Community Notebook: Gunn High School to host event regarding wellness program

Sources of Strength aims to create culture of increased awareness, compassion and support for students

Dr. Shashank Joshi of Stanford University will be the guest speaker at an event at Gunn High School regarding the school's student wellness program, Sources of Strength.

Gunn and Palo Alto high school students, family members and the public are invited to attend the event to learn about the program and how to continue the conversations around "hope, help and strength at home and in the community," a flyer for the event reads. The event will be held on Nov. 12, 7-8:30 p.m., at the Spangenberg Theatre at Gunn.

Gunn and Paly peer leaders will also share personal experiences and describe the Sources of Strength activities currently being rolled out at both campuses. Gunn has had the program in place since 2011, and Paly launched it for the first time this year.

Sources of Strength is a suicide-prevention program that aims to create a culture of increased awareness, compassion and support for students by training peer leaders who then disseminate information about mental health to other students.

The program helps youth to identify, discuss and strengthen "protective factors" in their lives and to work together to build resilience and to become agents of positive change.

"As change agents, they will spread messages in person and via social media about the various sources of hope, help and strength available to the community," the event flyer reads.

Joshi -- a psychiatrist and Stanford University assistant professor of psychiatry, pediatrics and education who helps coordinate much of the Palo Alto school district's mental-health efforts -- will share his research and knowledge on the topic at the event.

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15 people like this
Posted by Walking wounded
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 4, 2015 at 10:21 am

Having left because of retaliation that affected family and child, this rings so hollow. I really appreciate Dr. Joshi's efforts, but I know too many other wounded like us who aren't even part of the conversation now. Getting to the truth and reconciling for past wrongs would not only help the wronged, it would be good for the soul and culture of the district. I fear this is yet another feel good pat on the back for those who don't really need it, and those who do are still on the outside are at BEST ignored.

It's easy to connect with those who don't need it. Harder when a child or family have been the butt of what amounts to vicious office gossip and retaliation masquerading as official business, especially since dissed and stressed people (parents and children) aren't usually at their best. I see a lot of teachers and even district folk going along with things they should stand up against if they really cared. Confronted with that on a daily basis for years, and the emotional damage of it, what child who really needs this is going to see anything but hypocrisy until the district addresses the trust problem? Truth and reconcilation matter.

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