Category Archives: Behavioral Health and Recovery Services

10/21 – DACA Updates & Free Legal COnsultations

Catholic Charities is hosting a DACA update event and free legal consultations on Wednesday, October 21st from 4pm to 6pm. They will be providing DACA updates and legal consultations. Please share with your networks.

Medication Assisted Treatment

According to a recent report40% of adults in the U.S. are dealing with depression, anxiety or substance abuse linked to the COVID-19 pandemic. Every day, over 130 people die from opioid related drug overdoses.  

See the full graphic here.

Much like heart disease or diabetes, addiction is a chronic disease and can be treated and managed. 

Research shows that a combination of medication and therapy can successfully treat substance use disorders and prevent or reduce opioid overdose. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) combines behavioral therapy and FDA approved medications (which reduces withdrawal symptoms, cravings, and prevents relapse), and to provide a holistic approach to treating substance use disorders. 

Learn about San Mateo County’s Integrated Medication Assisted Treatment program for alcohol and opioid use at or mental health services at 

NAMI’s Annual NAMIWalks Fundraiser | Saturday, Oct. 10

Did you know 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness each year in the U.S.? On Saturday, October 10th, the National Alliance on Mental Illness  (NAMI) is holding their annual NAMIWalks fundraiser. 

This year’s event will be a little different: it will be a virtual event. Although we are not coming together as a large group, our participation is as important as ever due to the collective mental health needs of our community.

 We ‘walk’ to promote awareness of mental health, to reduce stigma, to build community, and to raise funds for NAMI’s mission of advocacy, education, support and public awareness. 

For more information about the walk or to donate.

Recovery Month: Help is Available

National Recovery Month highlights that recovery works, treatment is effective, and people can and do recover.  

We know that each recovery journey is unique—there are numerous treatment options and recovery pathways available to those dealing with substance use and/or mental health disorders in San Mateo County.

Learn how you can support someone who has who is struggling with alcohol or drugs and the types of treatment options available.   

Call the Behavioral Health and Recovery Services Access Call Center at 1(800) 686-0101 (or for hearing impaired, dial 711). For more information or visit 

Suicide Prevention Month 2020: Know the Signs

Feelings of uncertainty and instability due to the unknown can take a huge toll on ourselves and everyone around us. According to the CDC, U.S. adults reported elevated of adverse mental health conditions recently. The increase was more significant among young adults, essential workers and minorities. Some people may be  fighting personal battles  –  questioning whether to continue to live through the emotional pain they are experiencing.  

We can all take simple actions to safeguard our mental health and save lives. Learn the warning signs for suicide and what to do if you are worried someone is struggling.

How can I tell if someone is having thoughts of suicide? 

Although in-person interactions may be limited it is more important than ever to be vigilant for those around us to know the signs. Staying connected with regular check-ins is essential so you can recognize the warning signs. If you are worried that someone is having thoughts of suicide, the next step is to find the words and reach out. It’s important to talk openly about suicide, and to ask directly: “Are you having thoughts of suicide?” or “Are you having thoughts of ending your life?” Learn about the warning signs and risk factors for suicide at

You can also attend one of the Suicide Prevention Month events happening this month: 

  • Sunday, September 20 | 6:00-8:30pm 
    Virtual Screening of the film “S-Word” 
  • Monday, September 21 | 6:00-8:00pm 
    Know the Signs of Suicide Among African American and Other Communities  
  • Monday, September 28 | 6:00-8:00pm  
    Reconozca las Señales de Suicidio en la Comunidad Latinx 

For details and a full list of events throughout September,  visit 

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please reach out to these 24/7 crisis hotlines: StarVista Crisis Hotline (San Mateo County): 650-579-0350, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the Crisis Text Line – Text “Home” to 741741 or find additional crisis resources here.  

 #BeTheOneSMC to reach out and check-in with someone you know. 

Community Stigma Baseline Survey: Mental Health & Substance Misuse Knowledge, Beliefs & Behavior


Many (if not all of us) know someone facing a mental health or substance misuse issue. However, many people do not get the help and treatment they need because of the stigma around these issues and fear others will judge them. San Mateo County is dedicated to reducing this stigma so that everyone gets the help they need and, ultimately, are able to live longer and better lives.

While we know stigma is a major barrier, how pervasive is such stigma in our San Mateo County community? Are our current stigma reduction programs reducing this stigma overtime?

To answer these questions, San Mateo County launched and completed a Community Stigma Baseline Survey around mental health and substance misuse knowledge, beliefs and behavior. The San Mateo County Behavioral Health & Recovery Services Office of Diversity and Equity commissioned an independent research firm, Strata Research Inc., to implement a baseline survey among San Mateo County residents who were at least 18 years of age. This 15-minute survey was completed by 450 residents in San Mateo County during March 2020. This survey built off of the statewide mental health stigma survey conducted by RAND Corporation.

Key findings from the Community Stigma Baseline Survey are listed below. The Executive Summary  has more information on each domain, differences by demographics (e.g. age, gender, race/ethnicity) and general information about the survey.

Mental Health

  • One-third of San Mateo County adults (36%) have had a mental health issue.
  • Among those who have had a mental health issue, almost two-thirds (72%) sought treatment.
  • San Mateo County adults scored highest on Mental Health Inclusive Behavior across the three domains used to assess overall knowledge, beliefs and behavior, followed closely by Mental Health Knowledge.


Substance Misuse

  • One in ten San Mateo County adults (13%) have had a substance misuse issue.
  • Among those who have had a substance misuse issue, one-half (55%) sought treatment.
  • San Mateo County adults scored highest on the Substance Misuse Knowledge domain.


To learn more about current stigma reduction programs, please visit

To learn more about mental health and substance misuse treatment and services, please visit

parent Project Fall 2020 Virtual Classes

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. The classes meet for three hours each week. Parents learn parenting skills and get information about resources and other support available in their communities. While we are still currently confirming our All-Class flyer, we wanted to share our first two confirmed classes starting in September. All classes are virtual and will take place via Zoom.

File versions available at

For more information about the Parent Project, please contact Kristie Lui at

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