Be sure to check out the July 2018 issue of Wellness Matters!
This issue features:
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BHRS’ Lee Harrison, Consumer and Family Liaison in the Office of Consumer and Family Affairs, recently became Mental Health America’s 39th National Certified Peer Specialist. Lee adds this national advanced certification to previously held International and Louisiana State Peer Specialist Certifications. Read more
Voices of Recovery San Mateo County creates peer-led opportunities for persons in recovery or in need of long term recovery from alcohol or other drug addictions. As such, our agency has a critical role in helping San Mateo County residents with a history of addiction establish a sense of well-being for themselves and their families. Read more
Amid ferris wheels and cotton candy at this year’s county fair, sat some of our dedicated BHRS staff, spreading mental health awareness to the San Mateo County community. BHRS staff Sara Arancibia, Seema Janjua, Winnie Chan Wu, Stefan Luesse, Claudia Navarro-Perez, Maata Misinale, Carmen Guerridos, Jocelyn Cerda Garcia and Genesis Ruiz and Dr. Robert Stebbins attended the fair with a booth promoting mental wellness. Their goal was to reduce mental health stigma and encourage fair-goers to seek services at the earliest signs of depression.
Despite the fact that it was well-hidden among the commercial vendors, there was a turnout of almost 300 people at the booth between Saturday, June 9 and Sunday, June 17. Visitors collected brochures and information on suicide prevention, health insurance and social security programs. 195 visitors had unique one-on-one conversations with staff on a variety of topics. Many expressed their gratitude for BHRS advocating for mental health and substance use programs in public. As in previous years, the team also helped a lot of consumers from neighboring counties, like Alameda, San Fransisco and Santa Clara.
The booth saw its heaviest traffic on Senior Day, with 48 consumers stopping by in less than three hours with questions related to Medi-Cal and Medicare billing, making this our most successful fair presence in over four years. The team completed its DHCS AB82 Medi-Cal Outreach & Enrollment grant activities with a truly grand finale.
Check out this article in the San Fransisco Chronicle about the suicide prevention effort at work across San Mateo County schools, featuring BHRS crisis services coordinator Molly Henricks.
San Mateo County is working to ensure all residents have equal access to online resources. Learn more here.
“It’s going to get better” — those are the words of a young man who grew up in the foster care system to anyone who finds themselves in the same painful place.
“Growing up in the system, you’re first afraid, scared and nervous. It’s not your fault. You’re just a victim in all of this. I want you to know it’s going to get better.
“You’re somebody worth caring for. You’re somebody worth believing in.”
His message was shared during the County of San Mateo’s first Foster Youth Pop-up Art Museum, a one-day event held recently in downtown Redwood City.
Youth currently in foster care were joined by former foster youth who shared their artwork and messages of hope and inspiration with the public and each other.
Continue reading about the Foster Youth Pop-up Art Museum here.
New Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) dates are available. Applications are due Monday, July 30.
Downlaod the flier.
Many fans and followers of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain are still in shock this week, mourning their unexpected deaths. Suicide among such well-known, talented, and apparently successful individuals reminds us that public personas often conceal personal struggles. Although most people who die by suicide are not famous, they too may be masking their despair, feelings of inadequacy, or hopelessness. Additionally, their relationship problems, financial concerns, or health issues may contribute to feeling overwhelmed.
For anyone struggling- – trained, compassionate people are ready to listen to you:
Call anytime: 1-800-273-8255 or text to 741741. [En Espanol: 888-628-9454]
At the same time, these well-publicized deaths are motivating many individuals to begin to reveal their own struggles to their friends—on social media and in personal conversations. These are essential steps to help overcome the isolation that often accompanies suicidal feelings and such revelations can be responded to with compassion and understanding.
BHRS encourages you to reach out to any of your friends, family and co-workers who may be having difficulty coping. Visit www.suicideispreventable.org to know the signs, find the words to start a conversation with someone you are concerned about, and to find resources you can reach out to for help and support. Check the Each Mind Matters “Say This Not That” tip sheet for more advice. Pain isn’t always obvious: know the signs, find the words and reach out.
For more information and additional resources, visit www.smchealth.org/suicide-prevention.
If you plan to visit the San Mateo County Fair this weekend, check out BHRS’ outreach booth and say “hi” to our friendly staff promoting mental health care for San Mateo County community members!