Tuesday, October 2nd will be the 3rd Annual National Day of Prayer for Behavioral Health and Understanding. Faith and Secular leaders will join hundreds around the country in an effort to replace the blame, fear and prejudice surrounding behavioral health issues with truth, inclusion and love. Community members, consumers, family members, behavioral health providers and the faith community are all welcome. The event will be held at the courtyard of 400 County Center, Redwood City.
Category Archives: Behavioral Health and Recovery Services
In recognition of September Suicide Prevention Month, San Mateo County’s Behavioral Health and Recovery Services reminds everyone that by knowing the signs, finding the words, and reaching out, we can work together to prevent suicide.
Suicidal thoughts, although common, should not be considered normal and often indicate more serious issues. Much like mental health conditions, suicidal thoughts can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, or background. Too often the feelings of shame and stigma prevent those affected from talking openly or seeking help.
September, which is nationally recognized as suicide prevention month, is a time for us to share resources and stories to shed light on the highly taboo and stigmatized topic. It is important that individuals, friends, and family are receiving the resources to learn the signs of suicide, how to find the words to talk openly about suicide, and how to reach out.
If you or someone you know is facing a mental health crisis, call the StarVista Crisis Hotline 650-579-0350 (1-800-273-8255).
For more information on how to help a loved one who may be at risk of suicide, visit www.suicideispreventable.org.
For information on San Mateo County suicide prevention resources, visit www.smchealth.org/suicideprevention.
While suicide prevention is important to address year-round, Suicide Prevention Awareness Month provides a dedicated time to come together with collective passion and strength around a difficult topic. Truthfully, we can all benefit from honest conversations about
The next MHSA Steering Committee has been scheduled and as always is open to the public! The Steering Committee meets twice a year and makes recommendations to the planning funding and services development for MHSA. At the next meeting we will:
- Review an MHSA framework and key principles for funding programs and expansions.
- Learn about the Pride Center outcomes and request for a 2-year extension.
- Hear about the next steps for the MHSA Innovation funding cycle.
Key Action Item: Steering Committee members to approve a recommendation to request an Innovation fund extension for the Pride Center.
MHSA Steering Committee Meeting
Monday, September 24, 2018 / 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Foster City Community Cntr, Wind Room
1000 E Hillsdale Blvd. Foster City, CA 94404
On Friday, August 24th, please join us for the 2nd Annual Mental Health Open Mic at Philz in Westborough Square.
First 50 to register via eventbrite will receive a free coffee that evening!
We hope to see you there, and we especially hope to hear you speak at our open mic!
Know the signs, find the words, and reach out. Break the silence.
Facebook event link can be found here.
Join us on Sunday, August 5th from 3pm – 5pm at Red Morton Community Center in Redwood City (1400 Roosevelt Avenue, Redwood City, CA 94061) for an event celebrating solidarity and unity!
Families of many different backgrounds experience the pain of separation, whether we had to leave family behind to seek opportunity for the future, we were forced apart by by discriminatory policies, or we lost our link to family when we lost our language and cultural practices. We all deserve the care and support of family. Join us to celebrate family unity across cultures! Kids activities, light refreshments, and free family portraits available!
Several Health Equity Initiative Co-chairs collaborated to make this event possible. Come enjoy amazing and inspirational keynote speakers including Macrina Mota- Pineda from the documentary “Torn Apart”, youth poets, and more!
Theatre of the Oppressed: Workshop Brings Diverse Staff Together to Explore Oppression in Everyday Lives
During Mental Health Awareness Month, the Community Health Promotion Unit hosted a Theatre of the Oppressed workshop to build awareness – through an embodied, experiential and participatory process – around root causes of health disparities. Participants explored the interwoven nature of trauma and oppression, exposing systems of oppression that perpetuate inequities along racial, ethnic, gender and socio-economic lines. Through story and theatre, participants explored their own awareness of power, privilege and oppression that exists around them as well as counter-oppressive solutions to implement in prevention and community work.
Native and Indigenous Peoples Initiative (NIPI) Co-Chair, Gloria Gutierrez, participated in the workshop describing it as a space for participants
“To express [themselves] void of judgement. As an individual that has been dedicated to learn about other cultures and communities I found [it] incredibly valuable. I would definitely recommend this training to my colleagues and community members as is teaches us a different approach to handle difficult issues.”
