Category Archives: Behavioral Health and Recovery Services

East Palo Alto Wellness Center Introduces New Programs and Partnerships

Services at the Barbara A. Mouton Multicultural Wellness Center have significantly expanded with more workshops, events, support groups and mental health resource services being added over the past year.

The facility’s multicultural environment is designed to affirm the inherent worth and dignity of individuals served in a community that reflects and celebrates the diversity of East Palo Alto.

The Mouton Center was established in 2009 by One East Palo Alto.  It is funded by BHRS with Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) funding. 

Click here to read more.

Mental Health Care Clients Can Live Longer With Holistic Approach

BHRS is seeing improved physical and psychological health outcomes in the Total Wellness program. The holistic health care approach, established in collaboration with the San Mateo Medical Center, combines mental and physical health services in one location to better serve mentally ill adult clients who also have physical health conditions.  

Consistent and solid improvement is occurring among consumers managing conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. The program was created a few years ago because, on average, people with behavioral health issues tend to die 25 years earlier than their peers because of poor access.

To learn more about the Total Wellness program, read the full article in the BHRS “Wellness Matters” newsletter.

You can also subscribe to Wellness Matters here.

Immigrant Mother Uses BHRS Program to Change Her Life and Help Community

Maria Cuellar, BHRS Health Ambassador

When Maria Cuellar became a BHRS Health Ambassador in 2016, she made a commitment to reconcile her past – and she did.  She tells what it was like to reunite with her two daughters 26 years after making the painful decision to leave them behind in her native country, El Salvador.

 “I hugged them with all my heart and we spent hours talking. One of my daughters has a bachelor’s degree in language and the other became a doctor this year,” she said.

Cuellar says all the BHRS Health Ambassador Program (HAP) trainings she participated in helped her become a better parent while raising her other two children here in the U.S.  

She is one of nearly 30 people who have graduated since the program’s inception in 2014.

Health Ambassadors help link individuals to care by spreading awareness about BHRS resources and services and in turn helps BHRS better understand the community’s needs.   

To read more BHRS “Wellness Matters” newsletter articles, click here.

Suicide Prevention Month Mini-Grants and Call for Events – Applications Due July 12

We are three months away from September Suicide Prevention Month (SPM) (and Recovery Month!) which includes National Suicide Prevention Week (September 8-14) and World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10). SPM aims to empower everyone in the community to prevent suicide.

This year, we are partnering with libraries and community agencies in San Mateo County to promote the theme of interpersonal connectedness (positive relationships between individuals). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirms that studies show that connectedness is overall an important protective factor for suicide and states, “[c]onnectedness between individuals can lead to increased frequency of social contact, lowered levels of social isolation or loneliness, and an increased number of positive relationships.”

Each year, the San Mateo County Behavioral Health & Recovery Services Office of Diversity & Equity and Suicide Prevention Committee publishes a Calendar of Events which promotes the SPM events broadly across local providers, partners and community in San Mateo County. For the first time, we will also be offering mini-grants for selected recipients.

  • If you would like your SPM event listed on the printed calendar AND would like to apply for the mini-grant for your event, please complete this online application by  Friday, July 12, 2019.
  • If you would like your SPM event listed on the printed calendar ONLY, please complete this online application by  Friday, July 12, 2019.

Any events submitted after this deadline will likely not be on the printed calendar but can be posted on our county suicide prevention website at smchealth.org/SuicidePrevention.

If you have any questions, please contact Suicide Prevention Committee Co-Chairs Islam Hassanein (islam.hassanein@star-vista.org)  and/or Sylvia Tang (stang@smcgov.org).

Lived Experience Academy Graduates New Speakers

People from the BHRS Lived Experience Academy say they are graduating feeling hopeful, inspired and proud.

Graduate Velisha Sorooshian (center), Kevin Jones, Executive Director, Telecare (left) and Scott Gilman, BHRS Director (right).

“What I didn’t expect was the emotional impact these classes would have on me. I wasn’t expecting everyone’s traumatic stories to grip my heart in such a deep way,” said Lucas, a recent graduate.

Participants learn how to share their personal stories in the 10-hour program and how to see their challenges as a source of hope, strength and wisdom to redefine their narrative.

It’s given me the tool of knowing how to utilize my voice,” said one participant.

14 people recently graduated from the program, funded by the Mental Health Services Act.

Read more in the latest BHRS “Wellness Matters” newsletter.

Mental Health Monday: Events Reminder #3

Event Reminders!

