Editor's note: Resources for any person who is feeling depressed, troubled or suicidal are listed at the bottom of this article.
The Palo Alto school district is partnering with local grief nonprofit Kara to host two educational nights for parents this and next week to help support families coping with the recent death by suicide of a student.
Jaymie Byron, Kara's director of community outreach and crisis response, will lead the Aug. 24 and Aug. 31 events. They are "intended to provide community members with additional skills to address their children's grief by developing a foundation of knowledge on grief, growing one's sense of compassion, and providing opportunities to reflect inward on one's own grief history," a description reads.
In a weekly message on Friday, Superintendent Max McGee wrote that the district decided to sponsor the parent nights after receiving inquiries from parents about how to talk to their children about depression, mental health and managing grief.
Through "psycho-education, experiential exercises" and group discussion, Kara hopes to help attendees recognize symptoms of grief, support others who are grieving and process feelings of loss.
Palo Alto-based Kara provides grief support for children, teenagers, families and adults through therapy, crisis support for schools, peer groups, including drop-in groups, and other services.
The events are open to all families and community members of the school district. Mandarin and Spanish interpretation will be available, and childcare will be provided.
The first event will take place on Thursday, Aug. 24, from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Cubberley Community Center, 4000 Middlefield Road, and the second on Thursday, Aug. 31, also at Cubberley at the same time.
The school district has also posted several documents online on suicide, mental health and grief to help parents, teachers and others support students. View them here.
Any person who is feeling depressed, troubled or suicidal can call 1-800-784-2433 to speak with a crisis counselor. People in Santa Clara County can call 1-855-278-4204. Spanish speakers can call 1-888-628-9454.
People can reach trained counselors at Crisis Text Line by texting 741741.
The link below provides more resources where one can receive help: