Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly Endorse San Mateo County’s StarVista

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In a videotaped message shown at StarVista’s Starting Line Breakfast this morning, former Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, acknowledged StarVista, a San Mateo County, California based nonprofit, for their work in helping to prevent violence in the community. Mark spoke to how perpetrators of violent crimes may have taken a different route in life had they been offered the kind of “helping hand” that StarVista provides.

In a videotaped message shown at StarVista’s Starting Line Breakfast this morning, former Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, acknowledged StarVista, a San Mateo County based nonprofit, for their work in helping to prevent violence in the community.

Gabby herself was a victim in a mass shooting in Tucson, Arizona in 2012. Since her retirement from Congress in 2013, she and Mark have dedicated themselves to removing guns from the hands of criminals and individuals with mental illness. According to Gabby and Mark, the impetus for their grass roots movement started with the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, in which 20 children were shot and killed.

Gabby and Mark commended StarVista and San Mateo County for their response to the Newtown incident. In 2013, StarVista, in partnership with the San Mateo County Human Services Agency, created the Child and Adolescent Hotline & Prevention Program (CAHPP). CAHPP is a 24/7 free hotline for anyone in the community and is immediately accessible by telephone or text at (650) 567-KIDS (5437). Anyone observing concerning behaviors in a child or adolescent can receive early stage support before problems escalate into much larger emotional, behavioral, or mental health issues.

Mark spoke to how perpetrators of violent crimes may have taken a different route in life had they been offered the kind of “helping hand” that StarVista provides. A child silently enduring abuse or neglect may go on to become a bully or the subject of bullying. Left undetected or untreated, anger, low self-esteem, and blame can build to a breaking point. With counseling and therapy, that same child might have a very different outcome.

StarVista’s mission is to deliver high impact services through counseling, skills development, and crisis prevention to children, youth, adults and families. They serve 35,000 individuals in San Mateo County each year.

To view the video or to learn more about StarVista’s programs, go to http://www.star-vista.org.

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Miki Armstrong
StarVista
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