In honor of Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), we invite the community to join us at San Mateo Public Library on Monday, November 20, from 4:30-6:30pm.
TDOR has traditionally been about honoring the trans people who have been murdered simply by being themselves (the highest number are Black Transgender women). We want to honor victims’ lives with dignity and end the stigma that trans and gender diverse people face. Ultimately, we want to live in a world where transgender people are protected and safe from transphobia and violence.
This year’s event includes an Altar, Reading of the Names, and a Call to Action. Creating change is difficult; especially when we mourn those who have lost their lives simply for being themselves. We want to honor those who have died and also create ways for our community to learn and take action to eliminate the murder of transgender people. Transgender Day of Remembrance is adjacent to United Against Hate Week 2023. Learn more on the County’s website about how you can take part in other activities throughout the week from November 12-19.
About: The Transgender Day of Remembrance event is a collaboration between several community organizations around San Mateo County. Please visit each group’s website to learn more about how they support the LGBTQIA+ community. This is where “ally” becomes a verb and we all take part in creating inclusive spaces at home, at work, and at school.
As of Monday, October 30th, Voices of Recovery San Mateo County (VORSMC) has moved locations from Belmont to 650 Main Street, Redwood City. For hours and more information, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Voices of Recovery San Mateo County: Their mission is to create peer-led opportunities for education, wellness, advocacy and support services for individuals seeking long-term recovery from alcohol and other drugs. VORSMC aims to equally share these opportunities with our vulnerable community members in San Mateo County.
VORSMC is for every individual seeking and maintaining long-term recovery, including family members, friends, allies and community partners and recovery stakeholders.
StarVista’s Health Ambassador for Youth (HAP-Y) program seeks to train youth ages 16-24 to become Health Ambassadors. The trainings cover common challenges in mental wellness, signs and risks of suicide, suicide prevention, and how to access mental health services. Trained Health Ambassadors become community agents who help raise awareness and help increase access to behavioral health services through information sharing and/or providing referrals when appropriate. In addition, Health Ambassadors have the opportunity to represent HAP-Y in community events such as presentations, outreach events, and trainings.
Participants can receive community service hours or internship hours in collaboration with their academic institutions.
In addition, a completion bonus of $700 is distributed to those who complete the program. The program accepts applications on an ongoing basis.
Learn more about the program and find the application here.
Join us for the San Mateo County Coroner’s Office Annual Presentation! Throughout the year, the Coroner’s Office investigates circumstances of sudden, unexplained, violent, and unnatural deaths, including suicide deaths, in San Mateo County.
The Coroner’s Office is presenting to the San Mateo County Suicide Prevention Committee, covering topics including introduction to the Coroner’s Office, death investigation process, death review teams, recent data and shared resources with descendants.
Date: Tuesday, November 7, 2023 Time: 1:30-3:30pm Pacific Time Virtual Location: zoom.us/j/410362485
Please help us spread the word, as everyone is welcome to attend. Come grab a virtual seat and get informed!
If you or someone you know is struggling with an emotional distress or suicidal crisis, contact our 24/7 crisis hotlines: Call 650-579-0350 or 988 Text “Bay” to 741-741 or 988 Visit SanMateoCrisis.org
For San Mateo County’s second annual Pink Patch Party, organized by the San Mateo Police Department, downtown San Mateo was transformed with an abundance of pink, symbolizing unity and support for those affected by breast cancer. This year’s event was a heartwarming display of solidarity with families, local businesses, public servants, and friends coming together in support of breast cancer awareness. Notably, BHRS Office of Diversity and Equity‘s Health Ambassadors played a pivotal role in the event’s success.
Local organizations and businesses set up booths, offering community members resources and services related to health and wellness, with our Health Ambassadors highlighting valuable behavioral health and recovery resources. Additionally, free mammograms were provided, and collectible uniform “Pink Patches” were sold to raise money for breast cancer research as well as to fund self-care “battle baskets” that provide comfort to those newly diagnosed.
This event goes beyond the display of pink patches; it embodies a steadfast commitment to those affected by breast cancer and the importance of mental health and well-being. The Health Ambassadors contributed to this event in a variety of ways including:
Health Education: Providing attendees with vital mental health educational materials as well as self-care and wellness tools.
Community Engagement: Engaging with the community and fostering meaningful conversations and connections, and sharing lived experiences of courage, strength, and resilience.
Resource Connectors: Connecting community members to a wealth of wellness, behavioral health, and recovery resources within the county.
Promoters of Inclusivity & Stigma Reduction: Emphasizing the commitment to promoting inclusivity and equitable access to health care services and resources.
