AACI’s Black History Month kick off event included informational keynote speakers, activities for children, resources, and powerful storytellers. Of the powerferul storytellers were three individuals who created Photovoice projects about Substance Abuse and Suicide.
In collaboration with the Office of Diversity and Equity, Service Connect, and the African American Community Initiative, this group of storytellers came together to share the ways that they have been affected by the issues of substance abuse and suicicdal thoughts. At the Black History Month kick off event, the storytellers shared their photovoices and sat on a panel to answer questions and discuss the way the topics of their photovoices interact with the African American community.
Some shared the way that substance abuse has affected their relationships, growth, and responsibilites. Others shared that they wish their families and community members would be more open about suicide and other mental health issues so that they would feel more supported to cope with those stigmatized issues.
To view last year’s Black Lives Matter photovoices, click here.
Facebook’s new “proactive detection” artificial intelligence (AI) technology will scan all posts for patterns of suicidal thoughts. When necessary, they will send mental health resources to the user at risk or their friends, or contact local first-responders. By using AI to intervene in concerning posts instead of waiting for users to report concerning posts, Facebook will decrease how long it takes to send help.
Youth at San Mateo County’s Youth Services Center (YSC) shared their stories in a Photovoice program hosted by the Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE). Youth members responded to the question: “What do you wish for your future?” and “Do you feel like you have control over your future?” Youth expressed unmet needs to have their strengths and values recognized, that they are often portrayed as ‘problem children’, that they enjoy mental health services, and that they have been affected by trauma— their mistreatment a consequence of hate and bias. They worked hard to create the best Photovoices they could. Read more
By Austyn Lee, Office of Diversity & Equity Summer Intern
On Tuesday, September 5th, the Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE) captured the stories from the Lived Experience Education Workgroup (LEEW) through PUP, which is short for Pop-Up Photovoice. In a PUP, participants pair their short, written piece with a photo of themselves or an image that they feel represents their message. For this PUP, stories shared anonymously were paired with either the purple and teal ribbon for suicide prevention or the green ribbon for mental health awareness. Because September is Suicide Prevention Month as well as Recovery Month, the framing question was: “What do people need to know about your lived experience in times when you may need more support?” Read more
As we bid farewell to our wonderful interns, Austyn, Valerie, and Karla, we open our doors to a new group of interns. Today, our interns shared a presentation on the work they’ve accomplished in their time at ODE. In their weeks here, they worked to strategize on the Arab-American working group, created a video about why sharing gender pronouns are important, supported Mental Health First Aid Classes, created data interpretation systems for some of our programs, and more! We are truly proud of and excited for them.
For those interested in applying to our internship program read more!
The federal administration announced yesterday (September 5, 2017) that it will end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This puts an expiration date on the legal protections granted to “DREAMers”, individuals who entered the country as children without documentation. In many communities, including San Mateo County, this is a time of uncertainty and fear for young people previously protected by DACA and their families.
The Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE) staff sends our compassion to those who are affected by this decision. We also affirm our dedication to diversity and multiculturalism, to building bridges, and to equity. Read more