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.
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!
After a three-year process, Canyon Oaks Youth Center (COYC) Residential Treatment Facility completed the conversion from a Level 14 Youth Group Home to a Short Term Residential Therapeutic Program (STRTP) and the program received their permanent STRTP License on June 1st.
The committed and experienced team of leaders and staff of COYC have pioneered therapeutic approaches to address the needs of youth who have experienced significant trauma to support their health and recovery and continue to do so. In addition, COYC has been accredited for a period of 3 years by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, International (CARF).
By pursuing and achieving accreditation, COYC has demonstrated that it meets international standards for quality and is committed to pursuing excellence. This accreditation decision represents the highest level of accreditation that can be awarded to an organization and shows the organization’s substantial conformance to the CARF standards.
To receive a three-Year Accreditation of this caliber, an organization has to put itself through a rigorous peer review process and demonstrate to a team of surveyors during an on-site visit that its programs and services are of the highest quality, measurable, and accountable.
Read the full article in the latest edition of the BHRS newsletter, “Wellness Matters“, here.
The North County Youth and School Based Mental Health teams had their second annual holiday party at the Mike Nevin Health Center.
Approximately 40 children and their family members attended this fun filled event. Activities included a Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanza table, as well as arts and crafts activities. Children and their families were treated to an array of food, goody bags, and raffle prizes.
StarVista’s Health Ambassador Program for Youth (HAP-Y) is seeking youth ages 16-24 to become Health Ambassadors. The training covers common challenges in mental wellness, signs and risks of suicide, suicide prevention and how to access mental health services. Trained Ambassadors will help raise awareness and increase access to behavioral health services.
Participants can receive community service hours or internship hours in collaboration with their academic institutions. Additionally, a completion bonus of $700 is distributed to those who participate in the program.
The next training starts in January 2019. For more information, contact Brenda Nunez, Program Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In partnershship with the San Mateo County Youth Commission, BHRS’ new education initiative aims to teach youth about the health effects of cannabis use. Check out www.cannabisdecoded.org (Parents, we have resources for you too!) and the accompanying Instagram account, @cannabis_decoded today.
For many years, conversations around posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have primarily focused on military veteran populations returning from war. Keeping in mind that exposure to life-threatening, traumatic experiences are not just limited to military veterans, efforts are being made to shed light on other groups that are also impacted by PTSD. One of those groups includes students of color in historically marginalized communities.
1 in 3students of color living in historically marginalized communities display symptoms of mild to severe PTSD.
In other words, youth of color are twice as likely to experience mild to severe symptoms of PTSD compared to soldiers returning from live combat.
Poverty, institutional racism, homicide, and neighborhood disinvestment represent some of many exposures linked to PTSD among students of color. However, the conversation doesn’t end there.
PTSD assumes a person will experience physical, mental, and emotional distress after being exposed to a traumatic life experience. For students of color, that exposure is continuous. Living in a historically marginalized community means that students will return to and experience traumatic events/conditions such as poverty, institutional racism, homicide, and neighborhood disinvestment, on a daily basis. PTSD on its own does not capture the complexity of those experiences. Thus, students of color living in communities with high exposures to such conditions may actually be experiencing Complex Posttraumatic Disorder, or CPTSD.
Parent Project graduates taking Youth Mental Health First Aid at Mills High School in April 2018
When parents and caregivers sign up to take the 12 week Parent Project course, they might not know what is in store for them. A sense of community is built in those short weeks and the knowledge gained sparks a deeper interest to continue learning to help others and their children.
By offering a Youth Mental Health First Aid training after Parent Project, parents and caregivers learn why knowing the signs of a mental health challenge or crisis, including suicide, can help their children. For many, their children are first generation U.S. born children, who face the challenges of growing up in a culture different from their parents. For many parents and caregivers attending the training, trying to understand the world their children are growing up in and finding the support from their peers in the room is the most beneficial aspect of their time in the class.
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. For more information, please contact Frances Lobos at email@example.com.
The Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) course is an 8-hour public education training program designed for any adult working with or assisting young people, ages 12-24. For more information on Youth Mental Health First Aid, please contact Natalie Andrade at firstname.lastname@example.org
To learn more about other programs and classes similar to these, visit the Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE)’s website here.
Written by Natalie Andrade, YMHFA Program Coordinator
May is Mental Health Awareness Month and Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities have traditionally faced increased barriers to behavioral health care, including cultural stigma and limited access to culturally and linguistically appropriate services.
This past Sunday, an intergenerational feast bridged AANHPI communities across ethnicities and generations, empowering them towards wellness. The Chinese Health Initiative, Filipino Mental Health Initiative and Pacific Islander Initiative collaborated to plan the event. San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa co-sponsored the feast.
The evening featured speakers who highlighted the importance of mental wellness, cultural performances and of course, delicious food.