The Pink Patch Event is a profound demonstration of community strength and the crucial role of health ambassadors in creating a healthier, united, and inclusive San Mateo County. Beyond this event, the BHRS Office of Diversity and Equity, through its Health Ambassadors, remains committed to ensuring the well-being of our diverse community.
On behalf of the Native and Indigenous Peoples Initiative (NIPI) we express gratitude to be able to represent alongside the International Indian Treaty Council (IITC). On October 9, 2023, we honored and celebrated Indigenous People’s Day at the annual Sunrise Gathering on Alcatraz Island, Yelamu, Ohlone territory, respectively. The IITC has organized the annual Indigenous Peoples’ Day Sunrise Gathering on Alcatraz Island to recognize the historic Alcatraz Occupation that began November 20, 1969 as a way to acknowledge and support the resistance and survival of the Indigenous Peoples of this land. 2023 marked the 44th Annual Indigenous Peoples’ Day Sunrise Gathering as well as the 5th Annual Yerba Buena Gardens Festival. Both events featured Native and Indigenous performers and speakers as well as local vendors. It was an honor to see so many participants and attendants supporting the event and individual artists.
Upon sunset the Native and Indigenous Peoples Initiative (NIPI) received an Indigenous Peoples Day Proclamation from the city of Redwood City, CA.
The County of San Mateo’s Behavioral Health and Recovery Services Office of Diversity and Equity is happy to announce that we have two new interns for this year! Our interns are passionate, driven, and experienced in advancing equity, wellness, and prevention for culturally diverse underserved/unserved populations. Our interns and their respective work areas include:
Ayanna Wade (She/Her) – Suicide Prevention and Stigma Reduction
Ayanna comes to us following a year abroad in South Korea and is in her final year at St. Mary’s College of California. Ayanna is pursuing a degree in communications – media, and a minor in East Asian studies. While abroad, she was immersed in a culture opposite that of western culture where she learned to be comfortable with discomfort, navigate language barriers and cross-cultural exposures. She is pleased to work on a team dedicated to creating a difference within the community. Ayanna looks forward to sharing her ideas and gaining more insight into the Office of Diversity and Equity. Ayanna values learning and exploring ways to create betterment and is excited about the direction this internship will take her personally and professionally. A little fun fact about Ayanna is she likes to write poetry during her free time when feeling inspired.
You can follow Ayanna’s internship journey on her blog site here.
Isaiah Cajbon (He/His) – Parent Project & the Health Ambassador Program
Isaiah comes to us following his graduation from California State University, Fullerton. Isaiah pursued a degree in Psychology where he cultivated a deep passion for understanding human behavior and cognition. Isaiah values collaboration, open communication, and is eager to learn from other professionals. Isaiah comes with strong attention to detail, problem-solving skills, and willingness to embrace new challenges. He aims to make a positive impact where he can contribute his skills and dedication during his internship. A fun fact about Isaiah is that he is also a certified scuba diver.
Implementing a racial equity, trauma-informed tool is a vital step to realizing our SMC Behavioral Health & Recovery Services goals. It is part of transforming our system & holding our values at our core. To do this we must normalize conversations about race, organize by building capacity and partnering with others, and operationalize by utilizing racial equity tools that are data driven. This lens can be utilized in many of our decision making capacities, including with clients, workforce or community members.
Print out this resource at your work place to create a more racial equity, trauma informed organization.
To learn more about BHRS Office of Diversity & Equity, visit SMCHealth.org/ODE. For other community resources we offer, visit our resource page here.
Please join us for two upcoming virtual Be Sensitive, Be Brave Trainings focused towards the Filipino/a/x Community. – Be Sensitive Be Brave for Suicide Prevention | Thursday, 10/26 from 11AM-12:30PM | Register here – Be Sensitive Be Brave for Mental Health | Monday, 10/30 from 10AM-12PM | Register here
The Be Sensitive, Be Brave infuses culture and diversity throughout these two free foundational workshops on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention for community members.
Be Sensitive, Be Brave – For Mental Health The mental health workshop prepares community members to help friends and loved ones during times of distress. Learn how to recognize mental health conditions, what to do when someone needs support, and tools for maintaining good mental health.
Learn how to:
Identify if someone is in mental distress
Practice being sensitive and brave in helping others
Increase awareness of mental health resources
Build resilience using a recipe for mental health
Build cultural sensitivity around mental health
Respond to community needs and decrease stigma
Be Sensitive, Be Brave – For Suicide Prevention
The suicide prevention workshop teaches community members to act as eyes and ears for suicidal distress and to connect individuals to help.
Learn how to:
Identify signs of suicide
Ask if someone is considering suicide sensitively and confidently
Connect individuals with the appropriate support
Approach suicide prevention in a culturally sensitive manner
For more information about Be Sensitive, Be Brave, visit their website here.