Reimagine SamTrans — Please Help Diversify the Feedback!

SamTrans launched Reimagine SamTrans, a transformative study that will examine each route in the SamTrans bus system in light of changing travel patterns. Reimagine SamTrans will consider everything from customer experience, to route design, to how often buses run, to efficient and effective operations and practice. SamTrans needs your feedback on this critical effort!

Take the Reimagine Survey: Whether you ride the bus, drive, walk, bike or other we want to hear from you. Share your vision for a future SamTrans network. Visit to take this fun short survey. Survey closes December 31, 2019.

Share your feedback in-person: SamTrans staff are in the field at bus stops, farmers markets and community meetings. A full list of events is available on the website and if you miss them in-person, you can always leave a comment. To learn more about the project and events go to

Social media: SamTrans wants your input to Reimagine SamTrans service. Take the survey, join an event, or submit a comment and make your voice heard! Whether you take the bus, drive, walk, bike or other share your vision for a future SamTrans network. Visit

Please share with your networks so we may diversify the feedback.

In community,

The Office of Diversity and Equity

Website | Email  

Transgender Day of Remembrance 2019 -11/20

Our annual Transgender Day of Remembrance event will be taking place on Wednesday, November 20th, 2019 from 5:00pm-8:00pm. We will begin with a Candlelight Vigil & Procession at Redwood City Courthouse Square at 5:00pm, which will lead to our program following shortly after in the Community Room at Redwood City Public Library from 6:30pm-8:00pm. During the program, we will hear from community speakers, share resources and learn about actions we can all take to stand in solidarity against anti-transgender violence.

In 2019 so far, there are at least 25 transgender and gender nonconforming community members whom we have lost to anti-transgender violence. With this gathering, we aim to provide a space for communal healing, to celebrate the lives of those we’ve lost and to commit to fighting against discrimination and violence that our transgender community faces.

Please see the attached flyer for more information and share widely with your networks.

This event is brought to the community by the LGBTQ Commission , PRIDE InitiativeThe San Mateo County Pride Center, African American Community Initiative, BHRS Office of Diversity and Equity, CORA and the Redwood City Public Library.

San Mateo County Launches 2020-2025 Suicide Prevention Strategic Planning

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States and suicide rates have increased in nearly every state (including California) from 1999 to 2016. While San Mateo County’s suicide rate is lower than the national and state average (ranking second to the lowest county rate in California), San Mateo County is committed to continue advancing suicide prevention and saving as many lives possible.

The San Mateo County Suicide Prevention Committee (SPC) is a collective of passionate suicide prevention advocates, including behavioral health/social service providers, law enforcement, local crisis hotline (StarVista), transportation agency (Caltrain), suicide attempt survivors and suicide loss survivors. Founded in 2010, the SPC is dedicates to its mission of providing oversight and guidance for suicide prevention efforts in San Mateo County.

From about October 2019 through August 2019, SPC will conduct the 2020-2025 San Mateo County Suicide Prevention Strategic Planning process. San Mateo County’s suicide prevention strategic plan will build off of the 2017-2020 San Mateo County Suicide Prevention Roadmap, California Suicide Prevention Strategic Plan (draft in progress) and National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. This strategic plan will also be shaped by public health and health equity frameworks which aim to advance health of people, communities, environments and society. For more details on the strategic planning steps and timeline, please visit

You can Get Involved by taking one or more of the following steps:

  1. Join SMC Suicide Prevention Committee. You can just join our mailing list to stay in the know or attend our monthly meetings which usually are on the 1st Tuesday of the Month 1:30-3pm at the Department of Housing – Jupiter Room, 264 Harbor Blvd, Belmont. To join, please reach out to SPC Co-Chair Sylvia Tang at or 650-578-7165.

  2. Share your feedback on the process or strategic plan by reaching out to SPC Co-Chair Sylvia Tang at or 650-578-7165.

This program is coordinated by the Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE) at the San Mateo County Health, Behavioral Health and Recovery Services and funded by Mental Health Services Act (Proposition 63).

Parents Are Key to Addressing Youth Cannabis Use

In partnership with other jurisdictions around the San Francisco Bay Area, San Mateo County commissioned a survey of parents and teens during December 2018-January 2019 to establish the baseline measures on the knowledge, perceptions and use of cannabis.

