Happy Mental Health Month from your Wellness Team!

Wellness Introduction to Mental Health Month

The Wellness Center is OPEN! Follow this link to be taken to a form to submit a request for virtual support!

*Wellness Support During Covid-19 Closure

Dear Gunn Students, 

With the school closure, we want students to be able to access Wellness support. Students can speak with a Wellness and Counseling Team Member during the school closure by filling out this form.
 Requests will be responded to as soon as possible. Requests submitted during nonscheduled school days or outside of school hours will not be checked until the next school day. Staff members are also available by email and Schoology on regularly scheduled school days Monday-Friday, 8:30am-3:30pm. 

DO NOT use this form if you or someone you know is having a physical or mental health emergency.

For additional resources for you and your family, please follow this link for a variety or resources put together for the Palo alto School District!

Please use one of the following crisis resources if you need immediate help:

Call 911 and request a C.I.T. (crisis intervention team) trained officer to assist you. 

Crisis Text Line: text "home" to 741-741

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

Bill Wilson Youth Hotline (24-hour Suicide & Crisis Line): 408-850-6125

Trevor Lifeline LGBTQQ+ Crisis Support: 1-866-488-7386


Santa Clara County Residents: 

Uplift Family Services Mobile Crisis Line: (408)-379-9085 

Alum Rock Counseling Center: (408) 294-0579 


San Mateo County Residents: 

StarVista (650) 579-0350 for 24/7 phone crisis consultation for next steps. 


The Wellness Center looks forward to supporting you and if you have any difficulty accessing the form or questions please email: gunnwellnessteam@pausd.org


Gunn Form Link: Gunn Wellness Center Virtual Support Request Form  


What is the Wellness Center?

The Wellness Center works with the Counseling Department to coordinate and expand physical and mental health support services for students. We are located directly across the main office in the Bat Cave.  Some of the services offered include:

  • A safe, supportive on-campus space

  • Brief on-campus therapy for students

  • Students can access support for depression, grief, self-esteem, family life, stress, dating violence, sexual identity, and health needs

  • Referrals to further resources both on and off campus

  • One-on-one, group, and large-scale interventions

Hours & Contact

Wellness Center Staff

Genavae Pierre Dixon, LMFT-- Mental Health & Wellness Coordinator

Rosie Castillo, Wellness Outreach Worker

Michelle Ramos, LMFT -- CASSY Site Coordinator/Lead Therapist

Melisa Moran, AMFT, APCC -- CASSY Therapist

Emily Rubens, AMFT, APCC--CASSY Therapist

Lynne Li, APCC, Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI) Therapist: Available every Tuesday-Services in Mandarin available

What kinds of issues does the Wellness Center address? 

The Wellness Center is a free and confidential service to address issues such as:

  • Stress
  • Depression & Suicide
  • Sexual Orientation/Gender Questions
  • Sexual Harassment Issues
  • Family Issues
  • Chronic Illness
  • Peer Relationships
  • Anxiety
  • Cultural Adjustment & Identity Issues
  • Offsite Resources & Referrals

How do I refer a student to the Wellness Center?

Students, parents, or staff can visit the Wellness Center to get more information about referrals or refer a friend through their Guidance Counselor.

Students, staff, or parents can choose to e-mail gunnwellnessteam@pausd.org with concerns or referral information. Please note this email is not monitored 24/7. Someone from Gunn's support team will address the concern as promptly as possible during school hours. If you are concerned about a student's safety, please tell a staff member immediately or call 9-1-1 after school hours.

Counseling and Support Services for Youth (CASSY)

One on one counseling is provided through a district partnership with CASSYCASSY is a nonprofit agency that partners with schools to provide professional mental health services to students in their academic setting. Our therapists are compassionate, extremely competent and conveniently located right on campus. All services are free to the student and their parents.

Our CASSY therapists are: 

  • Michelle Ramos
  • Melisa Moran
  • Emily Rubens

Crisis Support

If you feel you need emotional support at this time or if you are concerned about the emotional needs of a friend, please go by the counseling office at any time during the school day. Counselors and Psychiatrists are available to talk with you. In addition, there are resources available in our community, 24 hours a day. Below are some phone numbers that you may call at any time.

  • Youth and Teen Suicide and Crisis Hotline: (888) 247-7717
  • Santa Clara County Suicide and Crisis Hotline: (855) 278-4204
  • Uplift (Santa Clara County Residents only):  (408) 379-9085

Gunn's CalSCHLS Survey Results

CalSCHLS is the oldest (since 1999), largest, most comprehensive state effort in the nation to provide local school-communities with their own data on School Climate, social-emotional and mental Health, and Learning supports and engagement through a Survey system sponsored by the California Department of Education. Henry M. Gunn's Summary Reports:

Additional Resources
Student Wellness Clubs and Programs

Project Oyster

[Original size] Project Oyster.png Project Oyster was first published in 2018 through the BEAM Program with one simple mission in mind: to bring high school students together through common stories. We aim to embolden teenagers with short episodes through the power of storytelling.


