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Learning to Listen - Youth Perspectives on Mental Health with Congresswoman Jackie Speier
Posted 10/29/19

October 29, 2019


Dear Friends:


Are you a student and feel like adults don’t understand you and won’t listen to you? Do you have friends who are struggling and you don’t know how to help? Are you a parent concerned about your child's mental health and don’t know where to turn? You are not alone. In California, 12% of youth reported at least one major depressive episode in the last year. In San Mateo County, we have some of the highest rates of teen hospitalizations for mental health-related issues in the state. 

Please join me, students, school administrators, and mental health professionals for a panel conversation titled “Learning to Listen-Youth Perspectives on Mental Health” on November 5th, 2019 at the Hillsdale Little Theater in San Mateo.


You will hear from the following panelists:


  • Vivian Valdez, Senior at Hillsdale High School
  • Fennel Schubert, Freshman at City College
  • April Torres, Manager of Mental Health Services at San Mateo Union High School District
  • Michelle Levine, Principal and Former Director of Counseling at St. Ignatius College Preparatory
  • Dr. Shashank V. Joshi, MD, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist and Professor at Stanford University


Studies have shown negative trends in mental health outcomes among youth across the country. Harmful public rhetoric, pervasive stigma, and a lack of understanding of mental health further compound these issues and can isolate young people in their greatest moments of need.

At this event, we will focus on solutions and available resources. We are fortunate to live in a community that cares deeply about our kids and values the inclusion of youth voices in decision-making. Advocates and professionals are working hard to address young people’s social and emotional needs and turn these negative trends around. To better understand the drivers of poor mental health and to ensure our programs and policies are meeting their goals, we must first listen to, and learn from, the young people who are living the experience.


Learning to Listen - Youth Perspectives on Mental Health 
Tuesday, November 5, 2019 
6-8 p.m. 
Hillsdale Little Theater 
3115 Del Monte Street (entrance on 31st) 
San Mateo, CA 94403 

RSVP here. Please register one person per RSVP.


All students and their families are invited to attend this event, to ask questions and to connect with a wide range of mental health and wellness resources.


Doors will open at 6 p.m. for resource tabling, sign-ins, and a youth photo display. The panel conversation will start at 7 p.m. Please register one person per RSVP.


I look forward to seeing you on November 5th for this important conversation.