Another participant, Sylvia Tang, Co-Chair for the Chinese Health Initiative reflected,
“The training inspired me to think more deeply about the oppressive and liberating features of our Chinese culture that I have experienced. Hierarchy/compliance can be oppressive on the one hand but the fire for family unity/well-being can be liberating on the other hand. While many assume Chinese may quiet and compliant, there are many examples where Chinese-Americans have resisted and fought for the rights of our family’s well-being, including fighting for basic educational and legal rights during the era of the Chinese Exclusion Act.”
When parents and caregivers sign up to take the 12 week Parent Project course, they might not know what is in store for them. A sense of community is built in those short weeks and the knowledge gained sparks a deeper interest to continue learning to help others and their children.
By offering a Youth Mental Health First Aid training after Parent Project, parents and caregivers learn why knowing the signs of a mental health challenge or crisis, including suicide, can help their children. For many, their children are first generation U.S. born children, who face the challenges of growing up in a culture different from their parents. For many parents and caregivers attending the training, trying to understand the world their children are growing up in and finding the support from their peers in the room is the most beneficial aspect of their time in the class.
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. For more information, please contact Frances Lobos at email@example.com.
The Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) course is an 8-hour public education training program designed for any adult working with or assisting young people, ages 12-24. For more information on Youth Mental Health First Aid, please contact Natalie Andrade at firstname.lastname@example.org
To learn more about other programs and classes similar to these, visit the Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE)’s website here.
Written by Natalie Andrade, YMHFA Program Coordinator
The County of San Mateo Health System is seeking a Director for the Office of Diversity and Equity. The Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE) advances health equity in behavioral health outcomes of marginalized communities throughout San Mateo County. Achieving health equity means that everyone in San Mateo County has a fair and just opportunity to experience positive behavioral health outcomes. This requires a concerted effort throughout BHRS, community-based partners and other County departments. ODE’s focus is to help facilitate this effort through the development of a workforce that prioritizes equity, cultural humility and inclusion; empowering individuals with lived experience, families and community members; fostering strategic and meaningful partnerships; and influencing organizational level policies and systems change across the county, region and state.
Learn more about ODE here: www.smchealth.org/ode
View the job announcement and application instructions here: http://jobs.smcgov.org/office-of-diversity-and-equity-director-open-andamp-promotional/job/8435794
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Among many different factors, one’s environment can play a major role in increasing risk for suicide. Almost 57% of suicide risk can be attributed traumatic events occurring in one’s physical and social environments. Stressful life events experienced at the neighborhood and community levels can create feelings of hopelessness, fear, sorrow, and despair. If left untreated, such feelings can translate to suicidal thoughts and/or attempts. One major environmental exposure of concern is police victimization, whose impacts stem beyond its immediate effects on death and physical harm.
A study published just last year, found a 12-month prevalence of suicide attempts among individuals with lifetime exposure to police victimization. Police victimization was defined as: physical violence, physical violence with a weapon, sexual assault, psychological victimization, and neglect. Racial/ethnic minorities, sexual minorities, males, and low income populations disproportionately experienced and/or witnessed police victimization. Suicide attempts were highest among individuals specifically exposed to assaultive forms of police victimization such as physical violence, physical violence with a weapon, and sexual assault. In brief, it was established that assaultive police victimization is strongly associated with suicide attempts.
Given its serious collateral effects on mental health, there is an urgent need to prevent suicide among marginalized communities heavily exposed to police victimization. Comprehensive, trauma-informed trainings for police officers are one of many upstream approaches to help prevent exposure to police victimization. Trainings should specifically include information on Race-Based Trauma, given that police victimization is most commonly reported by African American and Latino populations. Additionally, people reporting exposure to police victimization should be screened for suicide ideation and/or attempts with tools that specifically assess for physical and sexual violence during police-community encounters. Screenings should then of course be followed by appropriate ongoing treatment and support. Applying both a preventive and treatment lens to this issue is critical, as it will ensure that we are fully supporting the lives, health, and wellbeing of individuals and entire communities impacted by police victimization.
San Mateo County’s Suicide Prevention Committee is currently focusing on two workgroups: QPR training and outreach. To learn more about the Suicide Prevention Committee, and how to become a member of the committee, visit here.
Written by Angelica Delgado, Office of Diversity and Equity
On Tuesday May 1st, Westmoor High School in Daly City will be hosting a Parent Education night for May Mental Health Awareness Month. This will occur between 6:30-8:30 p.m. Panelists will talk about different concerns that students may face such as student stress, mental health concerns, and suicide. This is a great opportunity for parents to gain additional information and support. A FREE dinner will be served, and there will be Spanish interpretation services available as well. RSVP Links Below!
Please let your community and networks know of this free event!