Category Archives: Mental Health Awareness Month

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 | jnweaver@menlopark.org

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 | jnweaver@menlopark.org

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| teixeira@smcl.org

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 | jnweaver@menlopark.org

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 | lein@plsinfo.org


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

**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

Mental Health Monday: Events Reminder #2

Event Reminders!

Mental Health Awareness Month 2019 is now on its second week!

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

Mon, 5/6 6pm StarVista Crisis Hotline Volunteer Panel 
San Mateo Public Library – Oak Room, 55 W 3rd Ave, SM
Details: The StarVista Crisis Center’s volunteers and staff will come to answer questions about the hotline and what it is like to be a volunteer! Community members will learn about the Crisis Center’s services and how to get involved. 
Languages: English
Contact: Karina Chapa | karina.chapa@star-vista.org

Tue, 5/7 1pm Lived Experience Academy- Hearing Stories of Mental Health From Those Who’ve Lived It
Skyline College Campus – Building 4 Room 4301
Detail: Panel of lived experience speakers will talk about their personal experience with mental health. 
Language: English
Contact: Perry Chen | chenp@smccd.edu

Tue, 5/7 6pm Book Talk with Francine Toder, Ph.D., Inward Traveler: 51 Ways to Explore the World Mindfully​
SSF Main Library
840 W. Orange Ave., SSF
Details: Francine Toder, Ph.D., psychologist and writer, will share some of the 51 ways to explore the world mindfully from her new book, Inward Traveler. Learn how Eastern philosophy and practices can enhance your travels. Find out how to energize or quiet yourself on the road. Discover how your personality and time-perspective affects travel, with others or solo. Get tips to supercharge your five senses, on any journey. Find out how a distracted mind can boost creativity—on trips of any length. Come away with new strategies for traveling mindfully.     Francine Toder, Ph.D. is an emeritus faculty member of California State University, Sacramento, a clinical psychologist and writer. She is the author of 3 other books including most recently, The Vintage Years: Finding Your Inner Artist (Writer, Musician, Visual Artist) After Sixty. Her writing appears in magazines, professional journals, newspapers, and online magazines such as Huffington Post, Thrive Global, and Next Avenue.
Language: English
Contact: Stacy Lein | lein@plsinfo.org

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Words of Wellness Wednesday: Introduction to 2019 Mental Health Awareness Month

Words of Wellness

2019 Mental Health Awareness Month Planning Committee

Introducing the official theme for San Mateo County’s 2019 Mental Health Awareness Month (MHAM) : Words of Wellness!

This year, Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (BHRS) is partnering up with local organizations and libraries throughout the month of May to raise awareness around mental health and substance use issues and the importance of getting help. This partnership was formed to bring a national and statewide mental health movement to a local and familiar community space – public libraries. Given this partnership, this year’s MHAM theme is “Words of Wellness” in which we will spread the messages of hope, resiliency and inclusion in our libraries and elsewhere in the community.

With the help of the San Mateo County Libraries and Peninsula Library System as well as local agencies, we were able to host over 40 free and open to the public events through the county in the month of May (nearly double the amount of events from last year!). View our calendar of events here, and for full list of events and details, please visit our webpage at smchealth.org/mham.

Whether you are attending one of these events or are celebrating elsewhere, use #BeTheOneSMC and/or #WordsofWellness on social media to help raise awareness and get a free lime green commemorative pin!  To claim your pin, please e-mail a picture of your tagged social media posts to Kristie Lui (kflui@smcgov.org). 

Keep an eye out for our Words of Wellness Wednesday blog posts to learn about ways you can practice words of wellness!

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! 

Mental Health Monday: Event Reminders #1

Event Reminders!Mental Health Awareness Month 2019 starts this week!

Here’s a friendly reminder of all the exciting events happening this week to kick off the month! 

 

 

Wed, 4/24 5:30pm Bases y Fundamentos de Nami- 6 Semanas*​
Half Moon Bay Library
620 Correas St, Half Moon Bay
Details: Bases y Fundamentos de NAMI es un programa de 6 sesiones diseñado para padres y otros cuidadores de niños y adolescentes con problemas emocionales y de comportamiento.
Language: Spanish
Contact: Jose Aguirre | jaguirre@smcgov.org
Para registrarse llame al 650-599-9107.

Wed, 5/1 7pm Introduction to Mental Health with NAMI 
San Carlos Library
610 Elm St, San Carlos
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.
Language: English 
Contact: Rhea Bradley | bradley@smcl.org

Wed, 5/1 6:30pm Mental Health 101: Trauma
Menlo Park Main Library 
800 Alma Street, Menlo Park
Details: What is trauma, what does it lead to, and what are some grounding techniques? Menlo Park Main Library kicks off Mental Health Awareness Month with a panel of experts from CORA offering information and answering questions.
Languages: English
Contact: John Weaver | jnweaver@menlopark.org

