National Day of Prayer for Behavioral Health Recovery & Understanding

For the 5th year, the National Day of Prayer for Behavioral Health Recovery and Understanding was recognized in San Mateo County.  BHRS and NAMI co-sponsored the observance on October 5th by inviting faith, secular leaders, and consumers to participate.  Faith and secular leaders around the country publicly recommit themselves to replace misinformation, blame, fear and prejudice with truth, inclusion, and love in order to offer hope and support. 

The event included members from various faiths: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Catholic, and Hindu, as well as prayers/poem from consumers and providers.

Isaac Frederick, Co-Chair of the Spirituality Initiative opened the event. Peggy Jensen, San Mateo Deputy County Manager provided a welcoming address and San Mateo County Health LEAP Institute director Viral Mehta, shared his personal story of healing, faith and hope.  Presenters consisted of several faith-based communities including Rabbi Lisa Delson from Peninsula Temple Sholom; Ashis Khan with the Hindu Speakers Bureau; Wesley Mukoyama, volunteer lay Buddhist Champlain of Santa Clara County Jail; and Rev. Dr. Janet Bower of Presbyterian Church (USA).  Amy Biesemeyer, LMFT with One Nature Therapy, and Marin County clinician, shared how nature can be a powerful tool for hope and wellness.

Lived Experienced presenters, Pam Ward-Pious and Ellen Darnell, shared their prayers and original poetry. Lived experience community member John Butler shared his Catholic faith and the importance of communion for hope.

The event was led by the co-chairs of the BHRS Office of Diversity and Equity’s Spirituality Initiative, Isaac Frederick and Melinda Ricossa, along with consumers, members of the faith-based community, and community-based organizations.  Learn more about the Spirituality Initiative.