Author Archives: Behavioral Health and Recovery Services

Join the OCFA Advocacy Academy

The Advocacy Academy is for individuals with behavioral health challenges and their family members who want to learn skills to be an effective advocate within BHRS and beyond.

Learn the skills to bring your voice to Behavioral Health and Recovery Services committees, particularly to the MHSA Health Equity Initiatives and all other workgroups. Learn to advocate for positive change, social inclusion, consumer and family education and outreach, and much more.

The next training session starts Thursday, February 3 and continues for a total of six consecutive Thursdays (February 3, 10,17, 24, March 3 and 10).

See the flier and application (Word, PDF). Applications are due by January 21, 2022.

For more information, contact the Office of Consumer and Family Affairs at or call 800-388-5189. Learn more about the academy.

Wait List Open for Project Based Senior 62+ Housing Complexes

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The Housing Authority of the County of San Mateo (HACSM) is currently accepting online applications for eight of its Project-Based senior housing complexes through November 30, 2021. Interested parties may apply online on the HACSM application portal ( during the opening period. New applicants will need to create an account on the portal (RentCafe).  Applicants who already have an account with RentCafe may use the same account and log in information to apply online.  Refer to the flyer for information on properties and application process.

Stay Well During the Holidays with a WRAP Plan

Join Voices of Recovery for “WRAP Around the Holidays,” and together you can develop a plan to stay well during the holidays, before a crisis begins. Developing a Wellness, Recovery, Action, Plan (WRAP) can help:

  • Improve your quality of life
  • Decrease and prevent intrusive or troubling feelings and behaviors
  • Increase personal empowerment
  • Strengthen the recovery process
  • Assist in achieving life goals and dreams

Sessions will be held Tuesday & Thursdays, 6-8 PM starting on November 16. See their flyer for details. Learn more about WRAP at Voice of Recovery.

COVID-19 Rent Relief Application Assistance

Applications are currently being accepted for the CA #COVID19 #RentRelief program. Nuestra Casa can provide application assistance for community members in East Palo Alto, Belle Haven, and North Fair Oaks. Visit or call 650-771-4449. #NuestraCasa 

Se aceptan solicitudes para el programa CA #COVID19 #RentRelief. Nuestra Casa puede brindar asistencia con la solicitud para los miembros de la comunidad en East Palo Alto, Belle Haven y North Fair Oaks. Visite o llame al 650-771-4449. #NuestraCasa 

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.

Tonight: Equitable Recovery Forum (in Spanish)

ESTA NOCHE: Casa Circulo Cultural y @sanmateoco  estan organizando un foro virtual en  español de 5-6:30 pm para discutir las principales  necesidaes y prioridades para una recuperación equitativa de la pandemia COVID-19. 

Unase en Zoom: o marque 669-900-6833. 

TONIGHT: In partnership with Casa Circulo Cultural @sanmateoco are hosting a Spanish-language virtual forum from 5-6:30 pm to discuss top needs + priorities for an equitable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Available via Zoom: or Dial-in: 669-900-6833 

Tonight: Equitable Recovery Forum

TONIGHT: Join a virtual forum on October 26 from 5-6:30 pm to share with us what are your top needs and priorities for an equitable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The meetings will be available via Zoom: or Dial-in: 669-900-6833 Visit:

HOY: Únase a un foro virtual el 26 de octubre de 5 a 6:30 pm para compartir con nosotros cuáles son sus principales necesidades y prioridades para una recuperación equitativa de la pandemia de COVID-19. Para obtener más información, visite

今晚:参加 下午5 点至 6:30的虚拟论坛,分享您对于 COVID-19 大流行中公平恢复的首要需求和优先事项。会议将通过 Zoom 提供: 或致电 669-900-6833。请访问:

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