When most people think about suicide, young people come to mind. What many people do not know is that suicide rates are higher among older adults than any other age group. Physical and social challenges related to aging can increase the risk of depression, anxiety and isolation, but help is available for coping with these challenges. #BeThe1To support the older adults in your life and share the Institute of Aging 24/7 Friendship Line at 1-800-971-0016. #SMCPrevention
To gain more in depth knowledge on how to prevent suicides among an older adult, you can attend the Suicide Prevention in Older Adults training on Friday, September 29 9:30-11:30am at 350 Twin Dolphin Drive, Redwood Shores. Register by 9/25 at www.smcolderadultsuicideprevention.eventbrite.com.
Catholic Charities’ Refugee and Immigrant Services Program in San Mateo will be conducting free DACA workshops every Monday until October 2nd and on Tuesday October 3rd. There will also be workshops in the Mexican Consulate in San Francisco on September 22nd. All workshops during this period will be free of cost.
Children with a fear of deportation demonstrate an increased occurrence of social isolation, depression, and anxiety. They can become withdrawn and aggressive, have a deteriorating school performance, and often fight with peers or teachers, putting them at risk for difficulties later in life.
The risk of suicide is high among the LGBTQ+ community. For example, the rate of suicide attempts is 4 times greater for lesbian, gay and bisexual youth and 2 times greater for questioning youth than that of straight youth.
San Mateo County Pride Center is here to help the LGBTQ+ individuals with clinical and community resources. #BeThe1To attend or share the Suicide Prevention Month events happening at the Pride Center. #SMCPrevention
If you know a LGBTQ+ youth facing a mental health crisis, call The Trevor Project (1-866-488-7386), Trans Lifeline (1-877-565-8860) or Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255).
Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) has been offered by the BHRS Office of Diversity and Equity since 2013. Since inception, we have successfully trained 1,711 individuals in San Mateo County. The 100th class will be held at Puente, located in Pescadero. Puente serves the San Mateo South Coast communities of Pescadero, La Honda, Loma Mar and San Gregorio. They advocate for their communities and promote individual and community health and wellness.
YMHFA is an 8 hour public education program which introduces participants to unique risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems in adolescents. It builds understanding of the importance of early intervention and teaches individuals how to help an adolescent in crisis or experiencing a mental health challenge. YMHFA uses role playing and interactive discussions to demonstrate how to access, intervene and provide initial help.
YMHFA creates the time, space and safe environment for learning and understanding how to support youth by using empathy and compassion. The outcomes indicate that:
- 79% of individuals who completed the training report feeling more confident to recognize the signs of a mental health challenge or crisis.
- 78% feel more confident to reach out to a young person experiencing a mental health challenge or crisis.
- 84% feel more confident to assist a young person to seek professional help.
- 83% feel more confident to assist a young person to connect with community, peer and personal supports.
Not only do participants feel more confident recognizing signs, reaching out or assisting a young person, they are actually using Youth Mental Health First Aid in their everyday lives.
“If I see a student acting in a way that might suggest he/she is having some emotional difficulties, I am more confident to approach the student, ask questions and a couple of times I have suggested the availability of help in school and follow up with the students,” said one participant six months after the training.
“I asked a student if they felt suicidal,” stated another participant who discussed the difficult but often crucial task of asking a young person about suicide. “I would have never felt okay to do this before the training.”
100 classes in, Youth Mental Health First Aid is still an invaluable resource for the community.
– Natalie Andrade
(Photo L-R):Felipe Navarro (Catholic Charities), Rocio Lemus (Parent Project Facilitator), Diana Otero (Catholic Charities), and Alexi Rosales (Parent Project Facilitator)
Due to a high level of fear and anxiety being experienced by families, on Tuesday, February 28th Parents Project participants received important information about current immigration policies and what to do if stopped by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Diana Otero, Program Director for Catholic Charities Refugee & Immigrant Services in San Mateo County, began by asking parents how they were feeling about the current situation. She reminded the group that this is not the first time immigrant communities have been targeted. Parents were encouraged to 1) know their rights, 2) be prepared, 3) become a legal resident, if possible. More importantly, to not let fear paralyze them from seeking accurate information and preparing for the future. With the message “don’t stress, plan,” the presentation concluded with a call to action, parents were given the phone number to Congress and asked to call each day to ask for immigration reform. Many parents expressed feeling less anxious and more reassured after the presentation.
For more information about the Parent Project, contact Frances Lobos at firstname.lastname@example.org.