The Importance of Providing Youth Mental Health First Aid in Spanish to Half Moon Bay Residents

9-23-17 Group PhotoMoonridge Apartments are a secluded apartment complex surrounded by rolling hills in an unincorporated area of San Mateo County, where its residents are predominantly Latinx and monolingual. Providing YMHFA for this community challenged the stigma often associated with mental health and connected residents to resources and supports provided in their area, including what to do if someone is having a mental health crisis or emergency. Supervising Mental Health Clinician Hector Moncada from Coastside Clinic attended the training to answer any questions and provided information on services offered by the clinic and in the community.

A few years ago, the Moonridge community suffered a tragic loss of a resident who was killed while experiencing a mental health emergency. (Read more: http://www.mercurynews.com/2014/06/03/half-moon-bay-woman-18-fatally-shot-by-deputy-after-lunging-at-him-with-knife-authorities-say/ ) To more appropriately handle mental health emergency situations, San Mateo County created a 911 Guidelines brochure and card to support community members when having to call 911 for help, which is discussed in the YMHFA course. (Read more 911 guidelines brochure: http://www.smchealth.org/mh911). The Moonridge community and the Sheriff’s Office have come a long way since then, where the Sheriff’s Office has worked hard to establish a better relationship with the community, often holding community events for residents at Moonridge.

This is the fourth Spanish YMHFA course The Office of Diversity and Equity hosted and the first YMHFA course held in Half Moon Bay. Parent Project graduates, Moonridge residents, and Half Moon Bay community members attended the one day, 8 hour training to learn how to better support the young people in their lives.

A special thank you to Hector Moncada, Ziomara Ochoa, Yolanda Novello, Karla Mendoza, and Frances Lobos!

Written by Natalie Andrade

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