Doris Estremera of BHRS

Congratulations to Doris Estremera who recently received a commendation for the Women in County Government Award nomination for outstanding commitment and service to the people of San Mateo County. Doris currently works with the BHRS Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE) and provides oversight, planning and reporting of our Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) funding.

Doris started her work in the county 16 years ago as an outreach worker. In her current role, Doris’ unwavering commitment to equity, community-centered practices, and adaptive leadership style are a few of the many ways she makes us “All Together Better” and advances us towards realizing the County’s Shared Vision 2025, particularly a Healthy Community, a Prosperous Community and Collaborative Community.

She worked diligently to lead an inclusive MHSA Innovations processes that yielded more community ideas on how to improve behavioral health in our county than previously received. She also spearheaded a Coastside Community Needs Assessment that will directly feed into a new community program for an especially vulnerable community in our County. In this work she led an all Latina team, honoring the importance of language and culture in our care. Additionally, she worked tirelessly on updating and expanding the information provided in our BHRS Cultural Competence Plan, while prioritizing collaboration in all that she does.

Lastly, Doris stepped in as Interim Director of the Office of Diversity and Equity, while also continuing to maintain her responsibilities as the MHSA Manager. Doris is a clear example of why it is so important to have women in government and in leadership roles. She continually strives to 1) improve the health of San Mateo County residents, with prevention and treatment services for those with a severe mental illness through MHSA prioritization; and 2) create a more livable county through her involvement with policy and systems change.

She is also a working mom, a fitness instructor, and a serves as role model for a life dedicated to the service of others. 

Parent Project Spring 2020 Schedule

The Parent Project® is a free, 12-week course that is offered in English and Spanish to anyone who cares for a child or adolescent. The classes meet for three hours each week. Parents learn parenting skills and get information about resources and other support available in their communities. Parents/caregivers learn and practice skills such as:

  • appropriate ways to discipline
  • preventing or stopping alcohol, drug and tobacco use
  • improving communication skills
  • improving grades and school attendance

For more information about the Parent Project, please visit

The Parent Project is coordinated by the Office of Diversity and Equity. To learn more about the Office of Diversity and Equity, please visit

Behavioral Health and Recovery Services is looking for new interns!

San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (BHRS) is a comprehensive county behavioral health services program dedicated to serving the needs of adults with serious mental illness and/ or co-occurring substance abuse concerns, as well as severely emotionally disturbed youth and their families. Services offered to children, adolescents, adults, and other adults in inpatient, outpatient, and outreach programs by multidisciplinary staff that includes psychologists, psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers, MFT’s trainees, interns and peer support positions. BHRS provides clinical training opportunities to students pursuing their masters’ degree, their Alcohol and Drug Certification, or their doctorate.

Cultural Competency stipends are available for those who are to help provide services to marginalized communities within our system of Older Adult, Adult, and Youth Services and are selected to participate in our Cultural Stipend Intern Program (CSIP).

More information about the internship program can be found here.

About the Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE)

The Office of Diversity and Equity is dedicated to addressing health disparities, health inequities and stigma in the areas of mental health and substance use, and supporting wellness and recovery among underserved, unserved, and inappropriately served communities in San Mateo County. ODE works to achieve these goals by promoting cultural competence and cultural humility, which are rooted in principles of social justice. To learn more about ODE’s work, visit

NAMI's Recruiting for an Education Coordinator

NAMI San Mateo is seeking a part-time Education Coordinator, 25 hours per week.  The Education Program Coordinator will be responsible for organizing and setting up NAMI program classes, including Family to Family, Peer to Peer, Provider Education, Basics and Ending the Silence, as well as arranging for teacher/facilitator training/meetings for all programs and support groups, and identifying additional organizations for program delivery.

Job Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Promotes thru outreach, plans, and schedules all education programs.
  • Updates existing programs to keep current with NAMI standards.
  • Prepares program materials for teachers and participants.
  • Communicates with teachers to ensure successful programs.
  • Keep up-to-date records in Excel of current waitlists for classes.
  • Reports NAMI class info when class is complete – internally & externally
  • Creates flyers and brochures for education programs.
  • Assists with special events such as NAMI General Meeting.
  • Works with staff and volunteers
  • Research/Plan outreach to identify additional presentation opportunities
  • Other duties as assigned


  • Knowledge of NAMI programs with preference to having taken one of our classes.
  • Must have excellent organizational and communication skills. 
  • Flexibility to work outside of regular schedule when needed for training or special events.
  • Proficient with MS Office programs including Excel, Word, Publisher and Outlook.

