Category Archives: Behavioral Health and Recovery Services

Mental Health Monday: Events Reminder #2

Event Reminders!

Mental Health Awareness Month 2019 is now on its second week!

Here’s a friendly reminder of all the exciting events happening this week!

Mon, 5/6 6pm StarVista Crisis Hotline Volunteer Panel 
San Mateo Public Library – Oak Room, 55 W 3rd Ave, SM
Details: The StarVista Crisis Center’s volunteers and staff will come to answer questions about the hotline and what it is like to be a volunteer! Community members will learn about the Crisis Center’s services and how to get involved. 
Languages: English
Contact: Karina Chapa |

Tue, 5/7 1pm Lived Experience Academy- Hearing Stories of Mental Health From Those Who’ve Lived It
Skyline College Campus – Building 4 Room 4301
Detail: Panel of lived experience speakers will talk about their personal experience with mental health. 
Language: English
Contact: Perry Chen |

Tue, 5/7 6pm Book Talk with Francine Toder, Ph.D., Inward Traveler: 51 Ways to Explore the World Mindfully​
SSF Main Library
840 W. Orange Ave., SSF
Details: Francine Toder, Ph.D., psychologist and writer, will share some of the 51 ways to explore the world mindfully from her new book, Inward Traveler. Learn how Eastern philosophy and practices can enhance your travels. Find out how to energize or quiet yourself on the road. Discover how your personality and time-perspective affects travel, with others or solo. Get tips to supercharge your five senses, on any journey. Find out how a distracted mind can boost creativity—on trips of any length. Come away with new strategies for traveling mindfully.     Francine Toder, Ph.D. is an emeritus faculty member of California State University, Sacramento, a clinical psychologist and writer. She is the author of 3 other books including most recently, The Vintage Years: Finding Your Inner Artist (Writer, Musician, Visual Artist) After Sixty. Her writing appears in magazines, professional journals, newspapers, and online magazines such as Huffington Post, Thrive Global, and Next Avenue.
Language: English
Contact: Stacy Lein |

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Words of Wellness Wednesday: Introduction to 2019 Mental Health Awareness Month

Words of Wellness

2019 Mental Health Awareness Month Planning Committee

Introducing the official theme for San Mateo County’s 2019 Mental Health Awareness Month (MHAM) : Words of Wellness!

This year, Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (BHRS) is partnering up with local organizations and libraries throughout the month of May to raise awareness around mental health and substance use issues and the importance of getting help. This partnership was formed to bring a national and statewide mental health movement to a local and familiar community space – public libraries. Given this partnership, this year’s MHAM theme is “Words of Wellness” in which we will spread the messages of hope, resiliency and inclusion in our libraries and elsewhere in the community.

With the help of the San Mateo County Libraries and Peninsula Library System as well as local agencies, we were able to host over 40 free and open to the public events through the county in the month of May (nearly double the amount of events from last year!). View our calendar of events here, and for full list of events and details, please visit our webpage at

Whether you are attending one of these events or are celebrating elsewhere, use #BeTheOneSMC and/or #WordsofWellness on social media to help raise awareness and get a free lime green commemorative pin!  To claim your pin, please e-mail a picture of your tagged social media posts to Kristie Lui ( 

Keep an eye out for our Words of Wellness Wednesday blog posts to learn about ways you can practice words of wellness!

Enter in our raffle to win lime green swag! All you have to do is “like” this post, comment below, and share the post on social media! 

Mental Health Monday: Event Reminders #1

Event Reminders!Mental Health Awareness Month 2019 starts this week!

Here’s a friendly reminder of all the exciting events happening this week to kick off the month! 



Wed, 4/24 5:30pm Bases y Fundamentos de Nami- 6 Semanas*​
Half Moon Bay Library
620 Correas St, Half Moon Bay
Details: Bases y Fundamentos de NAMI es un programa de 6 sesiones diseñado para padres y otros cuidadores de niños y adolescentes con problemas emocionales y de comportamiento.
Language: Spanish
Contact: Jose Aguirre |
Para registrarse llame al 650-599-9107.

Wed, 5/1 7pm Introduction to Mental Health with NAMI 
San Carlos Library
610 Elm St, San Carlos
Details: NAMI San Mateo will present a mental health program discussing mental illness, as well as the services and programs that NAMI offers. Following this discussion, a person living well with their mental health diagnosis will be sharing their story.
Language: English 
Contact: Rhea Bradley |

Wed, 5/1 6:30pm Mental Health 101: Trauma
Menlo Park Main Library 
800 Alma Street, Menlo Park
Details: What is trauma, what does it lead to, and what are some grounding techniques? Menlo Park Main Library kicks off Mental Health Awareness Month with a panel of experts from CORA offering information and answering questions.
Languages: English
Contact: John Weaver |

Thu, 5/2 12:30pm Film Screening: The Dark Horse
San Mateo Public Library – Oak Room
55 W 3rd Ave, San Mateo
Details: Center for Independence of Individuals with Disabilities (CID) will be hosting a film screening of “The Dark Horse” (2014) at the San Mateo Public Library, followed by a discussion on the film and mental health stigma. Refreshments will be provided for attendees, and there will be a raffle.  “The Dark Horse” is the story of world champion Chess player Genesis Poitini who is living with bipolar disorder.
Language: English
Contact: Alexandra Manieri ( & Benjamin McMullan (

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4/23 – 2019 Mental Health Awareness Month Proclamation

2018 MHAM Proclamation

2018 Mental Health Awareness Month Proclamation

It’s that amazing lime green time of year again! The 2019 May Mental Health Awareness Month (MHAM) is one week from kicking off!

