Empowering Communities Far From Home

Written by Natalie Andrade, Mental Health First Aid

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Philippine Consulate’s Mental Health First Aid Training on January 27th.

The Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE) was invited to the Philippine Consulate on Saturday, January 27 to provide a Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training to consulate staff. The Philippine Consulate provides services to Filipino Nationals in the San Francisco Bay Area. The day was filled with rich conversation about the struggles of feeling homesick and how this can affect one’s mental health, which is a taboo and stigmatized topic in the Filipino community. A participant stated that she was able to feel a connection to the information provided due to the cultural piece both instructors integrated in the course.

The word “homesick” is defined as the experience or longing for one’s home during a period of absence from it. When people leave their home countries, the sense of loss and homesickness is commonly felt. Homesickness is the word used by Philippine Consul General, Hon. Henry S. Bensurto, Jr. in his opening speech during the training to staff to describe the challenges they, as a community, often face when living away from home.

Mental Health First Aid is a FREE 8-hour certification course that teaches community members how to recognize and appropriately respond to an individual experiencing an emotional or behavioral health challenge, including depression, anxiety, psychosis, and substance abuse. Mental Health First Aid is provided by the Office of Diversity and Equity, BHRS and supported by MHSA (Prop. 63)

If you would like to host a training or are interested in attending, please contact Natalie Andrade at nandrade@smcgov.org or 650-372-8548.

To learn more about San Mateo County’s Mental Health First Aid, visit their website here

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