Author Archives: Behavioral Health and Recovery Services

Transgender Day of Remembrance

A candlelight vigil procession was held at the Redwood City Courthouse followed by a commemoration program at the Downtown Library last Friday to remember those who lost their lives to anti-transgender violence. The event was organized by the LGBTQ Commission , PRIDE InitiativeThe San Mateo County Pride CenterAfrican American Community InitiativeBHRS Office of Diversity and EquityCORA and the Redwood City Public Library.

Join Us to Celebrate Recovery Month

RecoveryMonthEvery September we celebrate national Recovery Month to increase awareness and understanding of mental and substance abuse disorders and celebrate the individuals and  families in recovery, as well as the providers.  We invite you, your families, your stories, and your recovery to join us in this annual event.

We look forward to another great year of celebrating Recovery in San Mateo County. Read more about Recovery Month.

Recovery Month Flyer

Sept. 13: Coastside Community Event

CoastsideCSAThe BHRS Coastside Community Service Area, Youth Leadership Institute and Office of Diversity is hosting  a community event to to educate the public on mental health and substance abuse services and supports available in the community.

Tuesday, Sept. 13th, 5:30 p.m.- 8 p.m.
Ted Adcock Community Center
535 Kelly Ave, Half Moon Bay

The event will be in English and Spanish, interpreters will be present if needed.

Questions?   Contact Ziomara Ochoa or Justin Francis

Coastside Community Event flyer – English
Coastside Community Event flyer – Spanish

September 17: NAMIWalks – Silicon Valley

One in 5 Americans, or nearly 60 million people across all racial, ethnic, age, religious and economic groups, face the day-to-day reality of living with a mental health condition. Mental illness affects everyone.

Fifty percent of mental health conditions begin by age 14 and 75 percent of mental health conditions develop by age 24. Yet fewer than one-third of adults and one-half of children with a mental health condition receive NAMIWalkservices and treatment in a given year.

The result of this public health failure is often tragic: Suicide is the second leading cause of death in youth and young adults ages 15 to 24. Early engagement and support are crucial to improving outcomes and increasing the promise of recovery.

Join us for NAMIWalks in Silicon Valley:
Saturday, September 17, 2016
9 am check-in, 11 am walk

Guadalupe River Park, Arena Green West
N Autumn St (W Santa Clara St), San Jose, CA 95113

For more info, visit:
Brochure/Registration form
Print Flyer


Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention Unit Joins BHRS


CDIP Team clockwise from left: Edith Cabuslay, Shaunda Scruggs, Fancesca Lomotan, and Elaine Lo

The Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention (CDIP) Unit from Family Health Services will has joined the BHRS Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Prevention Services unit. This move is envisioned by Health System Administration as an opportunity to consolidate the prevention efforts from the two divisions into one unit.

“We are hopeful that this organizational change will strengthen the place-based AOD prevention partnerships that BHRS has invested significantly in.  And also leverage the framework and learnings that the Tobacco Education Coalition and the Tobacco staff have furthered to drive reductions in tobacco use in communities across San Mateo County,” said Srija Srinivasan, Health System Interim Deputy Chief.

Learn More about this in our newsletter!


Assisted Outpatient Treatment Services Launches

Together Towards Recovery


AOT Team:  Terry Wilcox-Rittgers, Carmen Guerridos, Sharon Langtry, Nick Zwerdling, Sahara Lirone (not shown)

Developed out of the County’s adoption of Laura’s Law (Assembly Bill 1421) in the summer of 2015, the Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) is a program that reaches out to people with a severe mental illness who are not connected to services and are challenged with living safely and stably in our community.

The team works collaboratively with individuals, their family members and partners to provide the right care at the right place and right time. Our dedicated team helps decrease mental health crises, hospitalizations, incarceration and homelessness while helping people achieve and maintain their physical and mental health.

San Mateo County’s AOT outreaches to people who are not connected to treatment and engages them in services provided by Caminar’s Full Service Partnership (FSP),  a community based program which provides intensive mental health services.  The program includes 24/7 care and services such as intensive case management, psychiatry, medication management, benefit and housing support, life skill development, as well as guidance and support to help people reach their recovery goals.


A person must meet all of these conditions to be eligible for AOT: 18 years old and over, seriously mentally ill, and a San Mateo County resident

  • Have a history of not following through with treatment for their mental illness resulting in:
    • having been hospitalized and/or incarcerated two or more times within the last 3 years. Or,
    • having threatened or attempted a significantly dangerous behavior towards themselves or others at least one time in the past 2 years.
  • Were previously offered treatment on a voluntary basis and refused it, and whose health is quickly declining.


Call 650-372-6125 or email

Learn more about San Mateo County’s AOT services.

Nominate a Person or Organization for David Lewis Award

The San Mateo County Mental Health & Substance Abuse Recovery Commission (MHSARC) is seeking nominees for its annual David Lewis Award – Recognizing Outstanding Contributions towards Recovery.  This honor is made to the individual or organization that has made an extraordinary difference in the lives of people with substance abuse disorders and the San Mateo County community.

For more information or to nominate someone, see the nomination form. Nominations are due August 15, 2016. The Award will be presented at the September MHSARC meeting on September 7th.

Mental Health Emergency Materials Now Available in Four Languages

Mental-Health-Emergency-14.fw_-300x186“Guidelines for Calling 9-1-1” provides information on  what to do when calling 9-1-1 for a mental health emergency. Tips include what to say when calling, how to keep everyone safe, and what information to have ready when you call.  In addition, a list of local crisis and community resources on where to find help is included.

Brochures and wallet cards are now available in the following languages:  English, Spanish, Tagalog and Chinese.  View and print the materials at Order a supply to distribute to the community on the website.

Contract Opportunity – Chinese Outreach Worker

Chinese Outreach Worker Position – Open Until Filled

The San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (BHRS), Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE) is looking for a bilingual Outreach Worker to help in providing behavioral health outreach and engagement services to Chinese immigrants and Chinese Americans living in San Mateo County. If you have a passion for health equity and advocacy in low-income and underserved communities, see below for details on the position and instructions to apply. The Outreach Worker will be a contract position and will be working twenty-four (24) hours a week until June 30, 2017.

Learn more about this opportunity

Wellness Matters – July 2016

0716WellnessMatters_DRAFTWellness Matters is an e-Journal of San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services. Topics in this issue include:

  • San Mateo County Celebrates Pride
  • Integrated Medicated Assisted Treatment Achieving Remarkable Results (From the Director’s Desk)
  • Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention Unit Joins BHRS
  • Assisted Outpatient Treatment (Laura’s Law) Service Launched July 1st
  • Commission Reports on Housing Challenges for BHRS Clients
  • and more!



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