Every year, the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Recovery Commission (MHSARC) recognizes individuals who have found their way to a path of wellness and recovery from mental illness and are active in the consumer movement to better the lives of other consumers in the county.
On March 7, the MHSARC honored Alan Cochran with the Mental Health Consumer Hall of Fame Award.
Alan took the opportunity to promote the HOPE program, a collaboration between NAMI SMC, Heart & Soul Inc., California Clubhouse and BHRS, where he has been hired as a peer mentor.
“This will be my first paid job since 2011, and it’s all because of the help I got from BHRS, San Mateo County and NAMI,” said Alan. For more on HOPE and Alan’s remarkable work in the behavioral health community, check out this Wellness Matters article.
Dr. Jei Africa recently left his post as director of the Office of Diversity and Equity after nearly 11 years with BHRS. Check out this article in the San Mateo Daily Journal for a look into the legacy Jei has left behind. We wish him the best of luck as he embarks on a new journey as director of Marin County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services!
For more on Jei and the other dedicated staff ending their time with BHRS, check out this Wellness Matters article.
On Saturday January 27th, BHRS’ African American Community Initiative (AACI) hosted their 2018 Black History Month event and health fair. The theme was Wellness, Resilience and Recovery, with the purpose of empowering the community to take charge of their wellness and recovery using the resilience inside us all, and to celebrate Black History Month. This year’s event was held in San Mateo at the Martin Luther King Junior Community Center. The event was enjoyed by over 70 people consisting of community members/partners, Health System staff, and consumers. Over thirty plus community agencies provided information and materials on their services.
The co-chairs of AACI, Tennille Tucker and Talisha Racy co the hosted the event with Ms. Tucker leading the singing of the National Black Anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing”. Opening remarks were provided by Carole Groom of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, David Young, the San Mateo County Director of Behavioral Health and Recovery Services and Rick Bonilla, the Mayor of the City of San Mateo. Invocation was provided by Elder Alvin Swindell, the Pastor of Macedonia Church of God and Christ.
Behavioral Health and Recovery Services is seeking to contract with licensed clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, licensed professional clinical counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists and nurse practitioners to provide mental health services to San Mateo County Medi-Cal and CareAdvantage beneficiaries under a managed care system.
We offer highly competitive rates, which have recently been increased, and a chance to build your practice- or if you’re already established, a chance to give back to the community! Please contact provider relations at 650-573-2242 if you’re interested in joining the BHRS private provider network. See the Private Provider Network brochure for more information.
Annette photographed second from the right on Spirit Day 10/19/17
As a queer person living in San Mateo County, the monthly Pride Initiative meetings are a haven for me to feel connected to local LGBTQ+ community members. Nothing beats being around a table of beautifully unique and bold community members to talk about the numerous efforts we’re working on to strengthen the sense of LGBTQ+ community in San Mateo County.
PRIDE Initiative, 2011
Founded in 2007, the Pride Initiative is a health equity initiative that was created by the Office of Diversity and Equity in recognition that LGBTQ+ folks are often met with culturally inappropriate care and a lack of knowledge by service providers in health settings. Since 2007, the Pride Initiative has met on a monthly basis to organize community-based events, create trainings for service providers and advocate as a community for more LGBTQ+ services within county and community settings.
One such example is sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) data collection that will be rolled out this year across BHRS as well as the whole health system; collecting this data will help reduce health disparities experienced by LGBTQ+ folks by normalizing conversations about these aspects of our identities that have a direct impact on our health. Pride Initiative members participated in not only advocating for this, they also contributed to the curriculum that was created to train BHRS staff on how to appropriately serve LGBTQ+ clients and ask SOGI questions with cultural humility.
In 2011, Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (BHRS), Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE) created their own “Storytelling Program” that emphasizes the use of personal stories as a means to draw communal attention to mental health and wellness. Read more
One of our very own, Briana Evans, Senior Community Health Planner with the Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE), was recently featured on Pen Voice. Check out the video below for Briana’s take on the innovative work of the African American Community Initiative and the importance of all of our Health Equity Initiatives.