Mental Health Awareness Month 2019 is now on its 3rd week!

Here’s a friendly reminder of all the exciting events happening this week!

Mon, 5/13 7pm Singer-Songwriter Gaby Castro: Songs of Hope and Healing
Menlo Park Main Library
800 Alma Street, Menlo Park
Details: Castro combines introspective song writing with a contemporary style. An advocate for mental health awareness, many of Gaby’s songs touch on her personal struggles and the trials of those around her. 
Languages: English
Contact: John Weaver | jnweaver@menlopark.org

Fri, 5/17 6:30pm Good Reasons for Bad Feelings: Randolph M. Nesse, M.D.
Menlo Park City Council Chambers
701 Laurel St, Menlo Park
Languages: English
Contact: John Weaver | jnweaver@menlopark.org

Sat, 5/18 1pm Introduction to Mental Health with NAMI
Portola Valley Library 
765 Portola Rd, Portola Valley
Details: Nami  San Mateo will present a mental health program discussing mental illness, as well as the services and programs that NAMI offers. Following this discussion, a person living well with their mental health diagnosis will be sharing their story.
Languages: English
Contact: Sherry Markrow; Paula Teixeira| teixeira@smcl.org

Sat, 5/18 1pm Str8jacket Hip Hop Dance Performance
Menlo Park Belle Haven Branch Library
413 Ivy Drive, Menlo Park
Details: Enjoy a performance by a dance team that values passion, and promotes mental health and acceptance. As a no-audition competitive dance team, Str8jacket promotes a real sense of family and community. Performance will be followed by a fun dance tutorial! 
Languages: English
Contact: John Weaver | jnweaver@menlopark.org

Sun, 5/19 2:15pm Walgreens presents Exercise & Physical Activity
South San Francisco Main Library
840 W. Orange Ave., South San Francisco
Details: Learn about the benefits of physical exercise for your mood and well being.
Languages: English
Contact: Stacy Lein | lein@plsinfo.org


For a complete list of events and more information about Mental Health Awareness month, visit www.smchealth.org/mentalhealthmonth.  To find mental health and substance use services and resources in San Mateo County, visit www.smchealth.org/bhrsservices

**Enter in our raffle to win lime green swag! All you have to do is “like” this post, comment below, and share the post on social media!**

#WordsOfWellness #BeTheOneSMC

Mental Health Monday: Events Reminder #2

Event Reminders!

Mental Health Awareness Month 2019 is now on its second week!

Here’s a friendly reminder of all the exciting events happening this week!

Mon, 5/6 6pm StarVista Crisis Hotline Volunteer Panel 
San Mateo Public Library – Oak Room, 55 W 3rd Ave, SM
Details: The StarVista Crisis Center’s volunteers and staff will come to answer questions about the hotline and what it is like to be a volunteer! Community members will learn about the Crisis Center’s services and how to get involved. 
Languages: English
Contact: Karina Chapa | karina.chapa@star-vista.org

Tue, 5/7 1pm Lived Experience Academy- Hearing Stories of Mental Health From Those Who’ve Lived It
Skyline College Campus – Building 4 Room 4301
Detail: Panel of lived experience speakers will talk about their personal experience with mental health. 
Language: English
Contact: Perry Chen | chenp@smccd.edu

Tue, 5/7 6pm Book Talk with Francine Toder, Ph.D., Inward Traveler: 51 Ways to Explore the World Mindfully​
SSF Main Library
840 W. Orange Ave., SSF
Details: Francine Toder, Ph.D., psychologist and writer, will share some of the 51 ways to explore the world mindfully from her new book, Inward Traveler. Learn how Eastern philosophy and practices can enhance your travels. Find out how to energize or quiet yourself on the road. Discover how your personality and time-perspective affects travel, with others or solo. Get tips to supercharge your five senses, on any journey. Find out how a distracted mind can boost creativity—on trips of any length. Come away with new strategies for traveling mindfully.     Francine Toder, Ph.D. is an emeritus faculty member of California State University, Sacramento, a clinical psychologist and writer. She is the author of 3 other books including most recently, The Vintage Years: Finding Your Inner Artist (Writer, Musician, Visual Artist) After Sixty. Her writing appears in magazines, professional journals, newspapers, and online magazines such as Huffington Post, Thrive Global, and Next Avenue.
Language: English
Contact: Stacy Lein | lein@plsinfo.org

Read more

Words of Wellness Wednesday: Introduction to 2019 Mental Health Awareness Month

Words of Wellness

2019 Mental Health Awareness Month Planning Committee

Introducing the official theme for San Mateo County’s 2019 Mental Health Awareness Month (MHAM) : Words of Wellness!

