Category Archives: Behavioral Health and Recovery Services

Parent Project Spring 2020 Schedule

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. Parents/caregivers learn and practice skills such as:

  • appropriate ways to discipline
  • preventing or stopping alcohol, drug and tobacco use
  • improving communication skills
  • improving grades and school attendance

For more information about the Parent Project, please visit www.smchealth.org/parentproject.

The Parent Project is coordinated by the Office of Diversity and Equity. To learn more about the Office of Diversity and Equity, please visit www.smchealth.org/ode.

Suicide Loss Support Groups at Mission Hospice

People who have lost a loved one to suicide often have unique and challenging aspects of their grief experience. We offer two types of support groups to give adults and mature teens a chance to share their story, support each other, and work through the specific grief needs of suicide loss. Facilitated by Isabel Stenzel, LCSW and Mary Balmana, RN.

8- week closed, structured group (twice yearly) — Next session: Wednesdays, March 25 – May 13, 2020, 6-7:30pm.

Monthly, ongoing group — 3rd Thursday of the month, 6-7:30pm.

Mission Hospice, 1670 S. Amphlett Blvd., Suite 300, San Mateo

FREE! Space is limited – registration is required. For more info or to register, contact Isabel Stenzel at 650-930.8236 or istenzel@MissionHospice.org.

EMM Self-Care Message #7 / Reto del autocuidado de SanaMente #7

The holiday season comes to an end with fresh promises of another beginning – a new year! New Year resolutions can be a useful way to reflect on where we are in life and how we would like to grow as we continue our journey. Eating healthier, working out, saving more, learning a new skill are common new year resolutions. 

Taking the time to intentionally care for our whole self – body, mind and soul – can keep us energized and mentally well; and, when each one of us cares for ourselves we have more to offer when caring for others. Self-care creates wellness not only for ourselves but for the whole community around us. 

Consider making better mental health for you and your community one of your New Year’s resolutions.

  • Learn how to raise your voice in support of mental health and to speak out against stigma
  • Check-in with friends and family more often
  • Take an active role in suicide prevention and know the signs, find the words and reach out!
  • Join California’s Mental Health Movement!
  • And of course, calendar time for self-care

To learn more about Each Mind Matters: California’s Mental Health Movement, visit:  www.eachmindmatters.org


La época festiva se termina con dulces promesas de otro inicio – ¡un año nuevo! Metas del año nuevo sirven para reflejar en donde nos encontramos en la vida y como queremos crecer mientras seguimos adelante en nuestro camino. 

Metas comunes del año nuevo incluyen comer más saludable, hacer ejercicio, ahorrar más, y aprender algo nuevo.

Dedicando el tiempo para cuidar intencionalmente de cada uno de los aspectos de tu salud – cuerpo, mente y espíritu – te mantiene con energía y en buena salud mental. Y cuando cada uno cuidamos de nosotros mismos, tenemos más que ofrecer para cuando cuidamos a los demás. El autocuidado crea el bienestar no solamente para nosotros mismos, sino también para la comunidad entera que nos rodea.

Considera, una de tus metas para el año nuevo, el crear mejor salud mental para ti y tu comunidad.

  • Aprende a alzar la voz en apoyo de la salud mental y contra el estigma
  • Conversa con amigos y familia más seguido
  • Involúcrate en la prevención del suicidio y aprende a reconocer las señales, y como escuchar y dialogar con alguien quien te preocupa.
  • ¡Participe en el movimiento de salud mental de California!
  • Y por supuesto, dedique tiempo en tu horario para el autocuidado. 

Para aprender más de SanaMente: El movimiento de salud mental de California, visite: www.sanamente.org

2020 Mental Health Awareness Month Planning Committee – Meeting Schedule

Please save-the-date for our upcoming planning meetings for 2020 May Mental Health Awareness Month. The meetings will be on Thursdays 10:30am-12pm at Millbrae Library – Rm B, 1 Library Avenue, Millbrae CA 94030 for the dates below.  Please see attached meeting schedule for more details. If you are interested in hosting an event, let’s touch base before the next meeting to start looking into dates/times/locations/topics for the events.

  • 12/12/2019
  • 1/9/2020
  • 2/13/2020
  • 3/12/2020
  • 4/9/2020  
  • 6/4/2020

Thank you to San Mateo County Libraries and Peninsula Library System for partnering with us for the second time for MHAM. And special thank you to Kajah Ram for graciously providing us a space to meet at Millbrae Library.

For more information, please visit smchealth.org/mentalhealthmonth or contact Sylvia Tang at STang@smcgov.org.

Open to the Public: Mental Health & Substance Abuse Recovery Commission Meetings

San Mateo County has an active Mental Health & Substance Abuse Recovery Commission (MHSARC). The commission reviews and evaluates the County’s mental health needs, services, facilities and special programs, agreements dealing with mental health; advises the Board of Supervisors and the Mental Health Director of any aspect of the local mental health program; reviews and approves procedures used to ensure citizen and professional involvement at all stages of the planning process; submits an annual report to the Board of Supervisors on the needs and performance of the County’s mental health system.

