Free training offered to help prevent suicide in the restaurant industry

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.

Immigrant Mother Uses BHRS Program to Change Her Life and Help Community

Maria Cuellar, BHRS Health Ambassador

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.

 “I hugged 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.

Cuellar says all the BHRS Health Ambassador Program (HAP) trainings she participated in helped her become a better parent while raising her other two children here in the U.S.  

She is one of nearly 30 people who have graduated since the program’s inception in 2014.

Health Ambassadors help link individuals to care by spreading awareness about BHRS resources and services and in turn helps BHRS better understand the community’s needs.   

To read more BHRS “Wellness Matters” newsletter articles, click here.

Suicide Prevention Month Mini-Grants and Call for Events – Applications Due July 12

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 relationships.”

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 recipients.

  • 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 this online 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.

If you have any questions, please contact Suicide Prevention Committee Co-Chairs Islam Hassanein (islam.hassanein@star-vista.org)  and/or Sylvia Tang (stang@smcgov.org).

Lived Experience Academy Graduates New Speakers

People from the BHRS Lived Experience Academy say they are graduating feeling hopeful, inspired and proud.

Graduate Velisha Sorooshian (center), Kevin Jones, Executive Director, Telecare (left) and Scott Gilman, BHRS Director (right).

“What I didn’t expect was the emotional impact these classes would have on me. I wasn’t expecting everyone’s traumatic stories to grip my heart in such a deep way,” said Lucas, a recent graduate.

Participants learn how to share their personal stories in the 10-hour program and how to see their challenges as a source of hope, strength and wisdom to redefine their narrative.

It’s given me the tool of knowing how to utilize my voice,” said one participant.

14 people recently graduated from the program, funded by the Mental Health Services Act.

Read more in the latest BHRS “Wellness Matters” newsletter.

Pride Celebration Brings LGBTQ+ Community Together

Hundreds of people descended on San Mateo Central Park for a daylong celebration of diversity and inclusion last Saturday. 

The annual Pride event, held every year since 2013, focused on promoting health and wellness in the LGBTQ+ community. 

This year’s theme, “Rooted in Resilience”, conveyed how the San Mateo County LGBTQ+ community is rooted in our community and resistant against phobias that occur daily towards our LGBTQ+ community. 

“Seeing the San Mateo County LGBTQ+ community and allies coming together to celebrate diversity, resiliency and solidarity was powerful and beautiful, reinforcing the need to continue our work to be inclusive and valuing of everyone”, Maria Lorente-Foresti, Ph.D., Director, Office of Diversity and Equity.

The family friendly event included food trucks, musical performances, kids’ activities, arts and crafts, story time, vendors and Zumba lessons. The San Mateo County Pride event was held in collaboration with the Pride InitiativePride Center and the LGBTQ Commission.  

Former Teacher Inducted into Consumer Hall of Fame for Sharing His Road to Recovery

Daric Desautel, 2019 Consumer Hall of Fame Recipient

He has a background in education, advocacy, social justice and he once served in the U.S. Army. But Daric Desautel, a former elementary school teacher, found his way to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, San Mateo County while in the midst of his own personal battle with bipolar disorder and addiction.

Since making a full recovery, Daric has dedicated himself to helping others find their way to wellness by serving as a mentor, support group facilitator, and graciously sharing his own lived experience.

Though he now works in substance abuse treatment at the Veterans Affairs, Palo Alto Health Care System, Daric remains active in NAMI SMC.  

The Mental Health & Substance Abuse Recovery Commission inducted him into this years’ 2019 Consumer Hall of Fame Award for his outstanding track record of selfless service.

To learn more about Daric and Consumer Hall of Fame awards read the full article here.

Check out more stories, read past and current issues, or subscribe to our Wellness Matters newsletter, by clicking here.

Today! Rooted in Resilience: 7th Annual San Mateo County Pride Celebration – June 15th

https://www.smdailyjournal.com/sponsored/the-pride-of-san-mateo—-celebrating-pride/article_a0b21ffa-8e2d-11e9-af14-9fd38fdf8052.html

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Read more about the event in the San Mateo Daily Journal or visit the Pride Initiative’s facebook page or the event website.

New class aims to change perception of mental illness in Latino community

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The six-week course known as “NAMI Basics,” provides basic mental health support training based on protocols from the National Alliance for Mental Illness. NAMI Basics, offered for the first time in Spanish on the Coastside, offers information and guided support for family members and caregivers of youth and young adults with mental health disorders and is graduating its first class of participants next week.

Overall, the Latino community does not talk about mental health issues so there is a general lack of information and misunderstanding about the subject,” according to information provided on NAMI’s website.

“Some people refuse to acknowledge that their kids have mental health issues. We want them to know that they are not alone,” said San Mateo County Sheriff’s Sgt. Victor Lopez.

Click here to read more about this unique program.

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