This year, Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (BHRS) is partnering up with local organizations and libraries throughout the month of May to raise awareness around mental health and substance use issues and the importance of getting help. This partnership was formed to bring a national and statewide mental health movement to a local and familiar community space – public libraries. Given this partnership, this year’s MHAM theme is “Words of Wellness” in which we will spread the messages of hope, resiliency and inclusion in our libraries and elsewhere in the community.

With the help of the San Mateo County Libraries and Peninsula Library System as well as local agencies, we were able to host over 40 free and open to the public events through the county in the month of May (nearly double the amount of events from last year!). View our calendar of events here, and for full list of events and details, please visit our webpage at smchealth.org/mham.

Whether you are attending one of these events or are celebrating elsewhere, use #BeTheOneSMC and/or #WordsofWellness on social media to help raise awareness and get a free lime green commemorative pin!  To claim your pin, please e-mail a picture of your tagged social media posts to Kristie Lui (kflui@smcgov.org). 

Keep an eye out for our Words of Wellness Wednesday blog posts to learn about ways you can practice words of wellness!

Enter in our raffle to win lime green swag! All you have to do is “like” this post, comment below, and share the post on social media! 

Mental Health Monday: Event Reminders #1

Event Reminders!Mental Health Awareness Month 2019 starts this week!

Here’s a friendly reminder of all the exciting events happening this week to kick off the month! 

 

 

Wed, 4/24 5:30pm Bases y Fundamentos de Nami- 6 Semanas*​
Half Moon Bay Library
620 Correas St, Half Moon Bay
Details: Bases y Fundamentos de NAMI es un programa de 6 sesiones diseñado para padres y otros cuidadores de niños y adolescentes con problemas emocionales y de comportamiento.
Language: Spanish
Contact: Jose Aguirre | jaguirre@smcgov.org
Para registrarse llame al 650-599-9107.

Wed, 5/1 7pm Introduction to Mental Health with NAMI 
San Carlos Library
610 Elm St, San Carlos
Details: NAMI San Mateo will present a mental health program discussing mental illness, as well as the services and programs that NAMI offers. Following this discussion, a person living well with their mental health diagnosis will be sharing their story.
Language: English 
Contact: Rhea Bradley | bradley@smcl.org

Wed, 5/1 6:30pm Mental Health 101: Trauma
Menlo Park Main Library 
800 Alma Street, Menlo Park
Details: What is trauma, what does it lead to, and what are some grounding techniques? Menlo Park Main Library kicks off Mental Health Awareness Month with a panel of experts from CORA offering information and answering questions.
Languages: English
Contact: John Weaver | jnweaver@menlopark.org

Thu, 5/2 12:30pm Film Screening: The Dark Horse
San Mateo Public Library – Oak Room
55 W 3rd Ave, San Mateo
Details: Center for Independence of Individuals with Disabilities (CID) will be hosting a film screening of “The Dark Horse” (2014) at the San Mateo Public Library, followed by a discussion on the film and mental health stigma. Refreshments will be provided for attendees, and there will be a raffle.  “The Dark Horse” is the story of world champion Chess player Genesis Poitini who is living with bipolar disorder.
Language: English
Contact: Alexandra Manieri (alexandram@cidsanmateo.org) & Benjamin McMullan (benjaminm@cidsanmateo.org)

Read more

4/23 – 2019 Mental Health Awareness Month Proclamation

2018 MHAM Proclamation

2018 Mental Health Awareness Month Proclamation

It’s that amazing lime green time of year again! The 2019 May Mental Health Awareness Month (MHAM) is one week from kicking off!

Show your support throughout the month of May by:

  • Attending an event (see calendar of events)
    • Join us for our annual Board of Supervisors Proclamation at 400 County Center in Redwood City on Tuesday, April 23rd at 9:00am. 
    • If you cannot attend in person, there will be a livestream available here: https://sanmateocounty.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx
  • Wearing lime green throughout the month of May
  • Share the BeTheOneSMC photo gallery with your network or submit a photo with a pledge of your own”
  • Using hashtags #WordsOfWellness & #BetheOneSMC on social media 

For more information on 2019 May Mental Health Awareness Month, please visit the webpage smchealth.org/mentalhealthmonth. For a list of our exciting events happening throughout the month of May, view our calendar of events

Keep following us here throughout the month of May for updates, event highlights, and “words of wellness”!

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