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As coronavirus pandemic roils Modesto region, nonprofits adapting

in crime/People

Haven Women’s Center of Stanislaus has stopped offering nearly all of its face-to-face services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking because of the novel coronavirus. Staff members now provide case management, counseling and help filling out restraining orders over the phone.

Executive Director May Rico said her nonprofit has adapted to keep helping people, but she worries the very actions we are being told to do to be safe during the pandemic — stay home as much as possible and keep our distance from others when out — create the ideal circumstances for abusers who like to isolate their victims.

Continue Reading on Modesto Bee

Warm lines offer free emotional support

in Local Roundup

California’s first Peer-Run Warm Line officially opened this week ahead of Thursday’s World Mental Health Day, providing a statewide resource for those in need of emotional support.

The non-emergency line offers free support and referrals to anyone in the state via telephone or instant messaging — a service made possible thanks to a state budget allocation of $10.8 million over three years, championed by Gov. Newsom, State Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Assembly Budget Committee Chair Phil Ting (D-San Francisco).

“When addressing issues surrounding health, the conversation must also include emotional wellness. This new state resource builds on our current mental health system by serving a population that is not in crisis but still in need of support,” Ting said.

According to Mental Health America, about one in five adults in the U.S. experience mental health challenges in a given year. In peer-run or peer-to-peer engagement programs, someone who has personally gone through similar mental health challenges is providing support to callers. It’s a model that helps prevent the need for more expensive, crisis-based interventions, such as hospitalizations. In addition, the term “warm line” illustrates the step before “hotline,” which typically serves people in crisis. Warm lines aim to reach those who are not quite at that stage, but still need some emotional assistance.

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

California requires suicide prevention phone number on student IDs

in Local Roundup

Denise Herrmann was only a few months into her new job as principal of a Palo Alto, Calif., high school in fall 2014 when a student took his own life.

By the next day, Herrmann said, she and some of her colleagues at Henry M. Gunn High School were in conversations with experts from nearby Stanford University about how to cope with student suicides and their aftermath.

She knew her school was not alone. “This was a community issue,” she said.

The death of the Gunn High School junior was one of four student suicides in Palo Alto during the 2014-15 school year — the second such suicide cluster in the community's recent history.

By the beginning of the following school year, the Palo Alto Unified School District had implemented a new policy: It put suicide prevention contact information on student IDs.

Continue Reading on News Medical Life Sciences

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