Voices of Recovery San Mateo County creates peer-led opportunities for persons in recovery or in need of long term recovery from alcohol or other drug addictions. As such, our agency has a critical role in helping San Mateo County residents with a history of addiction establish a sense of well-being for themselves and their families. Read more
Category Archives: County
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.
Check out this article in the San Fransisco Chronicle about the suicide prevention effort at work across San Mateo County schools, featuring BHRS crisis services coordinator Molly Henricks.
San Mateo County is working to ensure all residents have equal access to online resources. Learn more here.
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!
The San Mateo County Pride Initiative proudly presents the county’s sixth annual LGBTQ+ Pride Celebration on June 16 at San Mateo Central Park. This year’s theme is Celebrate. Resist. Unite.
A number of dynamic artists are already confirmed, including Josie Day, Lady Char and the Sistahs of the Drum Collective. Stop by to enjoy family-friendly activities, resource booths, food trucks and more.
Help us celebrate health, wellness and pride throughout the LGBTQ+ and entire San Mateo County community at this sober event, where all are welcome. See www.smcpride2018.com for updates and information.
Sponsored by the East Palo Alto Behavioral Health Advisory Group and convened by One East Palo Alto, the 11th Annual East Palo Alto Family Awareness Night will be on Thursday, May 17 from 5:30 – 8 p.m. at 1195 Hamilton Court, Menlo Park, CA 94025.
The evening will include a dinner, a discussion on mental health. Community members will have a safe place to engage in and share lived experiences about the different phases of substance use and prevention in order to promote physical, mental, spiritual and cultural wellness.
For the first time in San Mateo County (SMC) history, Board of Supervisors proclaimed May 10 as Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Mental Health Day. San Mateo County has joined the State of California, City and County of San Francisco and City of Austin in proclaiming this significant day. You can download the official proclamation language.
The purpose of AANHPI Mental Health Day is to raise awareness about the challenges and resilience of the AANHPI community, especially around issues of mental health and substance use. AANHPI individuals make up 30.5% of the San Mateo County population. Despite being a large portion of the County, AANHPI communities have the lowest utilization rates of behavioral health services compared to other ethnic groups. These low utilization rates are attributed to various barriers, including cultural stigma, limited behavioral health literacy and lack of multilingual service providers who can speak with clients in their preferred languages. Historically, the SMC AANHPI community has lived in silos with very few events that recognize the collective AANHPI community in San Mateo County. AANHPI Mental Health Day is also meant to break down the silos and build bridges for our AANHPI community to work together towards wellness.
Before officially receiving the proclamation, Nicole Moreland, marriage family therapist trainee, presented an introduction on the behavioral health issues in the AANHPI community. Health Equity Initiative Co-Chairs Sylvia Tang, Stephanie Balon and DannyBoy Naha-Veevalu further introduced the Chinese Health Initiative, Filipino Mental Health Initiative and Pacific Islander Initiative. The presentation concluded with a panel who shared their lived experience facing mental health or substance use issues as members of the AANHPI community. The lived experience speakers were Ning Recio, Ken Jew and Sue Vuna.
This proclamation was led through a collaboration between Supervisor David Canepa’s Office, the Chinese Health Initiative, the Filipino Mental Health Initiative and the Pacific Islander Initiative. For more information and to get involved, visit smchealth.org/hei.
Last but not least, in honor of AANHPI Mental Health Day, we are hosting an Intergenerational Feast. RSVP by May 16. More information at smchealth.org/event/intergenerational-feast.
The 2018 Tony Hoffman Awards for Mental Health Service were presented on Wednesday, May 2. Presented by the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Recovery Commission, these awards recognize individuals, professionals, businesses, or media representatives who have made an extraordinary difference in the lives of people with mental illness and the San Mateo County community.
We are proud to announce two of our very own were awarded for the Service Provider category: Child Psychiatrist Muir Hooper and Mental Health Counselor Claudia Saggese. Loren Shea from NAMI SMC was awarded in the Client/Volunteer category, and the Language Circle of California, Inc. was awarded in the Business category.
Members of the commission presented each recipient with their award. Randy Trujillos, legislative aide for Supervisor Dave Pine, also presented each honoree with a special commendation from the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors.
“We’ll continue to do our best and train new blood to serve the families in need in the community,” said a representative for Language Circle of California, Inc.
Dr. Hooper, one of the only Spanish speaking psychiatrists in the BHRS youth system, took the opportunity to voice the need for more bilingual and bicultural service providers in our system, “Our families ultimately deserve to have, on all levels of our system, people that look like them and can relate to them.”
The honorees also shared what they’ve learned from their work with the behavioral health community.
“I’ve come to find that people with mental illness are some of the most compassionate people and have such a great sense of empathy and unique perspective on the world,” Loren said as she accepted her award. “We all have so much to learn from them.”
Claudia Sagesse accepted her award with kind words that ring true for many BHRS staff.
“It’s always been an honor and a privilege to work for San Mateo County with my coworkers,” she said. “Every day doesn’t feel like I’m coming to work. I’m just coming home – to help people. I do what I love every day.”
Read more about the honorees here.
Join Supervisor Warren Slocum on May 8 for a conversation on marijuana, featuring local experts.