On Friday, August 24th, please join us for the 2nd Annual Mental Health Open Mic at Philz in Westborough Square.
First 50 to register via eventbrite will receive a free coffee that evening!
We hope to see you there, and we especially hope to hear you speak at our open mic!
Know the signs, find the words, and reach out. Break the silence.
Facebook event link can be found here.
This event is hosted by Supervisor Canepa, District 5, The Office of Diversity and Equity, Pacific Islander Initiative, Filipino Mental Health Initiative, and Chinese Health Initiative.
Trauma Informed Care
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 3 students 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.
Amid ferris wheels and cotton candy at this year’s county fair, sat some of our dedicated BHRS staff, spreading mental health awareness to the San Mateo County community. BHRS staff Sara Arancibia, Seema Janjua, Winnie Chan Wu, Stefan Luesse, Claudia Navarro-Perez, Maata Misinale, Carmen Guerridos, Jocelyn Cerda Garcia and Genesis Ruiz and Dr. Robert Stebbins attended the fair with a booth promoting mental wellness. Their goal was to reduce mental health stigma and encourage fair-goers to seek services at the earliest signs of depression.
Despite the fact that it was well-hidden among the commercial vendors, there was a turnout of almost 300 people at the booth between Saturday, June 9 and Sunday, June 17. Visitors collected brochures and information on suicide prevention, health insurance and social security programs. 195 visitors had unique one-on-one conversations with staff on a variety of topics. Many expressed their gratitude for BHRS advocating for mental health and substance use programs in public. As in previous years, the team also helped a lot of consumers from neighboring counties, like Alameda, San Fransisco and Santa Clara.
The booth saw its heaviest traffic on Senior Day, with 48 consumers stopping by in less than three hours with questions related to Medi-Cal and Medicare billing, making this our most successful fair presence in over four years. The team completed its DHCS AB82 Medi-Cal Outreach & Enrollment grant activities with a truly grand finale.
San Mateo County is working to ensure all residents have equal access to online resources. Learn more here.
“It’s going to get better” — those are the words of a young man who grew up in the foster care system to anyone who finds themselves in the same painful place.
“Growing up in the system, you’re first afraid, scared and nervous. It’s not your fault. You’re just a victim in all of this. I want you to know it’s going to get better.
“You’re somebody worth caring for. You’re somebody worth believing in.”
His message was shared during the County of San Mateo’s first Foster Youth Pop-up Art Museum, a one-day event held recently in downtown Redwood City.
Hosted by Supervisor Don Horsely, the Independent Living Program, and ODE Storytelling, the Foster Youth Pop-Up Art Museum brought community together. With hopes that this becomes an annual event, the night focused on building hope and celebrating the success of the foster youth community, as well as learning ways to better support foster youth.
To meet these goals, we shared Digital Stories of hope and success and captured Pop-Up Photovoices to learn about ways to better support foster youth. We asked storytellers to either share (if they identify as foster youth) what support looks like for them, or (if they don’t identify as foster youth) some of their hopes for foster youth.
Continue reading about the Foster Youth Pop-up Art Museum here.
Many fans and followers of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain are still in shock this week, mourning their unexpected deaths. Suicide among such well-known, talented, and apparently successful individuals reminds us that public personas often conceal personal struggles. Although most people who die by suicide are not famous, they too may be masking their despair, feelings of inadequacy, or hopelessness. Additionally, their relationship problems, financial concerns, or health issues may contribute to feeling overwhelmed.
For anyone struggling- – trained, compassionate people are ready to listen to you:
Call anytime: 1-800-273-8255 or text to 741741. [En Espanol: 888-628-9454]
At the same time, these well-publicized deaths are motivating many individuals to begin to reveal their own struggles to their friends—on social media and in personal conversations. These are essential steps to help overcome the isolation that often accompanies suicidal feelings and such revelations can be responded to with compassion and understanding.
BHRS encourages you to reach out to any of your friends, family and co-workers who may be having difficulty coping. Visit www.suicideispreventable.org to know the signs, find the words to start a conversation with someone you are concerned about, and to find resources you can reach out to for help and support. Check the Each Mind Matters “Say This Not That” tip sheet for more advice. Pain isn’t always obvious: know the signs, find the words and reach out.
For more information and additional resources, visit www.smchealth.org/suicide-prevention.
If you plan to visit the San Mateo County Fair this weekend, check out BHRS’ outreach booth and say “hi” to our friendly staff promoting mental health care for San Mateo County community members!
On Thursday, May 24 BHRS Coastside Outpatient Clinic held an open house reception for the community as part of Mental Health Awareness Month. It was attended by representatives from other Coastside agencies, staff of the primary care clinic housed in the same building, members of the community, clients and their families, and BHRS staff from Pre to Three and Total Wellness.
Our thoughts go out to anyone impacted by the deaths of fashion icon Kate Spade and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain. A recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a steady increase in suicide rates throughout the US since 1999.
If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, or are concerned about a loved one who might be, you are not alone. Help is available right now: