Each year the MHSARC presents the Consumer Hall of Fame award to a San Mateo County resident for their personal recovery journey, contributions to better the lives of consumers or leadership in the consumer movement. Nominations are due Monday, January 14 and the awards ceremony will be held on February 6.
Behavioral Health and Recovery Services
In October, the Phoenix Garden Project located at the Youth Services Center in San Mateo hosted the Young Men’s Service League (YMSL), a group of about teenage sons and their mothers, for a fun and productive workday. From 9 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., this energetic team helped revitalize a formerly moribund garden by planting artichokes, onions, garlic and an assortment of cover crops; planted a meadow of native California bunch grass; and built three picnic tables spread throughout the garden. BHRS Youth Clinical Services Manager, Regina Moreno helped guide the volunteers throughout the day.
The Phoenix Garden Project depends on amazing groups like YMSL to move our vision forward. Be sure to stop by the garden and enjoy your lunch on one of our new picnic tables and see the incredible progress being made at this wonderful community resource.
The Phoenix Garden Project holds monthly community volunteer days, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., every third Saturday, for anyone interested in helping to develop this healing space. Please contact Toni DeMarco, or Regina Moreno for more information.
In the wake of the proposed changes to federal “public charge” immigration rules, which define how an immigrant resident’s application to enter the country or receive a green card is assessed, San Mateo County advises everyone to utilize the benefits they need and remain available to them.
The proposed changes significantly expand what public benefits are considered as public charge (e.g., Medi-Cal, CalFresh, public housing or Section 8 vouchers). Access to healthcare and insurance, food and housing are critical to a healthy community, and San Mateo County remains committed to providing excellent services with respect and dignity for all. Read the full press release here.
PRESS RELEASE from SMC Health and SMC Human Services Agency: San Mateo County Encourages Residents to Keep Benefits and Enroll in Affordable Health Coverage https://t.co/8YTO1HfHdu @sanmateoco @coveredca #PublicCharge
— San Mateo County Health (@SMCHealth) December 4, 2018
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.
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.