Traveling Around the County

Over the past several weeks I have had the chance to attend some great events sponsored by BHRS and community partners. Each were highly successful as evidenced by the great turnouts and really high energy levels in the room.

On September 2nd, I went to the Central Community Services Area first ever “Day of Partnering”. Because of a prior commitment I arrived about an hour late. Not really knowing what to expect, as I neared the community room at the San Mateo Library the noise grew louder and louder. And when I entered I saw about 100 people engrossed in “speed partnering”, meeting each other and learning about the resources in the area. It was clear that this event “hit the spot”. What was great to see was representatives from organizations that are not typically found in our events such as dental services. The event epitomized one of the key tenets of our CSA model-creating a strong connection between BHRS staff and services with the broader community. Congratulations to Linda Simonsen, Bobbie Cervantes and all the others who planned the event!!

On September 12th I attended the East Palo Alto’s Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition’s annual Community Wide Retreat. As always, the event attracted a wide variety of community members who were there to affirm their community’s strong commitment to health and wellness for all residents. The day was highlighted by three youth from EPA telling their personal stories of how substance use impacted their families and themselves, how connecting to positive peers and strong adult allies has been key to their own wellness and gave some sage advice to the adults in the room on how to connect with they youth in EPA. As with all the various community events in EPA the spirit of hope prevailed. Thanks to Dr. Faye and her staff for all of their hard work in making this a continuous hit!!

This past Friday was the “Speak Up, Save A Life Prevention Forum” at the San Mateo Library. I arrived early and asked staff how many people they were anticipating. Their answers ranged from 30 to 50. Well by the time the program started it was standing room only that had staff scurrying for chairs. Such an affirmation of the importance of the event and recognition of the need to foster and grow the partnership. Kudos to the many staff and partners who were instrumental in making this happen.

And last but not least, this past Saturday was “Sana Sana” in Half Moon Bay. The weather could not have been better to draw so many families out to celebrate their community, receive critical health and behavioral health information, and get connected to health, social services and recreational resources. The focus on health and wellness permeated the event. Congratulation to Ziomara Ochoa, Hector Moncada, Arlette Molina, Regina Moreno and all the others who make this such a spirited and highly successful event!!

I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to attend such events. They each personify some of our key BHRS values, in particular: “Partnerships-We can achieve our mission and progress towards our vision only through mutual and respectful partnerships that enhance our capabilities and build our capacity.”