Category Archives: Events

Housing Heroes Awards – October 24

Ingrid Dela Rosa accepts award and commendations from Alex Kobayashi and Lee Harrison (2018)

The 12th Annual Housing Hero Awards celebration recognizes community partners who have demonstrated exceptional leadership in providing and/or maintaining housing for people in San Mateo County with mental health and/or substance use conditions. The ceremony will take place on Thursday, October 24, 2019, 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM, Redwood Shores Library Community Room, 399 Marine Parkway, Redwood City. 

Download the flier for details.  


An Inside Look: StarVista Crisis Center Hotline

One of San Mateo County’s most used suicide prevention resources, and part of  StarVista’s Crisis Intervention & Suicide Prevention Center, is a suicide crisis hotline that operates 24-hour-a-day, 365 days per year.

Call center staff field calls from county residents in emotional distress, dealing with depression, experiencing feelings of being overwhelmed, anxiety and those having thoughts of suicide. 

More than 11,000 calls were answered last year alone, an amazing accomplishment considering that the call center is comprised of a single desk staffed by just one person per shift who juggles multiple call.

In the most recent issue of the BHRS newsletter, “Wellness Matters”, a call center counselor shares an inside look into the crisis counseling experience as well as his own story of recovery. You can find that article by clicking here.

Board Proclaims September as National Recovery Month

The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors presented Ray Mills (center), Executive Director of Voices of Recovery San Mateo County, the proclamation designating September 2019 as National Recovery Month this week. Ray is picture with BHRS Director Scott Gilman (left), and Supervisor Dave Pine (right). Learn more about Recovery Month and the upcoming picnic and dance.

Don’t Miss the Most Popular Recovery Month Event

San Mateo County “Recovery Happens” committee members have been hard at work planning events throughout the month of September to celebrate and call attention to the importance of Recovery.

This year’s theme: “Join the Voices for Recovery: Together We Are Stronger” highlights the need to share resources and build stronger networks across the country to support the many paths to recovery. 

Recovery BBQ Picnic (2016)

The variety of events have grown over the years and continue to gain momentum.

Don’t miss one of the most popular events coming up next week on Tuesday, September 24th!

BBQ Picnic and Resource Fair
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 
San Mateo Central Park, 50 E. 5th Ave., San Mateo

Visit the Facebook page or download the event flier.  Learn more about Recovery Month.

9/23 & 9/24 – Preventing Isolation and Loneliness in Older Adults

In honor of Suicide Prevention month, we are hosting a few events next week focused on preventing isolation and loneliness in older adults. Be a part of the conversation! 

To learn more about Behavioral Health and Recovery Services’ Office of Diversity and Equity September Suicide Prevention Month, resources and for a full list of events, visit www.smchealth.org/SuicidePrevention

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please reach out to these 24/7 crisis hotlines: StarVista Crisis Hotline (San Mateo County) – 650-579-0350, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and/or Crisis Text Line – Text “Home” to 741741.

If you or someone you know is in need of mental health or substance use services and you have MediCal, Health Plan San Mateo (HPSM), or are uninsured, please contact BHRS ACCESS at (806) 686- 0101 or TDD at (800) 943- 2833. If you have private insurance please reach out to your insurance company and request support. 

#BetheOneSMC #ImHereForYou

Connecting Those in Need to Treatment Services

During this 30th anniversary of Recovery Month, communities across the nation are reflecting on their positive strides and plans to make recovery support services more accessible so that people can live meaningful and productive lives. Over the years, recovery-oriented organizations have also played an essential role in states, cities, towns, and neighborhoods to help countless people start and sustain their recovery.

Specifically here, in San Mateo County, there are numerous treatment options and recovery pathways for those dealing with mental and substance use disorders.

Each recovery journey is unique. If you, a family member, or a friend needs help, resources are available. You are not alone.

Click here for a list of local mental health and substance use recovery resources.

Suicide Prevention Week #ImHereForYou Tip #4: Self-Care and Resilience

On our last day of Suicide Prevention Week, we would like to remind us all that, as we take action to support others, it is also vital that we take the time to support and care for ourselves. 

The Importance of Building Resiliency. Practicing self-care is one part of building resilience and does not mean you are being selfish or choosing yourself over your loved one. It means that you are simply being mindful of your own needs, so you are better able to support others. You are better able to take care of the needs of others when you take care of yourself. 

