Celebrating a Year of ‘Super Heroes’ Who Help Kids in Extreme Crisis or Contemplating Suicide

Our community advisory board and Crisis Continuum of Services staff just celebrated the one-year anniversary of the Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU), serving Santa Clara County. The unit is available for an up-to-24-hour hold for assessment and treatment of children and teens who attempt or threaten suicide.

Many of the staff were unable to attend the super hero-themed party because, as it so often has been true this year, the Crisis Stabilization Unit was full to capacity and all the Mobile Crisis Program teams were out on calls. Whether in the midst of working with a child and family or  pausing to stop in for lunch and cake, it was a good day to reflect on the year’s work. Here is some of what was shared at the lunch with community advisory board and staff:

On behalf of the Los Altos Police Department and the Santa Clara Police Chiefs, thank you for the work you do. As police officers, we have a lot of tools available to us, but we’re not equipped to do the work you do or have the skill set you have. Congratulations on your one year anniversary. You have all the support of law enforcement and the Santa Clara Police Chiefs.” – Chief Tuck Younis of the Los Altos Police Department

“I’m a mom whose son was hospitalized with a suicide plan. You guys weren’t open then. We would’ve loved to have had the option to bring him here.” – Sarah Gentile, parent and advocate

“Every child is a brand new story. It takes input from the crisis team and from the child and family to create success.” – Catherine Mason, child/adolescent psychiatrist, EMQ FamiliesFirst

We are pleased to be able to serve these kids and help them through the toughest of times. The Continuum of Crisis Services really makes an immediate impact.” – Don Taylor, clinical director, EMQ FamiliesFirst

“This is the right place for kids who are hurting.” – Joyce Kearney, clinical program manager, EMQ FamiliesFirst

“It’s been a long time coming. Really excellent work by all.” – Margaret Ledesma, mental health specialist, Santa Clara Valley Behavioral Health Services

“It’s been a great year. The EPS (Emergency Psychiatric Services) staff have really embraced working with the CSU to provide the best care for kids in our community.” – Kate Deaver, EPS nurse, Santa Clara Emergency Medical Services

“It’s the great staff that makes this whole thing work.” – Carlos Aguila, Mobile Crisis clinical program manager

“Once the family comes to Community Transition Services from the Crisis Stabilization Unit, they’re a completely different family. I like to see each progress. One boy said, ‘You changed my life!’ His dad said that ‘it’s changed the way he thinks as a parent.’” – Denise Harlan, Community Transition Services clinician

“It’s been great to be a part of something new that positively affects the youth in Santa Clara County who are in crisis.” – Kyle Anderson, Crisis Stabilization Unit psychiatric technician

“I’m so excited to see how far we’ve come in the first year, and I can’t wait to see how much more we grow in coming years. I feel incredibly honored to be a part of the whole process!” – Amy Deas, Crisis Stabilization Unit clinician