On May 7th, the Project Safety Net Leadership Team and partners representing schools, health, education and communities sectors attended a Collective Impact workshop led by Dr. Jim Connell (Institute for Research and Reform in Education) and Dalene Dutton (Five Town Communities That Care). The purpose of the meeting was to guide the Project Safety Net collaborative to focus on the things that matter most in promoting youth well-being and suicide prevention, to better understand and articulate how this work is making a difference, and to help community partners re-affirm their commitment to this work under the Collective Impact model.
The group was divided into four sub-groups (Schools, Families, Health Services, and Community Organizations) to analyze the work being done currently throughout the community (in the areas of prevention, intervention, and postvention), as a first step towards identifying and analyzing possible gaps in services. At a follow-up meeting on May 28th, Project Safety Net partners had an opportunity to review, revise, and contribute additional programs and strategies to the mapping activity and gap analysis. A recommendation was made by the consultants to hire a full-time Executive Director of Project Safety Net and house this person at a "neutral" fiscal agency, such as a foundation that encourages this collaborative work (instead of hiring a PSN Director through either the City of Palo Alto or the Palo Alto Unified School District). To find out more about the Project Safety Net collaborative, click HERE. This is ongoing work, and I am honored to be involved in supporting our community's efforts around supporting youth mental health and well-being.