StarVista Launches New Youth Website With Peer to Peer Chat Services
Written by Nicole Marshall, Youth Outreach Coordinator
As of January 2018, StarVista, a San Mateo County community based mental health provider, is excited to announce the launching of its fully renovated youth website, OnYourMind.net. This represents a huge success as it represents an expansion of services, and is also a win for the teen volunteers who run the site and have advocated for the changes. The site focuses on mental health and suicide prevention education, offering teen blogs and instant peer to peer chat. Teens are encouraged to seek direct support on a wide range of topics including relationships, stress, bullying, depression, identity, and health. New to the site are several redesigned interactive features: blogs allow visitors of the site to ask questions and leave comments, and new chat software allows seamless connection to fully trained teen counselors Monday through Thursday from 4:30PM to 9:30PM. The best part? OnYourMind.net and its chat services are now completely mobile accessible.
The site, which originated in the 1990s, had not received significant updates in many years; the renovation is an effort of StarVista’s Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Center, which, among other services, operates a 24/7 hotline in San Mateo County. The hotline and its affiliated training program are affiliated with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Speaking about the team’s motivation and hopes for these updates, StarVista Department Director and former Crisis Center Program Manager Narges Zohoury Dillon says, “The idea of the project came from our youth volunteers who identified barriers to accessing the previous site. We really wanted to make sure the new site is accessible on mobile devices and is more intuitive.”
And it is proving so. The teens who blog on the site and serve as peer counselors have given their stamp of approval. Talking about her volunteer experience with StarVista and what she hopes to see as a result of the new site and software, Vivian Yuen says, “I really like the new look of onyourmind.net; it’s more inviting, and its software is much easier to use– for both the visitor and the peer counselor. As a peer counselor, I’m excited to see the peer counseling program grow. I hope for more of my peers to visit the site because it is put together with a sincere intent to help teenagers through their struggles. The dedication all the peer counselors and StarVista have is amazing, and we are here to support anyone.”
While still new, it is clear that StarVista’s Crisis Center team and volunteers alike are excited about the new additions and accessibility of their celebrated youth website and services. Check out the site for yourself today at http://www.onyourmind.net.
For more information about StarVista visit their website at www.star-vista.org/.
To learn about San Mateo County’s Suicide Prevention Committee, visit their webpage at www.smchealth.org/suicide-prevention.