Category Archives: Behavioral Health and Recovery Services

91% of Clients Satisfied with BHRS Services

Twice a year, in May and November, BHRS administers the Consumer Perception Survey on behalf of the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) to a sampling of adults, older adults, youth and family members  of youth consumers who receive specialty mental health services.  

The survey questions address the following seven domains: General Satisfaction, Perception of Access, Perception of Cultural Sensitivity, Perception of Participation in Treatment Planning, Perception of Outcomes of Services, Perception of Functioning, and Perception of Social Connectedness.   

Of the 827 consumers and family members who participated in the November 2019 survey, 91% said they were satisfied with the services they received. Read more about the results here.

A Vision of a World Free of Stigma

Scott Gilman, BHRS Director

There are an unlimited number of issues and challenges facing California’s public mental health and substance use (behavioral health) system. Despite billions in revenue being distributed to California counties, there are significant barriers to accessing treatment. Stigma remains one of the main forces keeping people from seeking treatment at all levels of behavioral health needs. Read more from BHRS Director, Scott Gillman, on stigma and the impact it has on individuals and their family members who might need help.

Mental Health Services Act Update (Prop 63)

Proposition 63, known as the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), provides increased funding, personnel and other resources to support County behavioral health programs and monitor progress toward statewide goals for children, transition-age youth, adults, older adults and families. The Act addresses a broad continuum of prevention, early intervention and direct service needs and the necessary infrastructure, technology and training elements that will effectively support this system. The public is encouraged to participate in the MHSA planning process as community input shapes MHSA spending.

MHSA Steering Committee Meeting
The MHSA Steering Committee is open to the public to make  recommendations to the planning, funding and services development for MHSA.   

The MHSA Steering Committee meeting is combined with the monthly Mental Health Substance Abuse and Recovery Commission (MHSARC) meeting in March and October each year. The MHSA portion will begin at 4 pm and both meetings are open to the public. 

Wednesday, March 4
3:30 pm – 4:00 pm (MHSARC) 
4:00 pm – 5:30 pm (MHSA) 
San Mateo County Health Campus, Room 100, 225 37th Ave., San Mateo 

Read the details on what the Committee is working on here. The public is encouraged to participate and get involved in providing input.

2019 BHRS Highlights

Check out BHRS’s highlights in our Winter issue of the Wellness Matters Newsletter!

Highlights for 2019 include:

  • Survey results: 91% of Consumers Say They are Satisfied with Services Received
  • Pilot Program to Treat Substance Use Disorders Increases Services Provided and People Served
  • IMAT’s New Treatment Protocol Allows More People to Access Opioid Use Treatment Faster
  • and more!

SanaMente Film Contest — Deadline March 1st

SanaMente is the statewide movement to raise awareness about mental health in the Latino community. This year, we invite youth to create 30- second mental health films in Spanish that will be used to help community members across California. Youth who create the top films can win cash prizes, recognitions, and even a trip to Los Angeles to attend a red-carpet awards ceremony. For more information, please visit:

SanaMente es el movimiento de salud mental de California en la comunidad latina. Este año, invitamos a los jóvenes a crear videos cortos de 30 segundos sobre la salud mental, en español, que ayudarán a miembros de la comunidad a través del estado de California. Los jóvenes que crean los videos más taquilleras pueden ganar premios en efectivo, reconocimientos, y hasta un viaje a Los Angeles para asistir a nuestra ceremonia de premios de alfombra roja. Para más información, por favor visite:

In our San Mateo County community, youth have submitted and won awards for their Directing Change films. Participating schools include Aragon High School, Burlingame High School and Hillsdale High School (see  We would love to see more participating middle schools and high schools across San Mateo County!

8th Annual Directing Change Program and Film Contest –Deadline March 1st

Calling for submissions! Create a film for the Directing Change Program and you’ll be eligible to win cash prizes, trophies, and even a trip to an annual red-carpet awards ceremony in downtown Los Angeles. Films are used in communities across the state to educate and encourage conversations around mental health and suicide prevention.

Directing Change invites you to create a film to help change conversations around mental health and suicide prevention in your community! Youth ages 14-25 and students in grades 6-12 are invited to submit 30 and 60 second films in a range of categories that are used to help those in your community learn about mental health and suicide prevention, while also giving filmmakers the chance to win prizes! Check out a few of our different categories below!

Through the Lens of Culture is the submission category that asks young people each year to share what mental health or suicide prevention looks like in their culture. Are there specific supports available in your community? Additional challenges that your group experiences? Young people are invited to submit 60-second films about how their culture views suicide prevention and mental health. Films will be used in diverse communities across the state.

Walk in our shoes. What would it be like to walk in someone else’s shoes? The Directing Change Film Contest’s middle school submission category asks students in grades 6-8 to answer that question, telling a story about someone who is facing a mental health challenge or who has been thinking about suicide. Creating a film can help you make a difference in your community, and you could win prizes!

Get involved and submit your film by March 1 at!

In our San Mateo County community, youth have submitted and won awards for their Directing Change films. Participating schools include Aragon High School, Burlingame High School and Hillsdale High School (see  We would love to see more participating middle schools and high schools across San Mateo County!

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

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

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

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:

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:

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