the change.

Posted by Looney Tunes, a resident of Southgate
on Dec 9, 2012 at 7:27 pm

Yes, I was here long before 2009 and the suicides. In fact, my BIL, who once worked here as a finance manager, actually [portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff] remarked, as only a former finance manager could, that the city was wasting too much money by posting police officers at the rail crossings where these occurred!!! To which I replied that it was not to much money if it saved your child.

Actually, teens being sensitive, I would be concerned that they would so fear the label of being mentally ill that they wouldn't seek help under the mental health label. They may be far more likely to get help if it is labeled as wellness.

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