Please submit cover letter and resume to Helene Zimmerman at

Deadline to apply, January 13, 2020
Start Date: February 3, 2020
Salary commensurate with experience.

Call for George Culores Hall of Fame Award Nominations

The San Mateo County Mental Health and Substance Abuse Recovery Commission recognizes a resident annually for his/her achievements in one or both of the following categories:

  • Contributions to better the lives of other consumers and/or leadership in the consumer movement; or
  • Personal journey of recovery that inspires and gives hope to others

If you’d like to nominate someone, complete and return the nomination form by January 14.

Suicide Loss Support Groups at Mission Hospice

People who have lost a loved one to suicide often have unique and challenging aspects of their grief experience. We offer two types of support groups to give adults and mature teens a chance to share their story, support each other, and work through the specific grief needs of suicide loss. Facilitated by Isabel Stenzel, LCSW and Mary Balmana, RN.

8- week closed, structured group (twice yearly) — Next session: Wednesdays, March 25 – May 13, 2020, 6-7:30pm.

Monthly, ongoing group — 3rd Thursday of the month, 6-7:30pm.

Mission Hospice, 1670 S. Amphlett Blvd., Suite 300, San Mateo

FREE! Space is limited – registration is required. For more info or to register, contact Isabel Stenzel at 650-930.8236 or

EMM Self-Care Message #7 / Reto del autocuidado de SanaMente #7

The holiday season comes to an end with fresh promises of another beginning – a new year! New Year resolutions can be a useful way to reflect on where we are in life and how we would like to grow as we continue our journey. Eating healthier, working out, saving more, learning a new skill are common new year resolutions. 

Taking the time to intentionally care for our whole self – body, mind and soul – can keep us energized and mentally well; and, when each one of us cares for ourselves we have more to offer when caring for others. Self-care creates wellness not only for ourselves but for the whole community around us. 

Consider making better mental health for you and your community one of your New Year’s resolutions.

  • Learn how to raise your voice in support of mental health and to speak out against stigma
  • Check-in with friends and family more often
  • Take an active role in suicide prevention and know the signs, find the words and reach out!
  • Join California’s Mental Health Movement!
  • And of course, calendar time for self-care

To learn more about Each Mind Matters: California’s Mental Health Movement, visit:

La época festiva se termina con dulces promesas de otro inicio – ¡un año nuevo! Metas del año nuevo sirven para reflejar en donde nos encontramos en la vida y como queremos crecer mientras seguimos adelante en nuestro camino. 

Metas comunes del año nuevo incluyen comer más saludable, hacer ejercicio, ahorrar más, y aprender algo nuevo.

Dedicando el tiempo para cuidar intencionalmente de cada uno de los aspectos de tu salud – cuerpo, mente y espíritu – te mantiene con energía y en buena salud mental. Y cuando cada uno cuidamos de nosotros mismos, tenemos más que ofrecer para cuando cuidamos a los demás. El autocuidado crea el bienestar no solamente para nosotros mismos, sino también para la comunidad entera que nos rodea.

Considera, una de tus metas para el año nuevo, el crear mejor salud mental para ti y tu comunidad.

  • Aprende a alzar la voz en apoyo de la salud mental y contra el estigma
  • Conversa con amigos y familia más seguido
  • Involúcrate en la prevención del suicidio y aprende a reconocer las señales, y como escuchar y dialogar con alguien quien te preocupa.
  • ¡Participe en el movimiento de salud mental de California!
  • Y por supuesto, dedique tiempo en tu horario para el autocuidado. 

Para aprender más de SanaMente: El movimiento de salud mental de California, visite:

EMM Self Care Challenge #6: Boost Your Mood with Music | Reto del autocuidado de SanaMente #6: Mejora tu ánimo con música festiva

Listening to music can boost your mental health and trigger measurable stress-reducing effects.  Read this Each Mind Matters blog for additional ideas to help cope with holiday stress: If the Holidays Aren’t the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

To learn more about Each Mind Matters: California’s Mental Health Movement, visit:

El escuchar música puede fortalecer tu salud mental y provocar un efecto que impida el estrés. Lea este articulo para ideas adicionales para ayudar lidiar mejor con el estrés durante la época de fiestas: Estrés, depresión y las fiestas: Sugerencias para enfrentarlo. Para aprender más de SanaMente: El movimiento de salud mental de California, visite:

Caltrain Board to Consider Affordability Requirement for Housing Near Transit

Staff for the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board, which operates Caltrain, recommended requiring that at least 20% of units in the future residential projects on agency land at any station be affordable.

Affordable housing projects have the potential to add badly needed housing in an area where people are being forced into tent encampments and van living.

Read the article here.

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