SMC Health is deeply concerned about how the proposed changes to federal immigration rules called “public charge,” will impact public health. The proposed changes significantly expand what public benefits are considered as public charge (e.g., Medi-Cal, CalFresh, public housing or Section 8 vouchers). The County is engaged in advocacy around these issues through the Board of Supervisors.
When residents fear obtaining public benefits to access basic healthcare, food, or housing, people’s health conditions can suffer and actions that prevent the spread of disease (such as getting vaccinated) may not occur.
San Mateo County Health encourages residents to continue accessing the public benefits and services they need and remain available to them. Any rule changes would not go into effect until after public comments are reviewed.
Read more about what the potential changes to public charge could mean for you.
Indigenous Peoples’ Day is a holiday that celebrates and honors the Indigenous peoples of America. In this year’s 2nd Annual Indigenous Peoples’ Day, held on October 8, community members gathered in East Palo Alto. A collaboration with many community partners including the Native and Indigenous Peoples’ Initiative (NIPI) and Nuestra Casa, the event hosted resource tables, workshops and a community dinner.
There was a strong sense of family this year, as there were many youth who attended. The day was opened with a four directions blessing and continued to four workshops including drumming, nature sounds, and paper bag puppets. The sound based workshops had a special way of re-grounding everyone through mindfulness and release. Following, was a wonderful performance by danzantes, or dancers. To conclude the day, there was a tasty dinner of Pozole and spicy chile. The intimate dinner provided the opportunity to reflect on the day, in which community members and providers had the opportunity to realize the value of different identities coming together to find wellness— for when we connect with ourselves and others, we are more likely to feel fewer symptoms of anxiety and feel more grounded.
Check out this article recently published in the San Mateo Daily Journal about how our Assisted Outpatient Treatment team has helped create a mental health safety net for those in our community who need it most.
Yesterday the San Mateo County Change Agent Housing Committee and BHRS hosted the 11th annual Housing Heroes awards, honoring exceptional individuals who have gone above and beyond in providing and maintaining housing for those with mental health and/or substance use issues.
San Mateo County Supervisor Carol Groom commended the honorees for their important work, and stressed just how meaningful it is for each of us to have a warm bed to come home to at the end of the day. Clients also spoke about how they’ve benefited from the help of our Housing Heroes.
Securing affordable housing in this county can be challenging these days, and stigma creates an additional barrier for those with mental health or substance use issues. You don’t need to be a property owner or a policy maker to be a part of the solution. We all have the power to help create communities where those with behavioral health issues are welcomed as friends, coworkers and neighbors.
BHRS is very excited to announce the opening of Serenity House. Our first Serenity House clients will begin their stay at the end of October. Read more about Serenity House.
This afternoon, Behavioral Health and Recovery Services will join the Change Agent Housing Committee in recognizing San Mateo County’s “Housing Heroes.” The Housing Heroes program honors community partners and colleagues who have demonstrated exceptional leadership in providing or maintaining housing for individuals with mental health and/or substances use issues in San Mateo County.
Promoting health and housing stability helps not only these individuals but also their families and the broader San Mateo County community. Read more here.
On September 12, the San Mateo County Health System rolled out a new visual identity, including a new name, logo tagline and BHRS-specific logo lockup. We hope that as these items become widely recognized and associated with the excellent quality of our broad range of services and high integrity of our public health protection functions, to help us remain a deeply trusted and caring community partner.
Read the full Wellness Matters article for more.