Category Archives: Behavioral Health and Recovery Services

San Mateo County Celebrates Pride

Pride post collage

San Mateo County community members celebrate pride with the raising of a flag, live music, energetic speakers and a ribbon cutting ceremony.


This past June was Pride month and San Mateo County had a whole lot to celebrate with our fifth annual Pride event and the historic grand opening of the county’s very first Pride Center.

The Pride Initiative held the annual LGBTQ+ Pride event at San Mateo Central Park on Saturday, June 10th. This year’s theme, “Still We Rise,” inspired by Maya Angelou’s 1978 poem, “Still I Rise” was meant to remind us of the need for solidarity across all communities.

This year, for the first time, the Pride flag was raised along with the American flag in the center of the park at the commencement of Saturday’s celebration. Entertainment included poets, musicians, dancers, martial artists and even an open mic, showcasing talent from the community.  Approximately 700 people came out to celebrate.

When the PRIDE initiative originated in 2008, it was the first county sanctioned LGBTQ+ entity in San Mateo County. In a testament to the advances made by our LBTQ+ community and allies, the county proudly kicked off Pride month with the opening of San Mateo County’s very first Pride Center.

Nearly 500 community members gathered on June 1st to celebrate the grand opening, complete with a ribbon cutting, dynamic speakers and live music.

Located at 1021 S. El Camino and 11th  Ave. in San Mateo, the Pride Center combines direct behavioral health services, such as counseling, peer support, and case management, with community support and services. The center is a safe space and welcomes everyone.

The Pride Center is a collaboration with Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, funded through the Mental Health Services Act. The Center is operated by five partner organizations: StarVista, Peninsula Family Service, Outlet of Adolescent Counseling Services, Daly City Partnership and Pyramid Alternatives.

For more information about the Pride Center call 650-591-0133 or email For more information about the PRIDE Initiative, check out their website at

Lisa Putkey, Jei Africa and Regina Moreno contributed to this article.



Wellness Matters – July issue

July2017 wellness matters coverBe sure to check out the latest edition of Wellness Matters, San Mateo County’s Behavioral Health and Recovery Services e-journal. This issue includes:

– County’s First LGBTQ+ Pride Center Officially Opens
– From the Director’s Desk: A Right or Privilege?
– Health Equity Initiatives: A Ten-Year Review
– Integrated Medication Assisted Treatment Update
– Youth Mental Health First Aid Hosts 100th Class
– New Transportation Benefit for HPSM Medi-Cal Members
– MHSA Program Highlight: Older Adult System of Integrated Services (OASIS)
– Mental Health Matters to our Community!
-TDS and Phoenix Gardens
– And more!


Minority Mental Health Awareness Month


While mental illness is a leading cause of disability in the U.S., nearly two-thirds of people with a diagnosable mental illness do not seek treatment—and racial and ethnic groups are even less likely to get help, according to the US Office of Minority Health.

55% of San Mateo County residents identify as people of color. Especially in our majority minority community, challenges faced by minorities are challenges for us all.

In 2008, the US House of Representatives recognized July as Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month (NMMHAM). A notable African American author, Campbell championed mental health education and support for individuals in diverse communities during her daughter’s long struggle with bipolar disorder.

Through our eight Health Equity Initiatives, the Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE) has worked to improve and expand culturally sensitive access to and treatment of behavioral health services for underserved communities over the past decade. We encourage all who are interested to get involved with our health equity initiatives and learn more about their impact with our ten year review.

This month offers us all an opportunity to continue fighting stigma by promoting public awareness of mental illness and to recommit ourselves to ensuring everyone in our County has equitable access to mental health treatment and services. As part of our NMMHAM celebration this July, ODE will share images of minority mental health, recovery and resilience in BHRS buildings. These stories are collected from County residents and BHRS clients, reflecting the strength of our community.

Contact Briana Evans ( to add Photovoices to your space.

– Briana Evans



Now Accepting Nominations for the 2017 David Lewis Award

The Mental Health and Substance Abuse Recovery Commission is now accepting nominations for the Davis Lewis Award, recognizing outstanding contributions towards recovery. The deadline for nominations is August 11, 2017. For more information see the 2017 Davis Lewis Award nomination form .

Wellness Matters – November Issue

Wellness Matters is an e-Journal of San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services. Topics in this issue of Wellness Matters include:

– Integrated Medication Assisted Treatment- One year outcomes
– Safe School and Communities (From the Director’s Desk)
– MHSA Program Highlight: El Centro de Libertad “The Freedom Center”
– Filipino Mental Health Initiative Celebrates 10th Anniversary
– Skyline College Introduces FutureVIEWS Program
– And more!


Wellness Matters – September Issue

Wellness Matters is an e-Journal of San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services which publishes every other month. This month, we highlight Recovery Month wm-0916and Suicide Prevention Week.

Stories in this issue include:

– Recovery Happens with Faith, Opportunity and Support
– Celebrating National Recovery Month
– Our Families, Our Stories, Our Recovery
– Seeing the Benefits of Somatosensory Interventions:  NMT in Action
– Suicide Prevention is Everyone’s Business
– MHSA Program Highlight: StarVista Crisis Intervention and Prevention Center
– Assistant Outpatient Treatment Services Launched July 1st
– Teen Suicide
– And more!

Learn About How to Prevent Suicide Among Older Adults

The San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services is hosting a training free and open to the public on suicide prevention among older adults (generally 60+). The target audience is for anyone serving and supporting older adults in San Mateo County, including clinicians, mental health staff, community center staff and other individuals supporting older adults.

The training will feature the following great speakers:

Dr. Patrick Arbore (Institute of Aging, Center for Elderly Suicide Prevention)
Carmen Lee (Stamp Out Stigma)
Dr. Barbara Yates-Weissman (San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services)

The training will take place on Tuesday, September 13 12:15-1:30 pm in Room 100, 225 37th Avenue, San Mateo, CA, 94403. For more information, please see attached flyer.


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