The monthly commission meeting is open to the public and community members interested in getting involved or providing input on mental health and/or substance use services are invited to attend.

When: First Wednesday of each month (no meeting in January & August 2020)
Time: 3:30 – 5:00 pm
Location: Health Services Building, 225 37th Ave, Room 100, San Mateo, CA

The next meeting will take place on December 4. Click to view the agenda.

Please call (650) 573-2544 to confirm time and locations as they may change or check the BHRS calendar.

Learn more about about the Commission

Reimagine SamTrans — Please Help Diversify the Feedback!

SamTrans launched Reimagine SamTrans, a transformative study that will examine each route in the SamTrans bus system in light of changing travel patterns. Reimagine SamTrans will consider everything from customer experience, to route design, to how often buses run, to efficient and effective operations and practice. SamTrans needs your feedback on this critical effort!

Take the Reimagine Survey: Whether you ride the bus, drive, walk, bike or other we want to hear from you. Share your vision for a future SamTrans network. Visit https://www.reimaginesamtrans.com/survey to take this fun short survey. Survey closes December 31, 2019.

Share your feedback in-person: SamTrans staff are in the field at bus stops, farmers markets and community meetings. A full list of events is available on the website and if you miss them in-person, you can always leave a comment. To learn more about the project and events go to www.reimaginesamtrans.com.

Social media: SamTrans wants your input to Reimagine SamTrans service. Take the survey, join an event, or submit a comment and make your voice heard! Whether you take the bus, drive, walk, bike or other share your vision for a future SamTrans network. Visit www.reimaginesamtrans.com

Please share with your networks so we may diversify the feedback.

In community,

The Office of Diversity and Equity

Website | Email  

Transgender Day of Remembrance 2019 -11/20

Our annual Transgender Day of Remembrance event will be taking place on Wednesday, November 20th, 2019 from 5:00pm-8:00pm. We will begin with a Candlelight Vigil & Procession at Redwood City Courthouse Square at 5:00pm, which will lead to our program following shortly after in the Community Room at Redwood City Public Library from 6:30pm-8:00pm. During the program, we will hear from community speakers, share resources and learn about actions we can all take to stand in solidarity against anti-transgender violence.

In 2019 so far, there are at least 25 transgender and gender nonconforming community members whom we have lost to anti-transgender violence. With this gathering, we aim to provide a space for communal healing, to celebrate the lives of those we’ve lost and to commit to fighting against discrimination and violence that our transgender community faces.

Please see the attached flyer for more information and share widely with your networks.

This event is brought to the community by the LGBTQ Commission , PRIDE InitiativeThe San Mateo County Pride Center, African American Community Initiative, BHRS Office of Diversity and Equity, CORA and the Redwood City Public Library.

San Mateo County Launches 2020-2025 Suicide Prevention Strategic Planning

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States and suicide rates have increased in nearly every state (including California) from 1999 to 2016. While San Mateo County’s suicide rate is lower than the national and state average (ranking second to the lowest county rate in California), San Mateo County is committed to continue advancing suicide prevention and saving as many lives possible.


The San Mateo County Suicide Prevention Committee (SPC) is a collective of passionate suicide prevention advocates, including behavioral health/social service providers, law enforcement, local crisis hotline (StarVista), transportation agency (Caltrain), suicide attempt survivors and suicide loss survivors. Founded in 2010, the SPC is dedicates to its mission of providing oversight and guidance for suicide prevention efforts in San Mateo County.

From about October 2019 through August 2019, SPC will conduct the 2020-2025 San Mateo County Suicide Prevention Strategic Planning process. San Mateo County’s suicide prevention strategic plan will build off of the 2017-2020 San Mateo County Suicide Prevention Roadmap, California Suicide Prevention Strategic Plan (draft in progress) and National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. This strategic plan will also be shaped by public health and health equity frameworks which aim to advance health of people, communities, environments and society. For more details on the strategic planning steps and timeline, please visit smchealth.org/SuicidePrevention.


You can Get Involved by taking one or more of the following steps:

  1. Join SMC Suicide Prevention Committee. You can just join our mailing list to stay in the know or attend our monthly meetings which usually are on the 1st Tuesday of the Month 1:30-3pm at the Department of Housing – Jupiter Room, 264 Harbor Blvd, Belmont. To join, please reach out to SPC Co-Chair Sylvia Tang at stang@smcgov.org or 650-578-7165.

  2. Share your feedback on the process or strategic plan by reaching out to SPC Co-Chair Sylvia Tang at stang@smcgov.org or 650-578-7165.

This program is coordinated by the Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE) at the San Mateo County Health, Behavioral Health and Recovery Services and funded by Mental Health Services Act (Proposition 63).

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