The Tony Hoffman Award, presented by the San Mateo County Mental Health and Substance Abuse Recovery
Commission recognizes individuals,
professionals, businesses, or media representatives who have made an
extraordinary difference in the lives of people with mental illness and the San
Mateo County community. Recognition is given for public education or advocacy
to promote mental health awareness and needs or to address stigma; services to
persons with mental illness; creation of new and innovative programs or
community support activities; recognition of fundraising for mental health
activities or long-term financial support to mental health programs; working
for new mental health legislation; compassionate treatment of persons with
We salute this year’s recipients:
Detective Mike Tabak (law enforcement) is with the San Mateo Sheriff’s Department
and he leads the Psychiatric Emergency Response Team (PERT). He was recognized
for the ways in which he tirelessly connects patients and families with
services and resources to prevent hospitalization and incarceration.
“When a call involves a suspected mental health crisis, a deputy officer is often the first person to arrive on the scene. Detective Tabak works with all law enforcement in the county to administer 40 hours of Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training every three months – three times the state average. He continuously strives for greater collaboration around mental health issues.” -David Pollack, Nominating Officer
Jeffrey John Earl Edgerton (client/servce provider/volunteer) is an AOD counselor at Voices of Recovery and a wrap facilitator who empowers individuals with peer support.
Edgerton says his work is in the community of mental health and substance use disorder. In accepting his nomination he lamented on how comorbidity has plagued himself and his peers for years, yet he has been able to reach full recovery despite life challenges through a Wellness Recovery Action Plan and the 12 Steps of Narcotics Anonymous
Jonay Grant (service provider/not pictured) works as a BHRS Transitional Age Youth counselor, peer counseling course instructor and she is an anti-stigma mental health role model.
dedicated to helping people in the community. She also is creative and
inspiring to her students. She motivates and encourages peers to be the person
they can be”. -Yoko Ng, Nominating Officer
**Awards were presented to honorees at the San Mateo County Mental Health & Substance Abuse Commission meeting on May 1, 2019.
Across the country, people in recovery are celebrating their successes and sharing them with others in an effort to educate the public about treatment, reduce stigma and inspire others that recovery is possible.
Every September, Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (BHRS) recognizes Recovery Month by sharing personal stories of hope, resilience and recovery from individuals in San Mateo County who are living with and/or recovering from a substance use and/or mental health condition. We seek brief narratives from individuals reflecting diverse perspectives who are interested in sharing their story publicly. Stories from family members’ perspectives are also welcome.
BHRS is seeing improved physical and psychological health outcomes in the Total Wellness program. The holistic health care approach, established in collaboration with the San Mateo Medical Center, combines mental and physical health services in one location to better serve mentally ill adult clients who also have physical health conditions.
Consistent and solid improvement is occurring among consumers managing conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. The program was created a few years ago because, on average, people with behavioral health issues tend to die 25 years earlier than their peers because of poor access.
To learn more about the Total Wellness program, read the full article in the BHRS “Wellness Matters” newsletter.
In honor of Anthony Bourdain’s life and for his birthday today, the Giving Kitchen is supporting suicide prevention efforts in the restaurant industry by offering free QPR training to anyone in the restaurant industry. Tell your favorite waitresses, waiters, baristas, chefs, or restaurant owners to go to www.givingkitchen.com to sign up for the free training. Read the story on CNN.
When Maria Cuellar became a BHRS Health Ambassador in 2016, she made a commitment to reconcile her past – and she did. She tells what it was like to reunite with her two daughters 26 years after making the painful decision to leave them behind in her native country, El Salvador.
them with all my heart and we spent hours talking. One of my daughters has a
bachelor’s degree in language and the other became a doctor this year,” she said.
We are three months away from September Suicide Prevention Month (SPM) (and Recovery Month!) which includes National Suicide Prevention Week (September 8-14) and World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10). SPM aims to empower everyone in the community to prevent suicide.
This year, we are partnering with libraries and community agencies in San Mateo County to
promote the theme of interpersonal
connectedness (positive relationships
between individuals). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
confirms that studies show that connectedness is overall an important
protective factor for suicide and states, “[c]onnectedness between
individuals can lead to increased frequency of social contact, lowered levels
of social isolation or loneliness, and an increased number of positive
Each year, the San Mateo County
Behavioral Health & Recovery Services Office of Diversity & Equity and
Suicide Prevention Committee publishes a Calendar of Events which promotes the
SPM events broadly across local providers, partners and community in San Mateo
County. For the first time, we will also be offering mini-grants for selected
If you would like your SPM event listed on the printed calendar AND would like to apply for the mini-grant for your event, please complete this online application by Friday, July 12, 2019.
If you would like your SPM event listed on the printed calendar ONLY, please complete thisonline application by Friday, July 12, 2019.
Any events submitted after this deadline will likely not be
on the printed calendar but can be posted on our county suicide prevention
website at smchealth.org/SuicidePrevention.