Category Archives: Events

2019 Tony Hoffman Awards

The Tony Hoffman Award, presented by the San Mateo County Mental Health and Substance Abuse Recovery Commission recognizes 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. Recognition is given for public education or advocacy to promote mental health awareness and needs or to address stigma; services to persons with mental illness; creation of new and innovative programs or community support activities; recognition of fundraising for mental health activities or long-term financial support to mental health programs; working for new mental health legislation; compassionate treatment of persons with mental illness. 

We salute this year’s recipients:

  • Detective Mike Tabak (law enforcement) is with the San Mateo Sheriff’s Department and he leads the Psychiatric Emergency Response Team (PERT). He was recognized for the ways in which he tirelessly connects patients and families with services and resources to prevent hospitalization and incarceration.
Det. Mike Tabak, 2019
Tony Awards Recipient

“When a call involves a suspected mental health crisis, a deputy officer is often the first person to arrive on the scene. Detective Tabak works with all law enforcement in the county to administer 40 hours of Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training every three months – three times the state average. He continuously strives for greater collaboration around mental health issues.” -David Pollack, Nominating Officer

Jeffrey John Earl Edgerton (r), 2019 Tony Award Recipient
  • Jeffrey John Earl Edgerton (client/servce provider/volunteer) is an AOD counselor at Voices of Recovery and a wrap facilitator who empowers individuals with peer support. 

Edgerton says his work is in the community of mental health and substance use disorder. In accepting his nomination he lamented on how comorbidity has plagued himself and his peers for years, yet he has been able to reach full recovery despite life challenges through a Wellness Recovery Action Plan and the 12 Steps of Narcotics Anonymous

  • Jonay Grant (service provider/not pictured) works as a BHRS Transitional Age Youth counselor, peer counseling course instructor and she is an anti-stigma mental health role model.

“She is dedicated to helping people in the community. She also is creative and inspiring to her students. She motivates and encourages peers to be the person they can be”. -Yoko Ng, Nominating Officer

**Awards were presented to honorees at the San Mateo County Mental Health & Substance Abuse Commission meeting on May 1, 2019.

Share Your Story during Recovery Month

Across the country, people in recovery are celebrating their successes and sharing them with others in an effort to educate the public about treatment, reduce stigma and inspire others that recovery is possible.

Every September, Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (BHRS) recognizes Recovery Month by sharing personal stories of hope, resilience and recovery from individuals in San Mateo County who are living with and/or recovering from a substance use and/or mental health condition.  We seek brief narratives from individuals reflecting diverse perspectives who are interested in sharing their story publicly.  Stories from family members’ perspectives are also welcome. 

Narratives may be shared in Wellness Matters (BHRS’ online newsletter), on the BHRS blog, or other San Mateo County Health communications and social media channels, such as facebook.  See an example of past stories published.

Stories are due August 2, 2019. Please refer to the guidelines to learn more about submitting your story.

Suicide Prevention Month Mini-Grants and Call for Events – Applications Due July 12

We are three months away from September Suicide Prevention Month (SPM) (and Recovery Month!) which includes National Suicide Prevention Week (September 8-14) and World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10). SPM aims to empower everyone in the community to prevent suicide.

This year, we are partnering with libraries and community agencies in San Mateo County to promote the theme of interpersonal connectedness (positive relationships between individuals). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirms that studies show that connectedness is overall an important protective factor for suicide and states, “[c]onnectedness between individuals can lead to increased frequency of social contact, lowered levels of social isolation or loneliness, and an increased number of positive relationships.”

Each year, the San Mateo County Behavioral Health & Recovery Services Office of Diversity & Equity and Suicide Prevention Committee publishes a Calendar of Events which promotes the SPM events broadly across local providers, partners and community in San Mateo County. For the first time, we will also be offering mini-grants for selected recipients.

  • If you would like your SPM event listed on the printed calendar AND would like to apply for the mini-grant for your event, please complete this online application by  Friday, July 12, 2019.
  • If you would like your SPM event listed on the printed calendar ONLY, please complete this online application by  Friday, July 12, 2019.