R O C K logo

Reach Out Care Know (ROCK)

We are students who are committed to listening and talking with other students about anything and everything. We are here to listen and share our experiences. ROCK is a peer advisory group/student support group that is completely student-run.

This group was formed in response to the events that happened at the end of the 08-09 school year. The Gunn community truly came together and we hope to continue that sense of community and let people know that there are a lot of people at Gunn who even though you may not know but are there for you and would like to listen, talk, and help in any way. It is also a way for students to connect with one another. Plus, it always seems less daunting to talk to one of your peers–talking to people who’ve been through the same kinds of situations can really put things into perspective.

Sources of Strength (SOS)

Sources of Stregth logoSources of Strength is a wellness program based on building resilience at both Palo Alto high schools. Through Sources of Strength, our youth are identifying, discussing, and strengthening protective factors in their own lives, as well as working together to become agents of positive change and connectors to help those around them. As change agents, they will spread messages in person and via social media about the various sources of hope, help and strength available to the community. The Sources of Strength program actively creates a culture of increased awareness, compassion and support for all students facing the daily struggles of school and life and teaches strategies for building resilience and multiple sources of strength.


Sources Adult Lead Contacts:

Paul Dunlap: pdunlap@pausd.org

Kristy Blackburn: kblackburn@pausd.org

Courtney Carlomagno: ccarlomagno@pausd.org

Tara Firenzi: tfirenzi@pausd.org

Genavae Pierre Dixon: gdixon@pausd.org

Rosie Castillo: rcastil@pausd.org

Community Resources for Students & Families

Bay Area Clinical Associates (650) 304-3906

Our mission and values: Bay Area Clinical Associates, P.C., (BACA) is a physician-owned and operated organization offering evidence-based mental health services to youth and their families in the San Francisco Bay Area. We believe that all youth, regardless of socio-economic status, should have access to gold-standard mental health interventions. We strive to cure mental illness in our patients so they may develop into healthy, productive adults and realize their full potential. We believe that every individual’s mental health is an essential component of the overall well-being of our community.

Parents Place  Contact (650) 688-3040

Parents Place is part of the Center for Children and Youth, a division of Jewish Family and Children’s Services, and is here to help all parents. Each of our locations has a professional group with the experience, education, and know-how to help your family flourish. Our diverse Parents Place staff collaborate with each other and partner with you to ensure that your children’s needs are met

Youth Community Service   Contact: (650) 858-8019

YCS engages young people from diverse Mid-Peninsula communities in meaningful service-based learning. Our students build leadership and life skills, gain empathy for others, and build a sense of connectedness, purpose and efficacy while making a positive difference in the lives of others.

Children's Health Council  Contact: (650) 326-5272

CHC offers evaluations, programs and treatment for ADHDLearning DifferencesAnxiety & Depression and Autism and serves families on the Peninsula and South Bay as well as the greater San Francisco Bay Area through our clinical services, schools, and community education and outreach programs. We’ve been serving kids and families for 65 years and have impacted over 1,000,000 children, teens and young adults.

Kara     Contact: (650) 321-5272

Children and teens who have experienced the death of someone significant in their lives deserve the opportunity to grieve in a supportive and safe environment. Far too often, our society fails to understand, acknowledge or support their grief.Change and loss are natural in the cycle of life. We experience grief and emotional distress with any significant loss. Support from those who have experience in dealing with personal loss can help ease the pain and promote healing. Kara provides a safe place for those who are grieving or anticipating their own death to express and normalize their feelings.

Stanford Child and Adolescent Psychiatry   Contact: (650) 723-5511

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Faculty provide comprehensive clinical services using Evidence-Based intervention to achieve excellence in patient care, while implementing innovative approaches to optimize functioning and long-term outcome. These services are provided through several outpatient specialty clinics, inpatient programs, and community-based programs.

Bill Wilson Center     Crisis Line (408) 850-6125

Bill Wilson Center provides services to more than 6,200 children, youth, young adults and families in Santa Clara County through our various programs. Additionally, we reach more than 30,000 clients through our Street Outreach and crisis line programs. Bill Wilson Center programs focus on housing, education, counseling, and advocacy.

BWC Drop-In Center
693 South 2nd Street San Jose, CA 95112
(408) 925-0225

Adolscent Counseling Serivces        Contact: (650) 424-0852

Adolescent Counseling Services (ACS) exists to support the wellbeing of all teens, tweens, and young adults in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.  ACS’ network of skilled family therapists and professionally-led support groups are resources that youth and their families can rely on time and again for help with life’s challenges, be they big or small.

