BHRS is very excited to announce the opening of Serenity House. Our first Serenity House clients will begin their stay at the end of October. Read more about Serenity House.
This afternoon, Behavioral Health and Recovery Services will join the Change Agent Housing Committee in recognizing San Mateo County’s “Housing Heroes.” The Housing Heroes program honors community partners and colleagues who have demonstrated exceptional leadership in providing or maintaining housing for individuals with mental health and/or substances use issues in San Mateo County.
Promoting health and housing stability helps not only these individuals but also their families and the broader San Mateo County community. Read more here.
Today is International Pronouns Day! Sharing your pronouns and asking others for theirs can help everyone feel comfortable and acknowledged. SMC Health recommends sharing your pronouns in your email signature! See the example below to see how you can share yours, and check out our blog post, “Sharing Our Gender Pronouns” for more discussion on why pronouns are an essential part of respectful communication.
Written by Annette Pakhchian, LGBTQ+ Community Outreach
The San Mateo County Latino Collaborative presents the sixth annual Sana, Sana, Colita de Rana, an event where community members can learn about healthy habits, healthy communities, nutrition and access to mental health services. This year’s theme is “Tradiciones que Sanan el Alma” which means, “Celebrating the Culture of Healing the Soul!”
For more information email the Latino Collaborative at email@example.com and visit their website at smchealth.org/sanasana.
A special thank you to Burlingame High School [BHS] for inviting us to their on-campus resource fair for Suicide Prevention and Awareness week. In recognition of September as the National Suicide Prevention month, the counseling team at Burlingame High School organized a tabling event which included community agencies such as StarVista, Health Right 360, The Crisis Text Line, and The San Mateo County Pride Center. The resource fair was held during lunchtime, allowing students to ask questions, learn about different services and resources offered, and gain awareness regarding suicide prevention. We were able to bring awareness to students about knowing the signs of suicide, finding the words to say to a friend or loved one, and how to reach out for help.
Alongside the tabling participation, BHS incorporated games and activities to promote their messaging campaign, “You Matter,” where students wrote positive messages of encouragement to express a shared sentiment of community support amongst peers. The poser is to be displayed on campus.
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.
Written by Alicia Vasquez and Priscilla Bustos, Office of Diversity and Equity interns
Last Wednesday, on September 19th, over 100 people attended San Mateo County’s first ever S- Word Film Screening and Panel hosted at the San Mateo High School Performing Arts Center in collaboration with San Mateo Union High School District, Star-Vista and the Office of Diversity and Equity.
The S- Word is a documentary following a survivor of a suicide attempt as she embarks on a mission to document the stories of fellow survivors and document their stories of insight, humor, and courage. She discovers a national community rising to transform personal struggles into action.
During the panel discussion, audience members were able to ask questions about suicide anonymously that were displayed on the projector for the panelists to answer. Questions included “how do I connect with others that are considering suicide” and “what’s the best time or age to talk about this topic?”
Sylvia Tang, Office of Diversity and Equity, Co- Chair of Suicide Prevention Committee, and Co- Coordinator of this event states,
“I am so thankful that we had an engaged audience who asked thoughtful questions and wanted more community screenings of the S-Word. This film helped start a dialogue about suicide; this is such an important first step in suicide prevention because it raises awareness and reduces stigma around suicide. We hope more community members and agencies join the San Mateo County Suicide Prevention Committee because we need everyone to help prevent suicide in our schools and greater community.”
Special thanks to all the panelists:
- Ali Pond – Health Ambassador Program – Youth
- April Torres – San Mateo Union High School District
- Islam Hassanein – StarVista Crisis Center
- John Butler – Lived Experience Academy
- Karina Chapa – StarVista Crisis Center
- Yolanda Ramirez – San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services
And all who tabled including:
- Adolescent Counseling Services
- Advancing Client and Community Empowerment through Sustainable Solutions (ACCESS)
- Peninsula Family Services
- National Alliance for Mental Illness of San Mateo County (NAMI SMC)
- San Mateo County Behavioral Health & Recovery Services Office of Diversity and Equity
- San Mateo County Pride Center
- San Mateo Police Activities League – Stride for Awareness
- Veteran Suicide Prevention
- Bring Change 2 Mind
- San Mateo Union High School District Wellness Program
On September 12, the San Mateo County Health System rolled out a new visual identity, including a new name, logo tagline and BHRS-specific logo lockup. We hope that as these items become widely recognized and associated with the excellent quality of our broad range of services and high integrity of our public health protection functions, to help us remain a deeply trusted and caring community partner.
Read the full Wellness Matters article for more.
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