This past fiscal year was filled with so many accomplishments for the Office of Diversity and Equity’s Storytelling program! We learned so much and engaged in storytelling with many people who within the different communities, partner agencies and divisions of BHRS to facilitate Photovoice and Digital Storytelling programs. Read more
Tuesday, October 2nd will be the 3rd Annual National Day of Prayer for Behavioral Health and Understanding. Faith and Secular leaders will join hundreds around the country in an effort to replace the blame, fear and prejudice surrounding behavioral health issues with truth, inclusion and love. Community members, consumers, family members, behavioral health providers and the faith community are all welcome. The event will be held at the courtyard of 400 County Center, Redwood City.
In recognition of September Suicide Prevention Month, San Mateo County’s Behavioral Health and Recovery Services reminds everyone that by knowing the signs, finding the words, and reaching out, we can work together to prevent suicide.
Suicidal thoughts, although common, should not be considered normal and often indicate more serious issues. Much like mental health conditions, suicidal thoughts can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, or background. Too often the feelings of shame and stigma prevent those affected from talking openly or seeking help.
September, which is nationally recognized as suicide prevention month, is a time for us to share resources and stories to shed light on the highly taboo and stigmatized topic. It is important that individuals, friends, and family are receiving the resources to learn the signs of suicide, how to find the words to talk openly about suicide, and how to reach out.
If you or someone you know is facing a mental health crisis, call the StarVista Crisis Hotline 650-579-0350 (1-800-273-8255).
For more information on how to help a loved one who may be at risk of suicide, visit www.suicideispreventable.org.
For information on San Mateo County suicide prevention resources, visit www.smchealth.org/suicideprevention.
While suicide prevention is important to address year-round, Suicide Prevention Awareness Month provides a dedicated time to come together with collective passion and strength around a difficult topic. Truthfully, we can all benefit from honest conversations about
In honor of September Suicide Prevention month, on Wednesday, 9/12, please join us for a film screening of the S-Word. Film will be shown in English with Spanish subtitles.
Following the film screening will be a Q&A panel which will offer Spanish and Chinese interpretation. Childcare (for ages 3-15) and refreshments provided. Registered attendees are entered in a raffle for a chance to win an Amazon gift card.
Synopsis: A suicide attempt survivor is on a mission to find fellow survivors and document their stories of courage, insight and humor. Along the way, she discovers a rising national movement transforming personal struggles into action.
Register via the Eventbrite link HERE.
The next MHSA Steering Committee has been scheduled and as always is open to the public! The Steering Committee meets twice a year and makes recommendations to the planning funding and services development for MHSA. At the next meeting we will:
- Review an MHSA framework and key principles for funding programs and expansions.
- Learn about the Pride Center outcomes and request for a 2-year extension.
- Hear about the next steps for the MHSA Innovation funding cycle.
Key Action Item: Steering Committee members to approve a recommendation to request an Innovation fund extension for the Pride Center.
MHSA Steering Committee Meeting
Monday, September 24, 2018 / 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Foster City Community Cntr, Wind Room
1000 E Hillsdale Blvd. Foster City, CA 94404
San Mateo County is kicking off a two-year pilot program aimed at detecting instances of childhood trauma, re-imagining staff training and generating and refining resources to help children avoid development setbacks. Check out San Mateo Daily Journal’s article on the trial, featuring BHRS Deputy Director of Children and Youth Services, Toni DeMarco.
On Friday, August 24th, please join us for the 2nd Annual Mental Health Open Mic at Philz in Westborough Square.
First 50 to register via eventbrite will receive a free coffee that evening!
We hope to see you there, and we especially hope to hear you speak at our open mic!
Know the signs, find the words, and reach out. Break the silence.
Facebook event link can be found here.
In partnershship with the San Mateo County Youth Commission, BHRS’ new education initiative aims to teach youth about the health effects of cannabis use. Check out www.cannabisdecoded.org (Parents, we have resources for you too!) and the accompanying Instagram account, @cannabis_decoded today.
Lack of stable housing can make recovery from co-occurring substance abuse and mental health issues an endless struggle. Each year we celebrate the individuals and organizations that help individuals with co-occurring issues find or keep housing in San Mateo County.
We invite you to nominate a person (landlord, property manager, case manager…) or a program for the 11th Annual Housing Heroes Awards. Please return nomination forms to Daniel Lacampagne by Wednesday, September 5. Completed forms/photos of completed forms can be emailed (DLacampagne@smcgov.org), faxed (650-369-1501) or texted (650-454-7966). Read more
For many years, conversations around posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have primarily focused on military veteran populations returning from war. Keeping in mind that exposure to life-threatening, traumatic experiences are not just limited to military veterans, efforts are being made to shed light on other groups that are also impacted by PTSD. One of those groups includes students of color in historically marginalized communities.
1 in 3 students of color living in historically marginalized communities display symptoms of mild to severe PTSD.
In other words, youth of color are twice as likely to experience mild to severe symptoms of PTSD compared to soldiers returning from live combat.
Poverty, institutional racism, homicide, and neighborhood disinvestment represent some of many exposures linked to PTSD among students of color. However, the conversation doesn’t end there.
PTSD assumes a person will experience physical, mental, and emotional distress after being exposed to a traumatic life experience. For students of color, that exposure is continuous. Living in a historically marginalized community means that students will return to and experience traumatic events/conditions such as poverty, institutional racism, homicide, and neighborhood disinvestment, on a daily basis. PTSD on its own does not capture the complexity of those experiences. Thus, students of color living in communities with high exposures to such conditions may actually be experiencing Complex Posttraumatic Disorder, or CPTSD.