BHRS Mental Health Program Specialist, Betty Ortiz-Gallardo, and Health System Emergency Preparedness Manager, Shruti Dhapodkar, recently sat down with Pen Voice to discuss San Mateo County’s response to the North Bay Wildfires and the county’s own emergency preparedness program. Check out the video above for more.
Remembrance and Resilience in the Transgender Community
On July 16, The San Mateo County Pride Center hosted a Transgender Day of Remembrance vigil to honor the 25 people whose lives were taken by anti-transgender violence, in this year alone. Statistics show that transgender people also face higher rates of suicidal ideation, homelessness, substance abuse, isolation, discrimination, job insecurity and violence.
“We’re not just mourning the lives that have been lost, but really coming together and saying, ‘we are a resilient community,'” said ODE director, Jei Africa. Check out this article in The San Mateo Daily Journal for more.
This November, the Office of Diversity and Equity celebrates Native American Heritage Month (NAHM).
With Thanksgiving, a holiday known to be controversial for Native American history, just around the corner, visibility of Native Americans during this month is particularly important. NAHM recognizes the contributions that native peoples have made for our community. It is a time to celebrate the diverse cultures, traditions, and histories of our local tribes and also educate ourselves about the challenges Native people have faced and currently face, including health disparities.
These are the names of the 25 transgender people whose murders have been reported, here in the United States in 2017 alone. Today, on the Transgender Day of Remembrance, we remember and celebrate the lives of those who have been taken from us due to anti-transgender violence.
Last Thursday, November 16, the San Mateo County Pride Center held a candlelight vigil to commemorate the trans lives lost this year. Today from 6 to 8 p.m. the Pride Center will be hosting “What’s the T?” a dialogue series that will act as a starting point for local action around the issues that our transgender and gender nonconforming neighbors are facing.
Check out this Wellness Matters article for more on the Transgender Day of Remembrance, and how the San Mateo County Pride Center is offering support and inspiring change in the transgender and gender nonconforming community.
For the last 5 years the Office of Diversity and Equity’s Latino Collaborative has put together the Annual Latino Health Forum, “Sana, Sana Colita de Rana” to provide an opportunity for Latino families to come together to learn strategies for emotional and physical well-being.
But what does the phrase “Sana, Sana Colita de Rana” mean?
When translated literally it means “heal, heal, little frog’s tail.” This expression is commonly used in many Latino communities to offer consolation when one, specifically a child, has fallen or gotten hurt. The phrase continues with “if you don’t heal today, you will heal tomorrow.” At its core this message is meant to offer relentless encouragement, that while we may be suffering today, things will get better tomorrow.
The Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE) had the honor of graduating two Health Ambassadors, Maria Valencia Trinidad Hernandez and Alexi Rosales, during the monthly Mental Health and Substance Abuse Recovery Commission on November 1st. They each shared with the group their heartfelt personal stories and dedication to help support healthy families and build stronger communities.
Left to right: David Young (Director of BHRS), Maria Valencia Trinidad Hernandez (HAP graduate), Alexi Rosales (HAP graduate), Jei Africa (Director of ODE)
The Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE) started the Health Ambassador Program (HAP) in 2014. HAP was first created per the request of parents subsequent to graduating the Parent Project program. After their 12-week course spent sharing their stories, learning new parenting skills, and supporting one another, the graduates expressed wanting to continue learning about mental illness and staying connected with each other, their neighbors and community members.
The Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center is holding a health and resource fair, with free health screenings, exercise demos, community resources and a Type II Diabetes presentation.
When? November 4, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where? Hillsdale United Methodist Church
303 36th Ave., San Mateo, 94403
Contact Sue Vuna for more information.