Author Archives: Behavioral Health and Recovery Services

Celebrate Recovery Month

National Recovery Month, also known as Recovery Happens Month in San Mateo County, is a national observance held every September since 1989 to educate Americans about substance use treatment and mental health services that can enable those with mental and substance use disorders live healthy, rewarding lives.

Voices of Recovery, in collaboration with Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, has been a part of this celebration since 2014 to promote awareness, positivity, and encouragement for those in and seeking recovery.

Just as we celebrate other health improvements, during September, we celebrate the gains made by those living in recovery. We hope that you will join our virtual events featuring:

  • Sept 1-30: Virtual Art Show & Resource Fair
  • Sept 14: Proclamation
  • Sept 22: Recovery Speaker Jam
    • History of Recovery Month in San Mateo County
    • Special Celebrity Speaker
    • Steve Kaplan Award
    • Philomena Family Expression of Hope
  • Sept 29: Recovery Expression of Talent

See the complete list of events and links at

Everyone’s journey is different and we all experience peaks and valleys. However, with the strength, support,
and hope from the people we love, we can be resilient and believe that recovery is possible.


The 2021 Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) Steering Committee meetings are will now take place four times a year on the first Thursday in February, May, September and December from 3:00 -4:30 pm. MHSA meeting are open to the public to provide input, make recommendations and stay up-to-date on new MHSA developments and ongoing programming.

See the flyer and details below for the upcoming February meeting.

September 2nd
Time: 3:00 – 4:30 pm
Location: Remotely via a Zoom webinar

Join via Zoom:
Zoom Meeting link:
Dial in: +1 669 900 6833 / Meeting ID: 832 1620 9789

For more information on the meetings, please visit: Visit the the MHSA planning page to learn more about MHSA is being implemented in San Mateo County and to get involved.

Join BHRS’ Specialty Mental Health Private Provider Network

San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (BHRS) is actively recruiting individual practitioners to join our Specialty Mental Health Private Provider Network (SPPN). If you’re looking to enhance your private practice and give back to the community, then joining our network is right for you! BHRS provides a broad spectrum of mental health services for children, youth, families, adults and older adults experiencing serious mental health symptoms. Our providers work closely and collaboratively with our BHRS clinics and are considered part of the BHRS treatment team. Reimbursement rates are highly competitive and additional rates for bilingual services are offered.

Qualifications include:

  1. Licensed in California in one of the following: Ph.D., Psy.D., LMFT, LCSW, or LPCC

2.  Medi-Cal enrollment;  required for all providers serving the Medi-Cal population in California. Providers interested in contracting with BHRS must be enrolled or have started the process of enrollment. More information can be found here.

3.  Ability to see clients face to face if requested

4.  Office located within the surrounding counties

5.  Minimum of five openings for new referrals to start

Providers with the following experience, certifications, and/or specialties are strongly encouraged to apply:

1.   Experience working with the MediCal population and MediCal documentation standards

2.  DBT certification or specialty

3.  Eating disorder specialty

4.  EMDR certification

If you have a passion for working with the Specialty Mental Health population and would like to learn more about joining our network, please visit our webpage or contact the Laura Jacobo Smith, LMFT, BHRS Provider Relations Coordinator by calling 650-573-3476 or email:

Heart & Soul Is Seeking an Executive Director

Heart & Soul is seeking a resourceful and strategic leader with a genuine passion for peer-based mental health support services to lead the organization in fulfilling its mission.

The ideal candidate will have demonstrable leadership experience, specifically in the nonprofit or public sector. Candidates who have personal or lived experience with mental health challenges are strongly encouraged to apply. If this describes you, please know that we value your experiences.

View the complete Heart & Soul Executive Director Position Overview, Candidate Profile, Responsibilities and Qualifications, and How to Apply here.

Heart & Soul’s Annual Picnic is Back!

Heart & Soul’s Annual Picnic is Back! Attend our first In-person Community Gathering of 2021. Join them to re-unite with old friends, have fun, and celebrate our San Mateo County Mental Health Community.

Saturday, August 14, 2021
11:00 am – 3:00 pm at San Mateo Central Park
Please join us to re-unite with old friends, have fun, and celebrate our San Mateo County Mental Health Community

No advance registration or RSVP is required.

Picnic COVID Safety:

  • To protect the safety and comfort of all guests, Heart & Soul requests that face masks be worn at all times, except when eating or drinking, regardless of your vaccination status.
  • Please maintain safe physical distancing, except with people in your own household.
  • Please use hand sanitizer frequently. Hand sanitizer will be provided.
  • Those with symptoms must not attend.
  • Those at high risk of severe illness strongly encouraged not to attend.

For more information, visit the Heart & Soul’s website.

Nominate A “Housing Hero”

A lack of stable housing can make recovery from co-occurring substance use and mental health issues an endless struggle.   The San Mateo County Change Agent Housing Committee is accepting nominations for their 14th Annual Housing Heroes Award an individual, property owner/manager, or organization who has gone above and beyond to support one or more people with mental health and/or co-occurring challenges with finding or keeping housing. 

See the nomination form for more information on this award. Nominations are due by September 17 and the awards ceremony will take place on October 19th.

Minority Mental HEalth Month Speakers Panel – July 30

July is Minority Mental Health Month. Join BHRS and Heart & Soul for a special Seeing Through Stigma Speakers Panel “Strength In Communities.” The panelist include Alexis Madayag (community member), Deborah Wright (Heart & Soul board member), and Yvette Agua (Heart & Soul Peer Support Specialist) who will share their personal journeys from mental health challenges to places of hope, resilience, wellness, and recovery.

Friday, July 30, 2021 • 4:30 – 6:00 pm
Join via ZOOM:

Download the flyer.

David Lewis Award Nominations – Due August 13

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San Mateo County’s Mental Health and Substance Abuse Recovery Commission’s (MHSARC) David Lewis award is presented annually in September to an individual who has made a significant contribution to substance abuse recovery through successful programs, community education, stigma reduction, or client advocacy.

David Lewis was a long-term employee of San Mateo County Health. He was the co-founder and president of the Board of Directors of “Free at Last,” a substance abuse treatment and prevention agency in East Palo Alto that seeks to break the cycle of addiction, rebuild families, foster education and economic self sufficiency, and contribute to the health and safety of the community. David was shot and died on June 9, 2010. 

Nominate an individual by returning the completed nomination form on or before August 13.  More info on the MHSARC awards.

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