Show your support throughout the month of May by:

  • Attending an event (see calendar of events)
    • Join us for our annual Board of Supervisors Proclamation at 400 County Center in Redwood City on Tuesday, April 23rd at 9:00am. 
    • If you cannot attend in person, there will be a livestream available here:
  • Wearing lime green throughout the month of May
  • Share the BeTheOneSMC photo gallery with your network or submit a photo with a pledge of your own”
  • Using hashtags #WordsOfWellness & #BetheOneSMC on social media 

For more information on 2019 May Mental Health Awareness Month, please visit the webpage For a list of our exciting events happening throughout the month of May, view our calendar of events

Keep following us here throughout the month of May for updates, event highlights, and “words of wellness”!

Camp Glenwood Boys Share Their Stories

In November 2018, the boys in Section 4 at Camp Glenwood shared their stories about their hopes for Camp Glenwood and YSC. The Photovoice cohort wanted to highlight the services and resources that benefit them at Camp. They wanted to share their stories with decision makers and providers in San Mateo County in hopes of maintaining and expanding the services they feel that benefit them. This way, other young men who are labeled as “at-risk” in San Mateo County can receive the same resources and services that the boys in Section 4 feel benefit them. Unfortunately, these stories were especially prescient due to the recent news that Camp Glenwood will be closing and moved to Youth Services Center.

Their stories mention the benefits of ‘home passes’, the benefits of the weight room at Camp, and more.

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11/16 – Technology Suite Advisory Committee

Technology Suite Advisory Committee

Recently, Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (BHRS) joined a County Behavioral Health Technology Collaborative, a statewide project aimed at utilizing technology- based and online services and supports to engage and increase access for individuals experiencing symptoms of mental illness who may struggle accessing traditional resources. 

We are seeking a Technology Suite Advisory Committee (TSAC), composed of mental health providers, mental health clients/consumers, family members and community members to help design and oversee the Technology Suite implementation and evaluation. The purpose of the committee is to have a forum for members to provide recommendations on the features offered through the Technology Suite and input on the implementation. The TSAC will review the Technology Suite activities and make suggestions for improvement. The Office of Diversity and Equity will be overseeing the implementation process. 

The informational meeting is to answer any questions, share more about the statewide project and the role of the committee.  You can attend the informational meeting to learn more without any commitment to further participation.

Written by Brittany Ganguly, Community Health Planner

Office of Diversity and Equity 

11/13 -Transgender Day of Remembrance 2018

Flyer - TGDR - 2018-1.jpg

Please join us  for our Transgender Day of Remembrance Gathering on November 13th, 2018 from 5:00pm-7:00pm at San Mateo Public Library. Our program will begin with a candlelight procession and solidarity chants through downtown San Mateo at 5:00pm. Afterwards, we will return to the library to hear from community speakers (additional youth speakers not included on flyer), share resources and learn about actions we can all take to stand in solidarity against anti-transgender violence. As a few of our nation’s leaders consider redefining the meaning of gender, erasing the experiences of transgender folks, we must unite to raise awareness of anti-transgender violence and the lethal implications of defining gender strictly within a binary. Our collective resistance is one more step towards wellness and healing for us all.

This event is brought to the community by the PRIDE Initiative, the LGBTQ Commission , The San Mateo County Pride Center, and BHRS Office of Diversity and Equity.

Written by Annette Pakhchian, LGBTQ+ Community Outreach 

Chinese Health Initiative’s New Meeting Schedule

Next Chinese Health Initiative (CHI) meeting is on Friday, November 2nd from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. in Room 201 at 2000 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo.

Starting November, CHI meets the 1st Fridays of the month 1:30 p.m.- 3:00 p.m. in Room 201 at 2000 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo. Our December meeting is scheduled for Friday, December 7th, same time and location. 

For the most up-to-date information, please contact the CHI Co-Chairs Shiyu Zhang and Winnie Wu at

Happy First International Pronouns Day!

Today is International Pronouns Day! Sharing your pronouns and asking others for theirs can help everyone feel comfortable and acknowledged. SMC Health recommends sharing your pronouns in your email signature! See the example below to see how you can share yours, and check out our blog post, “Sharing Our Gender Pronouns” for more discussion on why pronouns are an essential part of respectful communication.

Signature- AJP

Written by Annette Pakhchian, LGBTQ+ Community Outreach


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