San Mateo County Proclaims May Mental Health Awareness Month

MHAM proclamation group shot.jpg

Left to right: Jairo Wilches (BHRS Office of Consumer Family Affairs), Suzanne Aubrey (BHRS Office of Consumer Family Affairs), Helene Zimmerman (National Alliance for Mental Illness San Mateo County), Candice Hawley, David Young, John Butler, Sylvia Tang (BHRS Office of Diversity and Equity), Christopher Jump (Heart & Soul, Inc.), Yoshie Hill (Heart & Soul, Inc.).

This morning, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors (BoS) recommitted to raising awareness and reducing stigma around mental health and substance use issues in the 2018 Mental Health Awareness Month (MHAM) Proclamation. Supervisors Dave Pine and Don Horsley made opening remarks highlighting their ongoing commitment to behavioral health in their respective districts and throughout the County.

After receiving the proclamation, our new Behavioral Health & Recovery Services (BHRS) Director David A. Young, PhD, MPH presented an introduction to MHAM and illustrated the importance of raising awareness about mental health and substance use conditions. Dr. Young underscored the prevalence of behavioral health conditions and barriers to receiving help – including stigma – which need to be addressed.

Two Lived Experience Academy graduates, Candice Hawley and John Butler, continued to educate the audience with their personal stories living with a mental health condition. Their stories beautifully illustrated adversity, hope and recovery. Their stories enhance our understanding and empathy for those who live with mental health conditions.

The recording of this Proclamation and other parts of the BoS meeting are located at bos.smcgov.org.

To continue the dialogue about mental health and substance use issues, please wear a lime green ribbon or attend a MHAM events in San Mateo County. More information can be found at smchealth.org/mentalhealthmonth.

Written By Sylvia Tang, Community Health Planner
Office of Diversity and Equity, San Mateo County Behavioral Health & Recovery Services

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