Category Archives: Children/Youth & Family

AACI Black History Month Event | Thank you and Highlights

The African American Community Initiative (AACI) proudly hosted their annual Black History Month Program on Saturday, February 26, 2022. The audience was greeted with a musical interlude by The Glide Ensemble singing “Say Their Names” chanting “Black lives matter- we matter.” This poignant song was followed by Dana Johnson (they/them), Pride Initiative Co-Chair, honoring our ancestors by reciting the Sankofa African Ancestral acknowledgement. Lee Harrison (he/him), AACI Co-Chair, gave an introduction to the national theme for Black History Month: Black Health and Wellness.

Doctoral student from Palo Alto University and AACI intern, Chika Ofodu (she/they) gave a well received presentation on Healing Centered Engagement (HEC), a framework for engaging with youth of color that embraces a holistic and strength- based approach to trauma that involves culture, spirituality, civic action, and collective healing.

Dr. Kim Rhoads (she/her) told us that the highest rate of COVID infection and deaths are still occurring in Black and Latino communities. Social determinants drive these disparities that are common among all other diseases. Although the total numbers of people with COVID has declined, Dr Rhoads emphasised that Black and Brown communites need to continue to follow precautionary guidelines to reduce our high infection rates:

  • Masking matters: It is most important to block the aerosol spread from the mouth and nose.
  • Protect yourself by getting vaccinated despite community conspiracy theories to the contrary.
  • Omicron is a variant of COVID, there will likely be new variants.

We must act accordingly to protect ourselves from this airborne disease.

Lastly, a cultural cooking demonstration of a Healthy Gumbo recipe was offered by Chef Opal of Daly City. Through-out the event there were presentation polls and raffles. A Black History Trivia Game and raffle ended the day on a high note. All event raffles were funded by the SMC BHRS’ Office of Diversity and Equity.

Written by Pamela Ward (she/her), African American Community Initiative Co-Chair

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Newly Launched COVID-19 Mental Health Resource Webpage

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is changing everyday life for us all. For many, this means adapting to unexpected changes in our daily routines, and for others, it involves having to let go of an important event, dealing with financial pressures or facing the loss of a loved one.

Adjusting to these new realities and future uncertainty can bring about strong and overwhelming emotions in both adults and children. Today, nearly half of adults in the U.S. are experiencing increased distress.

Taking care of your mental health—as well your physical health—is an important aspect in maintaining your overall health and wellbeing. San Mateo County Health has put together resources and guides for staying well,24/7 crisis lines, coping strategies and managing stress, and more.

Visit the newly launched mental health resource page focused on to helping you take care of your mental health and wellness at www.smchealth.org/covid-19-mental-health

New Resource for Parents & Teens to Navigate Difficult Challenges— CRUSHING THE CURVE

BHRS COVID-19 Resources

See the BHRS resources below for mental health and substance use services; coping with stress, grief and loss; ideas on how to stay well and active during the Shelter in Place order; other community resources.

How to find Mental Health & Substance Use Services

If you are a San Mateo County resident seeking mental health or substance services and are covered through Medi-Cal or are uninsured, call the BHRS Access Call Center at 1-(800) 686-0101, TDD: 1-(800) 943-2833 for information, resources, assessment and a referral. If you are privately insured, please contact your health care provider or insurance carrier.

Other COVID-19 County Resources

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Wellness While Physical Distancing

San Mateo County Behavioral Health & Recovery Services has put together a resource to help our community stay well and active during the COVID-19 Shelter in Place. Ideas include virtual tours of museums, free online courses, virtual concerts, and more.

This is not a comprehensive list but meant to spark your creativity and curiosity. Be well!

Click here for the guide.

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