788 total parents and youth participated in that survey (502 parents and 286 teens and young adults). The AOD Prevention Program intends to use the findings to support an education campaign that will focus on the target groups with the messages needed to improve prevention efforts in San Mateo County.  

The survey revealed the importance of engaging parents in the effort to address their child’s use of cannabis – pointing to the significant influence that parent perceptions and behaviors have on youth perception and use. Also, the data shows that parents who have used cannabis are less concerned about potential harm or their teen using cannabis, which points to the need to ensure that parents understand the difference in the potency of current cannabis products in comparison to the cannabis they  may have used when they were young. 

Read more about this and other key findings highlighted in the survey in our latest edition of the “Wellness Matters” newsletter.

North County Clinic Opens its Doors

Youth in North County can now receive services at the new BHRS Youth Clinic. The clinic is officially open at:

350 90th Street 2nd Flr, Daly City, CA  94015
Ph: (650) 301-8650, Fax: (650) 877-5486. 

Adults 55+ Join us for “Appy Hour”

Attend a free training

Do you use technology?

“Appy Hours” are basic 101 training’s on using smart phones and tablets for downloading apps, navigating phones/tablets, going to the app stores, and downloading an app.

Bring your smart phone, tablet, or laptop or come without devices.

Click the links below for more info on each session.

San Mateo location

Monday, October 21, 12pm-1pm
Monday, November 18, 12pm-1pm

San Mateo County Pride Center
1021 S. El Camino Real, San Mateo
(Lunch provided)

East Palo Alto location

(flyer in English and Spanish)
Monday, October 21, 3pm-4pm
The Barbara A. Mouton Multicultural Wellness Center (upstairs)
903 Weeks St., East Palo Alto
(Light refreshments served)

RSVP before Oct. 18 and Nov. 15
Sign up with Arlene Aquino
(650) 403-4200 Ext. 4327

Having difficulty hearing or seeing your smartphone?

Attend a free training

Make your Android or iPhone work better for you!
Learn how to:

  • Make your smartphone louder and easier to hear
  • Send text messages
  • Connect Bluetooth devices
  • Operate the basic functions on your smartphone and much more!

Click the links below for more info on each session. 
iPhone users: Friday, October 25th, 10am-12pm
Android users: Wednesday, October 30, 10am-12pm

Where: 24 Second Ave., San Mateo-Peninsula Family Service

Seating is limited — sign up with Arlene Aquino
Call: (650) 403-4200 Ext. 4327, Email:

10/10/19 is World Mental Health Day!

Join us in taking “40 seconds of action” to raise awareness and help prevent suicide. You can start by knowing the signs, finding the words and reaching out. More information at #WorldMentalHealthDay #SuicidePrevention #BeTheOneSMC

California Peer-Run Warm Line Now Offers Free Emotional Support and Referrals

The California Peer-Run Warm Line (1-855-845-7415)  is officially open to offer all Californians free non-emergency emotional support and referrals via telephone and instant messaging. This launch coincides with World Mental Health Day (this Thursday, October 10) and its theme of suicide prevention this year.

Initially, the warm line call center will be opened most of the day (Mondays to Fridays: 7:00 am – 11:00 pm; Saturdays: 7:00 am – 3:00 pm and Sundays: 7:00 am – 9:00 pm) and, by the end of the year, the call center will ramp up to open 24/7. This new service is funded by a state budget allocation of $10.8 million over three years and championed by Governor @GavinNewsom, State Senator @ScottWiener2 (D-San Francisco) and Assembly Budget Committee Chair @PhilTingSF (D-San Francisco).

“Too many Californians are struggling with mental health and emotional well-being challenges. Peer-to-peer support is a proven way of helping people stay healthy and get the help they need. The California Peer-Run Warm Line is an important resource for so many people, and I’m thrilled we were able to get it funded,” said Wiener.

More details at:

Housing Heroes Awards – October 24

Ingrid Dela Rosa accepts award and commendations from Alex Kobayashi and Lee Harrison (2018)

The 12th Annual Housing Hero Awards celebration recognizes community partners who have demonstrated exceptional leadership in providing and/or maintaining housing for people in San Mateo County with mental health and/or substance use conditions. The ceremony will take place on Thursday, October 24, 2019, 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM, Redwood Shores Library Community Room, 399 Marine Parkway, Redwood City. 

Download the flier for details.  

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