CDC experts arrive in Palo Alto to investigate teen suicide rates

PALO ALTO, Calif. (KGO) -- A federal team specializing in suicide prevention arrived in Palo Alto on Tuesday to look into what's behind a rash of teen suicides in recent years in the heart of Silicon Valley.

The Centers for Disease Control sent a five-member team specializing in suicide prevention to figure out why so many Palo Alto kids have taken their own lives.

The topic of suicide is not new to students attending Palo Alto's two high schools. In 2009 and 2010, six teens killed themselves. Then, four more in 2014 and 2015.

READ MORE: CDC to start investigation into 'Suicide Contagion' in Palo Alto

"We want to learn, we want to see what can we do in the future as a prevention to prevent these acts," said Jorge Quintana with the Palo Alto Unified School District.

The district and the Santa Clara County Public Health Department reached out to the CDC in Atlanta to help them address this crisis.

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"Anytime we can leverage federal expertise resources, support to really help us understand what is going on in our community, I think it's really valuable," explained Mary Gloner with Project Safety Net.

The team has already collected data from the county on the suicide behavior of these young people. Now, they will spend two weeks on the ground identifying the risk factors in Palo Alto in order to make recommendations.

"It changes your whole method of raising young children. You actually second-guess everything that you do now because you don't know how it will affect your child," said parent Shalini Kumar. null
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