Any events submitted after this deadline will likely not be on the printed calendar but can be posted on our county suicide prevention website at

If you have any questions, please contact Suicide Prevention Committee Co-Chairs Islam Hassanein (  and/or Sylvia Tang (

Pride Celebration Brings LGBTQ+ Community Together

Hundreds of people descended on San Mateo Central Park for a daylong celebration of diversity and inclusion last Saturday. 

The annual Pride event, held every year since 2013, focused on promoting health and wellness in the LGBTQ+ community. 

This year’s theme, “Rooted in Resilience”, conveyed how the San Mateo County LGBTQ+ community is rooted in our community and resistant against phobias that occur daily towards our LGBTQ+ community. 

“Seeing the San Mateo County LGBTQ+ community and allies coming together to celebrate diversity, resiliency and solidarity was powerful and beautiful, reinforcing the need to continue our work to be inclusive and valuing of everyone”, Maria Lorente-Foresti, Ph.D., Director, Office of Diversity and Equity.

The family friendly event included food trucks, musical performances, kids’ activities, arts and crafts, story time, vendors and Zumba lessons. The San Mateo County Pride event was held in collaboration with the Pride InitiativePride Center and the LGBTQ Commission.  

Today! Rooted in Resilience: 7th Annual San Mateo County Pride Celebration – June 15th—-celebrating-pride/article_a0b21ffa-8e2d-11e9-af14-9fd38fdf8052.html

pride flyer.PNG

Read more about the event in the San Mateo Daily Journal or visit the Pride Initiative’s facebook page or the event website.

May 24: Navigating the Mental Health System

To help human service providers, mental health practitioners, mental health consumers and families better understand how to access mental health services and what to do in a crisis, the Mental Health Association of San Mateo County is sponsoring  “Navigating the Mental Health System” on May 24th. CME’s are available. More info or to register.

Mental Health Monday: Events Reminder #3

Event Reminders!

Mental Health Awareness Month 2019 is now on its 3rd week!

Here’s a friendly reminder of all the exciting events happening this week!

Mon, 5/13 7pm Singer-Songwriter Gaby Castro: Songs of Hope and Healing
Menlo Park Main Library
800 Alma Street, Menlo Park
Details: Castro combines introspective song writing with a contemporary style. An advocate for mental health awareness, many of Gaby’s songs touch on her personal struggles and the trials of those around her. 
Languages: English
Contact: John Weaver |

Fri, 5/17 6:30pm Good Reasons for Bad Feelings: Randolph M. Nesse, M.D.
Menlo Park City Council Chambers
701 Laurel St, Menlo Park
Languages: English
Contact: John Weaver |

Sat, 5/18 1pm Introduction to Mental Health with NAMI
Portola Valley Library 
765 Portola Rd, Portola Valley
Details: Nami  San Mateo will present a mental health program discussing mental illness, as well as the services and programs that NAMI offers. Following this discussion, a person living well with their mental health diagnosis will be sharing their story.
Languages: English
Contact: Sherry Markrow; Paula Teixeira|

Sat, 5/18 1pm Str8jacket Hip Hop Dance Performance
Menlo Park Belle Haven Branch Library
413 Ivy Drive, Menlo Park
Details: Enjoy a performance by a dance team that values passion, and promotes mental health and acceptance. As a no-audition competitive dance team, Str8jacket promotes a real sense of family and community. Performance will be followed by a fun dance tutorial! 
Languages: English
Contact: John Weaver |

Sun, 5/19 2:15pm Walgreens presents Exercise & Physical Activity
South San Francisco Main Library
840 W. Orange Ave., South San Francisco
Details: Learn about the benefits of physical exercise for your mood and well being.
Languages: English
Contact: Stacy Lein |

For a complete list of events and more information about Mental Health Awareness month, visit  To find mental health and substance use services and resources in San Mateo County, visit

**Enter in our raffle to win lime green swag! All you have to do is “like” this post, comment below, and share the post on social media!**

#WordsOfWellness #BeTheOneSMC

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