Author Archives: Siavash Zohoori

ODE’s Storytelling Program: Our Accomplishments for the Past Year!

The ODE storytelling program hosts a space in which people share their stories of recovery and wellness to make a meaningful impact on themselves and others. Participants engage in workshops that guide them in creating and sharing their stories in different forms. Beginning simply with a story circle or a framing question, participants continue developing their narrative as a digital story or a Photovoice project. Photovoice and Digital Storytelling are workshops in which participants share their stories of wellness and recovery. As final projects, Photovoice participants produce a single-page layout of a photo and short written piece and Digital Storytelling participants produce a 3 minute video.

This past year, we accomplished a lot and we are so excited to share: Read more

Lived Experience Education Workgroup PUPs: How to be a better ally

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

ODE is looking for new interns!

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.

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For those interested in applying to our internship program read more!

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In Support to Those Affected by The Decision to End DACA

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

Lady Gaga is Using her Voice for More than Music

In an effort to reduce the stigma that is commonly associated with mental illness, Lady Gaga and her mom, Cynthia Germanotta, decided to provide as many people as possible with the necessary skills and information about mental health and how to provide help. Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation partnered with the National Council of Behavioral Health to bring Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) to all American cities on her Joanne tour at no cost to the participants. The foundation is committed to channeling kindness and is actively working towards its goal of training 150,000 in mental health by the end of the year 2017.

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Lady Gaga and Cynthia Germanotta

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Youth Mental Health First Aid Summer Highlights!

To date, San Mateo County has trained 1,837 people in Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA)! Below are some of our recent highlights from this summer.

On June 23rd, twenty-seven CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of San Mateo County staff and volunteers were trained in YMHFA. Read more

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