Self-care can be as simple as taking a deep breath when you notice you are becoming stressed. By maintaining your physical and mental wellness, you will likely be better equipped to handle the stressors that come along with supporting someone you care about.

Self-Care Strategies to Build Resiliency and Manage Stress. 

When we are most stressed, we have a tendency to ignore taking care of ourselves, so it is important to set time to care for ourselves in big and little ways. 

  • Remain socially connected. When you are supporting someone else, it can be easy to lose sight of your other social connections. Stay in touch with your family and friends who can offer support. Recognize the importance of setting time with positive support networks. 
  • Make time for yourself. When caring for someone who may be suicidal, it can be hard to find time to take care of yourself. However, to be a productive caregiver, it is important to have some “me time.” Healthy activities that makes you feel better is worth a little bit of time out of your day.
  • Know when you need to ask for help. When caring for someone with suicidal thoughts, it is possible to become overwhelmed. Being overwhelmed does not make you a bad caregiver, family member, or friend, it makes you human. There are various resources for caregivers such as NAMI Family Support Groups. These groups offer support for people with loved ones who have experienced mental health conditions or issues. In addition, you can talk to trained counselors who provide free and confidential support by contacting one of the below 24/7 hotlines: 
    • StarVista Crisis Hotline (San Mateo County) – 650-579-0350
    • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-TALK (8255) 
    • Crisis Text Line – Text “Home” to 741741

To learn more about Behavioral Health and Recovery Services’ Office of Diversity and Equity September Suicide Prevention Month, resources and for a full list of events, visit www.smchealth.org/SuicidePrevention

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please reach out to these 24/7 crisis hotlines: StarVista Crisis Hotline (San Mateo County) – 650-579-0350, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and/or Crisis Text Line – Text “Home” to 741741.

If you or someone you know is in need of mental health or substance use services and you have MediCal, Health Plan San Mateo (HPSM), or are uninsured, please contact BHRS ACCESS at (806) 686- 0101 or TDD at (800) 943- 2833. If you have private insurance please reach out to your insurance company and request support. 

#BetheOneSMC #ImHereForYou

Suicide Prevention Week #ImHereForYou Tip #3: Validate that a Person’s Feelings Matter

It is important to let another person know what they may be feeling is okay and that you believe in them. 

When reaching out to someone, remember to validate their feelings and acknowledge that they are real. Feelings may not always seem rational or easy to explain, but they are always valid. Understand that people can not control their feelings like they may be able to their thoughts or behaviors. If you are able to show someone that you acknowledge their feelings, it will allow them to feel more receptive to help and support. 

How do I show someone that I validate their feelings? 

Let the person know you hear them and are listening. You may do so by mirroring/echoing/paraphrasing rephrasing their sentiments. Repeat their own words back to them regarding how they’re feeling or what they’re going through. 

Other ways to express validation: 

  • “That makes sense.”
  • “That sounds difficult.”
  • “I’m sorry you are struggling right now.”
  • “I believe you.”
  • “I hear you.”
  • “It seems like you’re having a particularly hard moment.”
  • “It makes a lot of sense that you are stressed.”
  • “You have a lot on your plate.”
  • “Sounds like you’re having a really tough time right now.”
  • “I’m so sorry to hear you’re struggling right now.”
  • “That must be really difficult to cope with.”

For an example of how to validate a person’s feelings when reaching out, watch this video from Active Minds. 

Resource: 

Recovery Month Officially Recognized

As you may know by now, September is Recovery Month – a nationally recognized event, now in its’ 30th year.

Recovery Month promotes the message that recovery in all forms is possible, celebrates individuals who have reclaimed their lives through recovery, and honors the prevention, treatment and recovery providers who make it possible.

Annual Recovery Proclamation 2018

Speakers from the recovery community will address the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors and the annual proclamation will be issued at a Recovery Proclamation Ceremony September 17th. It will be immediately followed by a Resource fair. Join us first for the Recovery Breakfast and Philomena Walk of Hope.

Event details:

7-8:30 a.m. – Recovery Breakfast, Mezes Park, Warren & Standish St (TANK)., Redwood City
8:30 a.m. – Philomena Walk of Hope from Warren & Standish St. to 400 County Center, Redwood City
9 a.m – Proclamation at the Hall of Justice, 400 County Center, Redwood City, Ca

Don’t forget to check out the Recovery Art Show at 400 County Center while you’re there! Learn more about Recovery Month. Get a complete list of Recovery Month events here.

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