Los Altos teen creates suicide help website for peers

LOS ALTOS, Calif. (KGO) -- A 17-year-old from Los Altos is confronting the sensitive topic of teen suicide and mental health. Nadia Ghaffari launched a website for teenagers, where they can find support from their peers.

The idea for TeenzTalk.org was in response to the high number of teen suicides in Palo Alto in recent years.

The concept is simple - a website for teens that's operated by teens. Young people from all over the world are sharing their stories of survival and hope to let others know they're not alone.

"Research has shown that if a teen is in trouble or if they want advice from someone, that they're much more likely to go to someone their own age," Ghaffari said.

Ghaffari, a Los Altos High School junior, came up with TeenzTalk.org after reading a research article handed out in her psychology class. It was about the suicide clusters in Palo Alto, the city next door, where high school students were killing themselves on the train tracks.

"It was kind of like brushed under. The teachers didn't really want to talk about it and I just felt like this needed to be talked about and we need to get everyone the help they really need," she said.

Ghaffari designed the TeenzTalk herself and much of the content is driven by her handful of so-called ambassadors.

In addition to teens sharing their stories, there's a resource page where people can hear from mental health experts.

"I never thought this could be something as big as it is now. So it's kind of nice to know that I can make a difference in this way," Ghaffari said.

She's already making a difference at 17 years of age.
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