Tuesday, October 2nd will be the 3rd Annual National Day of Prayer for Behavioral Health and Understanding. Faith and Secular leaders will join hundreds around the country in an effort to replace the blame, fear and prejudice surrounding behavioral health issues with truth, inclusion and love. Community members, consumers, family members, behavioral health providers and the faith community are all welcome. The event will be held at the courtyard of 400 County Center, Redwood City.
In recognition of September Suicide Prevention Month, San Mateo County’s Behavioral Health and Recovery Services reminds everyone that by knowing the signs, finding the words, and reaching out, we can work together to prevent suicide.
Suicidal thoughts, although common, should not be considered normal and often indicate more serious issues. Much like mental health conditions, suicidal thoughts can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, or background. Too often the feelings of shame and stigma prevent those affected from talking openly or seeking help.
September, which is nationally recognized as suicide prevention month, is a time for us to share resources and stories to shed light on the highly taboo and stigmatized topic. It is important that individuals, friends, and family are receiving the resources to learn the signs of suicide, how to find the words to talk openly about suicide, and how to reach out.
If you or someone you know is facing a mental health crisis, call the StarVista Crisis Hotline 650-579-0350 (1-800-273-8255).
For more information on how to help a loved one who may be at risk of suicide, visit www.suicideispreventable.org.
For information on San Mateo County suicide prevention resources, visit www.smchealth.org/suicideprevention.
While suicide prevention is important to address year-round, Suicide Prevention Awareness Month provides a dedicated time to come together with collective passion and strength around a difficult topic. Truthfully, we can all benefit from honest conversations about
In honor of September Suicide Prevention month, on Wednesday, 9/12, please join us for a film screening of the S-Word. Film will be shown in English with Spanish subtitles.
Following the film screening will be a Q&A panel which will offer Spanish and Chinese interpretation. Childcare (for ages 3-15) and refreshments provided. Registered attendees are entered in a raffle for a chance to win an Amazon gift card.
Synopsis: A suicide attempt survivor is on a mission to find fellow survivors and document their stories of courage, insight and humor. Along the way, she discovers a rising national movement transforming personal struggles into action.
Register via the Eventbrite link HERE.
The next MHSA Steering Committee has been scheduled and as always is open to the public! The Steering Committee meets twice a year and makes recommendations to the planning funding and services development for MHSA. At the next meeting we will:
- Review an MHSA framework and key principles for funding programs and expansions.
- Learn about the Pride Center outcomes and request for a 2-year extension.
- Hear about the next steps for the MHSA Innovation funding cycle.
Key Action Item: Steering Committee members to approve a recommendation to request an Innovation fund extension for the Pride Center.
MHSA Steering Committee Meeting
Monday, September 24, 2018 / 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Foster City Community Cntr, Wind Room
1000 E Hillsdale Blvd. Foster City, CA 94404
On Friday, August 24th, please join us for the 2nd Annual Mental Health Open Mic at Philz in Westborough Square.
First 50 to register via eventbrite will receive a free coffee that evening!
We hope to see you there, and we especially hope to hear you speak at our open mic!
Know the signs, find the words, and reach out. Break the silence.
Facebook event link can be found here.
For many years, conversations around posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have primarily focused on military veteran populations returning from war. Keeping in mind that exposure to life-threatening, traumatic experiences are not just limited to military veterans, efforts are being made to shed light on other groups that are also impacted by PTSD. One of those groups includes students of color in historically marginalized communities.
1 in 3 students of color living in historically marginalized communities display symptoms of mild to severe PTSD.
In other words, youth of color are twice as likely to experience mild to severe symptoms of PTSD compared to soldiers returning from live combat.
Poverty, institutional racism, homicide, and neighborhood disinvestment represent some of many exposures linked to PTSD among students of color. However, the conversation doesn’t end there.
PTSD assumes a person will experience physical, mental, and emotional distress after being exposed to a traumatic life experience. For students of color, that exposure is continuous. Living in a historically marginalized community means that students will return to and experience traumatic events/conditions such as poverty, institutional racism, homicide, and neighborhood disinvestment, on a daily basis. PTSD on its own does not capture the complexity of those experiences. Thus, students of color living in communities with high exposures to such conditions may actually be experiencing Complex Posttraumatic Disorder, or CPTSD.
Join us on Sunday, August 5th from 3pm – 5pm at Red Morton Community Center in Redwood City (1400 Roosevelt Avenue, Redwood City, CA 94061) for an event celebrating solidarity and unity!
Families of many different backgrounds experience the pain of separation, whether we had to leave family behind to seek opportunity for the future, we were forced apart by by discriminatory policies, or we lost our link to family when we lost our language and cultural practices. We all deserve the care and support of family. Join us to celebrate family unity across cultures! Kids activities, light refreshments, and free family portraits available!
