BREAK THROUGH THE STATIC

Surviving Suicide. Rebuilding Lives.

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Wednesday, August 29th 2012

Static Update: A Letter from Jade Chamness

Founder and CEO of Break Through the Static

I want to begin by saying thank you! for your support of Break Through the Static and of suicide-bereaved teens.

I formed Break Through the Static (“Static”) in 2009 to support teens who have lost their mothers, little brothers, soccer coaches and best-friends-forever to suicide. I started Static to meet the needs of teen survivors — to create a place where they could go to feel normal and be empowered. I founded this organization because I experienced first-hand the isolation, shame and overwhelm so many teen suicide survivors feel — I lost my own father to suicide in 2001 when I was 17 years old.

As you know, over the past four years Static has been dedicated to improving the support and resources for suicide-bereaved teens. I have enjoyed leading Static and seeing the difference we were able to make in teens’ lives. Over the last few months, I have spent a lot of time reflecting on the kind of leader Break Through the Static needs, the kind of leader our teens need, and where I am in my own journey as a leader and a person. I realized that I cannot be the leader that Static needs and grow as I need to as an individual. This has been an incredibly tough decision for me, but the best decision for both the teens we serve and for me. Therefore, I have begun the process to dissolve the corporation.

I am working with partner organizations and schools to ensure the teens we served have the services they need. Together we have compiled a list of support and resources that was disseminated to the teens Static served. Our partners in Palo Alto’s mental health field are developing programs and crisis-response plans to better serve teens in the community. Static is honored and thrilled to have been a part of this work.

I am proud to have been a part of Static and very appreciative of your support. On behalf of the 1,500 teens we worked with, I want to say thank you. Thank you for partnering with us as together we supported and cared for grieving teens. Please take a moment to consider the impact we made over the past four years:

  • We spent over 8,000 hours in conversations with teen survivors from 15+ Bay Area high schools
  • We presented to 6,000+ people about the unique needs of suicide-bereaved teens, including my TEDxYouth talk on November 20th, 2011 in Palo Alto, California
  • We developed and facilitated three programs, one large-scale art project, and more than ten events! During our final project, the Teen Art Exhibition Project, teens expressed themselves through art (the project made the cover of the Palo Alto Weekly!) with five accompanying events, one at Palo Alto City Hall hosted by Mayor Yiaway Yeh.
  • Our impact is international! Families, schools, organizations and communities from the United States to Africa to Australia applauded our efforts and sought to replicate our impact.
  • We are leaving a mark! Our innovative, effective style and genuine respect for the teen culture was seen by industry professionals from the American Association of Suicidology, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Palo Alto’s Project Safety Net, Stanford University, high schools and grief-support organizations.

Without your support (in so many different capacities), we would not have been able to touch so many lives. While the organization of Static is gone, our impact will continue.

Thank you again for your faithful support of me as a leader, and Static as an organization that transforms lives.

With great hope + excitement for the future,

Jade Chamness
Founder + CEO, Break Through the Static
jade@breakthroughthestatic.org

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Support + Resources

On-Campus Resources for Teens – Free!

@ Gunn High School

  • ROCK / SOS: Teen-led peer-support group at Gunn High School | Get Involved! Blog http://rockatgunn.wordpress.com | Email: rockatgunn@gmail.com | Faculty contact: Paul Dunlap
  • Adolescent Counseling Services [ACS]: Counseling and support groups | www.acs-teens.org | Robyn Alagona, LMFT Site Director, (650) 849-7919 | Location: In the attendance office
  • Gay Straight Alliance | Get Involved! | Faculty Contact: Daisy Renazco | drenazco@pausd.org

@ Palo Alto High School

  • Adolescent Counseling Services: Counseling and support groups | www.acs-teens.org Jennifer Jones, LCSW Site Director, (650) 833-4244 | Location: 2nd floor – Tower Bldg
  • Gay Straight Alliance | Get Involved! | Faculty Contact: Magdalena Rivera | mrivera@pausd.org

Off-Campus Resources for Teens

  • ACS: Afterschool Counseling Program [ASCP] and Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment [ASAT]: (650) 424-0852 ext 104 | Cost: Fee-for-service and Sliding Scale
  • Kara Grief Support: Compassionate grief support for all ages. www.kara-grief.org | (650) 321-5272
  • Project Outlet: Support groups and special events for LGBTQ youth and their allies | Sammy Maramba-Ferrell | SMaramba@chacmv.org | www.projectoutlet.org
  • Community Health Awareness Council [CHAC] | www.chacmv.org | (650) 965-2020 | 711 Church Street, Mountain View, CA 94041

Helplines & Hotlines:

Suicide + Crisis Hotline: (855) 278-4204

Trevor Lifeline for LGBTQ Youth: (866) 488-7386

TeenLine: (408) 279-8228

EMQ 24 hr. Crisis Line: (408) 379-9085

Alcohol and Drug Helpline: (650) 579-0350

Domestic Violence: (800) 940-7850

Kids’ Turn – Parental Separation/Divorce: (415) 437-0700

Rape Crisis Center: (408) 287-3000

Runaway Youth – National Hotline: (800) 621-4000

* Visit www.psnpaloalto.com for a comprehensive list of resources and helplines for teens and families.

Teens + Families: If you are looking for a therapist referral, please first contact your family’s physician. They will be able to recommend someone within your network.

Peninsula Teens + Families: For a referral for your adolescent, please contact the HEARD Alliance Coordinator at 650-725-7924.

Peninsula Mental Health Support, Treatment + Resources:

  • Palo Alto Medical Foundation Intake: 650-853-4726
  • Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital @ Stanford Intake: 650-723-7704

Click here for a vetted, comprehensive list of adolescent mental health care providers practicing in the San Francisco Peninsula region. List compiled by the HEARD Alliance.

If you are feeling lonely or sad, or need someone to talk to, contact the Santa Clara County hotline at 1-800-704-0900, or go to sfsuicide.org to chat with the awesome, understanding + supportive folks at San Francisco Suicide Prevention.