April 2019 SafeSpace Spotlight

It is a tremendous time for SafeSpace and we wanted to spotlight some of our current achievements.

Geographic Expansion: San Mateo SafeSpace Site Opens!

We just opened a new SafeSpace in San Mateo! We are sharing a fabulous space downtown, close to transportation, and of course we have a huge kitchen. The shared space reduces expenses and connects us with the local community. It’s a new approach and we will continually assess its success.
Our San Mateo Youth Board members love this site because it’s a warm, friendly place to gather as we work together on mental health initiatives in our schools and communities The latest SafeSpace workshops spearheaded by our San Mateo Youth include, Just Listen: Youth Voices Speaks about Mental Wellness, Thursday, April 25, 2019, 6:30-7:30 pm and This Affects All of Us: Helping A Friend in Crisis, Tuesday, April 30 6:30-8pm. Both workshops are being offered at the Burlingame Main Library, Primrose Ave. Burlingame.

Our Digital Presence is Growing

This March we launched a new compassionate listening app, SafeSpace Support Line. In partnership with 7 Cups of Tea, SafeSpace now offers young people a way to anonymously chat one-on-one about their problems with a trained active listener in a secure environment at any time, on their own device, at no cost. The SafeSpace Support Line facilitates a prompt connection to a compassionate, non-judgmental support person in multiple languages addressing a wide range of issues facing young people today. See the latest press coverage.

Our “New Conversations” videos have received nationwide interest. We’ve been pursued by Lady Gaga’s ‘Born This Way’ Foundation to collaborate on future video projects with our teens. Our youth will be featured on a “SafeSpace Radio Broadcast” in May aired nationally on 50+ public radio stations.

Instagram and Facebook updates with “Members Monday” and Friday “Mental Health Facts” are now youth-run, with guidance of course! Check them out!

SafeSpace Youth Action Board Update

Our SafeSpace Youth Action Board with 70+ members from Palo Alto to Millbrae reorganized themselves into three action-oriented committees—to share insights from different schools, and focus on three core initiatives including community, campus, and content. Our teens from all our schools collaborate on events, newsletters and media content for our region and beyond. The Latest SYAB Newsletter written by and for our teens, documents their most recent work in schools and communities. 

During the month of April, mental health professionals and SafeSpace teens will offer a local youth a workshop on how to help a friend struggling with their mental health, handle and defuse crisis situations, encourage help-seeking behaviors, and discuss difficult topics. See the Eventbrite link for more information and registration.

As the weather turns warm we are beginning to recruit our new SafeSpace Youth Action Board for the 2019-2020 school year. Prospective applicants are young people between the ages 11-19 who are invested in their community/school and enthusiastic about mental health advocacy and awareness in their community. Please refer to the high school and middle school links and the SafeSpace website for further information.

New SafeSpace Educator Alliance

Our partner SafeSpace schools come together several times a year to share ideas on teen mental health, learn about the challenges and successes implementing school mental health initiatives and provide guidance for our students with their school initiatives. During the most recent meeting, Castilleja presented Peer First Responder (PFR), a student-led program that focuses on teaching counseling skills to natural caregivers wishing to act as resources to their peers. The program creates a more understanding conversation about mental health on campus and helps develop a safer community on campus to give students a new way to reach out for help.
In our short 18 months of operations, we are already amazed at the difference our teens have made in the community among their peers, and within their own lives, Four of our seniors wrote about their SafeSpace experience in their college applications. Each discovered a new part of themselves or uncovered something missing. Regardless, they carry their efforts with them, knowing that working together for something they believe in actually makes a difference. There is no greater lesson we could send them off with. 
We are documenting our process in an effort to share our model with other communities in the country. We already have serious interest from areas such as Pasadena, CA, Denver, CO, and Danbury, CT. While this interest is encouraging, we remain focused on making our efforts here a success first and foremost. There is nothing better than watching these young people find their passion and channel it into a better world for themselves and their peers.
From all of us at Safespace Center,
thank you for your continued support.

For more information, please contact Managing Director,
Lesley Martin: lmartin@safespace.org