Several Health Equity Initiative Co-chairs collaborated to make this event possible. Come enjoy amazing and inspirational keynote speakers including Macrina Mota- Pineda from the documentary “Torn Apart”, youth poets, and more!
Theatre of the Oppressed: Workshop Brings Diverse Staff Together to Explore Oppression in Everyday Lives
During Mental Health Awareness Month, the Community Health Promotion Unit hosted a Theatre of the Oppressed workshop to build awareness – through an embodied, experiential and participatory process – around root causes of health disparities. Participants explored the interwoven nature of trauma and oppression, exposing systems of oppression that perpetuate inequities along racial, ethnic, gender and socio-economic lines. Through story and theatre, participants explored their own awareness of power, privilege and oppression that exists around them as well as counter-oppressive solutions to implement in prevention and community work.
Native and Indigenous Peoples Initiative (NIPI) Co-Chair, Gloria Gutierrez, participated in the workshop describing it as a space for participants
“To express [themselves] void of judgement. As an individual that has been dedicated to learn about other cultures and communities I found [it] incredibly valuable. I would definitely recommend this training to my colleagues and community members as is teaches us a different approach to handle difficult issues.”
Another participant, Sylvia Tang, Co-Chair for the Chinese Health Initiative reflected,
“The training inspired me to think more deeply about the oppressive and liberating features of our Chinese culture that I have experienced. Hierarchy/compliance can be oppressive on the one hand but the fire for family unity/well-being can be liberating on the other hand. While many assume Chinese may quiet and compliant, there are many examples where Chinese-Americans have resisted and fought for the rights of our family’s well-being, including fighting for basic educational and legal rights during the era of the Chinese Exclusion Act.”
When parents and caregivers sign up to take the 12 week Parent Project course, they might not know what is in store for them. A sense of community is built in those short weeks and the knowledge gained sparks a deeper interest to continue learning to help others and their children.
By offering a Youth Mental Health First Aid training after Parent Project, parents and caregivers learn why knowing the signs of a mental health challenge or crisis, including suicide, can help their children. For many, their children are first generation U.S. born children, who face the challenges of growing up in a culture different from their parents. For many parents and caregivers attending the training, trying to understand the world their children are growing up in and finding the support from their peers in the room is the most beneficial aspect of their time in the class.
The Parent Project® is a free, 12-week course that is offered in English and Spanish to anyone who cares for a child or adolescent. For more information, please contact Frances Lobos at email@example.com.
The Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) course is an 8-hour public education training program designed for any adult working with or assisting young people, ages 12-24. For more information on Youth Mental Health First Aid, please contact Natalie Andrade at firstname.lastname@example.org
To learn more about other programs and classes similar to these, visit the Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE)’s website here.
Written by Natalie Andrade, YMHFA Program Coordinator
The Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE) is excited to announce two new job and internship opportunities. ODE advances health equity in behavioral health outcomes of marginalized communities throughout San Mateo County. ODE works to empower communities; influence policy and system changes; develop strategic and meaningful partnerships; and promote workforce development and transformation within BHRS.
1) ODE is seeking Community Health Planners.
There are currently two vacancies 1) a permanent Community Health Planner position that will support Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) implementation and technical assistance across BHRS; and 2) a limited-term position, through June 30, 2021, that will support the development and implementation of a comprehensive, outcome-based evaluation, data collection and reporting infrastructure for MHSA funded programs.
Application available here.
2) ODE is seeking Cultural Stipend Internship Program (CSIP) interns.
The 2018-19 Cultural Stipend Internship Program (CSIP) Awardees complete and present their cultural humility related projects to clinic sites, Health Equity Initiatives (HEI), and community groups. CSIP awardees spend the academic year participating in one of nine HEIs and coordinating a year-long project, in addition to their regular duties as clinical interns.
CSIP provides a stipend of $5,000 awarded annually to up to 20 interns. Awardees are selected based on their expressed interest in and commitment to cultural awareness and social justice in both community and clinical settings; personal identification with marginalized communities; and/ or lived experience with behavioral health conditions. Priority is given to bilingual and/ or bi-cultural applicants whose cultural background and experience is similar to underserved communities in San Mateo County. Once selected, awardees are then matched with an HEI and tasked with conducting a project that helps BHRS becomes more culturally sensitive on a systemic level, and more accessible to marginalized communities.
Application available here.
To learn more about the Office of Diversity and Equity, visit our website at http://www.smchealth.org/bhrs/ode
For other job and internship opportunities with ODE visit https://www.smchealth.org/pod/job-internship-opportunities