Asian Americans for Community Involvement    Contact: (408) 975-2730

Those affected by mental illnesses within the Asian community often have difficulties seeking services. AACI Mental Health Services offers culturally and linguistically competent services that help clients overcome barriers to mental health care. We aim to decrease psychiatric symptoms, enhance daily functioning and assist individuals and family members in managing their conditions. We strive for healthy family interactions between the individual and their loved ones, as well as improved functioning within the community.

Project Safety Net Contact 650-329-2432

Project Safety Net is a collaborative community network held together by a common interest of fostering youth well-being in Palo Alto. Our mission is to develop and implement a community-based mental health plan that includes education, prevention and intervention strategies that together provide a “safety net” for youth in Palo Alto, and defines our community’s teen suicide prevention efforts.

The Project Safety Net Community Collaborative includes mental health organizations, nonprofits, youth organizations, faith organizations, individuals, PAUSD and the City of Palo Alto staff to realize the mission of Project Safety Net.

Palo Alto Medical Foundation    Contact: (650) 853-2904

The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health provides a variety of mental and emotional health services, including treatment for depression, anxiety and panic attacks.

The staff interacts extensively to assure that each person's unique needs are met.

Our diverse services, including psychiatry, social work, cognitive therapy and marriage and family therapy, are available at offices in Fremont, Palo Alto and San Carlos.

Resources for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning (LGBTQQ) Students & Families

Palo Alto Unified School District (PAUSD) is committed to creating a safe and welcoming learning environment for every student. To accomplish this goal, the District is engaged in efforts to create comprehensive policies, practices and initiatives to support students who identify as LGBTQQ. 

The Gunn High School Wellness Center and broader campus community is also committed to creating a safe environment for every student. Please check out the LGBTQQ resource page for more information.

Parent Groups and Educational Resources

Gunn Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA)


  • To support and speak on behalf of children and youth in the schools, in the community and before government agencies and other organizations that make decisions affecting children.
  • To assist parents in developing the skills they need to raise and protect their children.
  • To encourage parent and public involvement in the public schools.


Coming Soon!

New Artwork in the Center:

Students in Deanna Messinger's art class have been working very hard all semester to create and present designs to the Wellness Team that would be permanently grace the walls of the Wellness Center. A design has been chosen and the print is almost ready! Check back soon to see how the final product looks!

Gratitude Challenge: 

Students will get to write three things they are grateful for on note cards provided by the Wellness Center. Students can submit those cards to Wellness Staff to be entered into a raffle to win a free ticket to the Annual Turkey Feast and another mystery prize! Submissions will be accepted between 11/7/19-11/15/19. 

Friendship Week:

Next week Gunn High School will be joining schools and families across the globe in International Friendship Week!

What is International Friendship Week?

International Friendship Week was created to provide an opportunity for the world to stop and re-assess its friendship index. A week, celebrated in creating friendship ambassadors around the globe, and for all of us to come together to not only appreciate existing friendships but also pave ways for the new bonds. This week emphasizes the essence of friendship, love, care, and empathy while creating a discourse on anti-bullying and depression. 

Throughout the week, we will be hosting a series of events and activities to promote kindness, friendship, and a little healthy competition against friends!

Take a look at the schedule of events for the week to see how your students will be honoring their peers and friends! For more information follow the International Friendship Week link for their website or contact our Wellness Staff!

Past Events

Wellness Fair

15 school and community partners joined us on September 27, 2019 at Gunn High School to promote awareness of the amazing  resources we have available in this community around wellness and mental health. Students got to meet representatives from places like the Children's Health Council and the Alum Rock Counseling Center to learn about how to access their resources and what they have to offer to students. See below for the list of amazing organizations who were in attendance:

  • Kara
  • CHC

  • Wellness Center

  • Maitri

  • PSN

  • Alum Rock Counseling

    • SUPS

  • Cassy

  • YCS

  • Snack Table

  • Project Oyster

  • LGBT

  • Stress Ball Making

  • Rock

  • Bring Change to Mind

  • Outlet

  • PAMF

Unity Day 2019

Students, staff and families came out in force and in orange to celebrate the district’s seventh annual celebration of National Unity Day on Wednesday, October 23.  Campuses were covered in words of encouragement and messages of acceptance and inclusion.  Gunn celebrated Unity Day with a lunch time open mic event hosted by the Student Executive Council and the Wellness Team during which students shared their experiences with bullying and spread messages of hope and kindness. The Flex time activity for the week was called “Inside me, outside me” where students painted masks to depict the face they show to the outside world, and what their experiences are on the inside.  The masks were featured in the Wellness Center for the rest of the month to promote diversity and compassion within our student body.