Thu, 5/2 12:30pm Film Screening: The Dark Horse
San Mateo Public Library – Oak Room
55 W 3rd Ave, San Mateo
Details: Center for Independence of Individuals with Disabilities (CID) will be hosting a film screening of “The Dark Horse” (2014) at the San Mateo Public Library, followed by a discussion on the film and mental health stigma. Refreshments will be provided for attendees, and there will be a raffle.  “The Dark Horse” is the story of world champion Chess player Genesis Poitini who is living with bipolar disorder.
Language: English
Contact: Alexandra Manieri (alexandram@cidsanmateo.org) & Benjamin McMullan (benjaminm@cidsanmateo.org)

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May Mental Health Awareness Month

Each year, San Mateo County joins our state and country in celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month (MHAM) in May. MHAM is one of the best times of the year where we can increase awareness and inspire action to reduce stigma against those with mental health and substance use conditions.​

This year, we partnered with local agencies and libraries from the San Mateo County Libraries and Peninsula Library System to promote over 40 MHAM events (nearly double the amount we hosted last year!) free and open to the public throughout the county. This partnership was formed to bring a national and statewide mental health movement to a local and familiar community space – public libraries. Given this partnership, this year’s MHAM theme is “Words of Wellness” in which we will spread the messages of hope, resiliency and inclusion in our libraries and elsewhere in the community.​

MHAM

See a complete list of our MHAM Events here!

​Visit the MHAM webpage to learn more.

 

Healthy Minds, Choices, Families & Community – Physical, Mental, Spiritual, Cultural: “10 Years of Combatting Trauma!”

Sponsored by the East Palo Alto Behavioral Health Advisory Group (EPABHAG) and convened by One East Palo Alto the 10th Annual Family Awareness Night (FAN) represents our own local celebration of May 2017 as National Mental Health Awareness Month, an official, nation-wide recognition period for which San Mateo County Behavioral Health & Recovery Services (BHRS) leads.

The evening planned for FAN 2017 in EPA will begin with a very special, delicious dinner. Afterwards, it will feature a discussion of mental health as a very important component of good quality of life. Although the discussion will initially touch on general mental health considerations, its central focus will be to provide community members with wellness tools that promote self-empowerment to overcome trauma and strengthen resilience. FAN’s activities are designed to achieve these objectives: to celebrate collaborative successes that have been accomplished over the last 10 years; highlight outreach and interventions in the community that are contributing to success of efforts to raise awareness of mental health issues; expose stigma and define trauma as they relate to our community; build individual and organizational capacity to provide effective services for those impacted by trauma and identify at least one wellness tool to practice after recognizing a need for self-care. Finally, the evening’s discussion will address access to quality behavioral health services and resources in EPA that promote wellness and highlight what is currently being done by EPABHAG members in partnership with BHRS to eliminate longstanding disparities.

Often times, people of color and of other marginalized backgrounds do not seek help from mental health services because of the stigma that is pervasive in their community. It is important to host events like this for families to enter a non-judgemental space to learn about stigma, so that they will feel comfortable reaching out for help to receive appropriate services.

Thursday, May 18, 2017, 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
East Palo Alto Academy/Multipurpose Room
1050 Myrtle Street, East Palo Alto, CA 94303

This article was adapted from a letter sent by Faye C. McNair-Knox, Ph.D. and Executive Director of One East Palo Alto.

Navigating the Tides of Adolescence

On May 11th, StarVista partnered with Junipero Serra High School to host a panel on Navigating the Tides of Adolescence. This event, the fourth of its kind, was directed towards what parents can do to support their teens through the stresses and pressures of high school and young adulthood.

The panel included:

  • Julie Lythcott-Haims, author of the highly acclaimed book, “How to Raise an Adult“ and former Associate Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Dean of Freshmen and Undergraduate Advising at Stanford University
  • Kathleen Blanchard, Gunn High School parent
  • Steven Sust, Stanford University School of Medicine and San Mateo County Psychiatrist
  • Narges Zohoury Dillon, M.A., LMFT, Program Director for StarVista’s Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Center, and Child and Adolescent Hotline and Prevention Program.
  • Rachel Myrow, KQED Correspondent (Moderator)

Each panelist brought unique expertise to the table. Julie and Kathleen in particular spoke from the heart as parents whose children attended/are attending high performing, high pressure schools in the area. Julie spoke poignantly about how her son’s spirit and energy were sapped from the five-hour homework marathons he endured nightly as a 15-year-old. Kathleen shared that her son JP, a bright and well-liked boy, died by suicide at the Caltrain tracks in Palo Alto in 2009. As Julie and Kathleen shared their parenting mistakes and breakthroughs, the audience of fellow parents laughed and cried along, relating so well to the many challenges of raising a teenager.

As a mother myself, and as a mentor to a teenage girl, I wanted to know what I could do to better support youth in my life.  Here is what I took away from the discussion:

  • See teenagers as whole people. So often we get into the habit of only talking to teens about school. High schoolers are inundated, from parents and strangers alike, with questions about their grades, their SAT study plans, college applications, what major they’ll choose, etc. It sends the message that their only worth is their academic performance. Instead, we should give them space to tell us about their interests and their passions. Steven talked about how all youth have values that motivate their decision-making and their goals. We need to take time to understand what those values are so we can better support them. One size does not fit all.
  • Get to know your kids’ friends (and their parents). Youth reach an age when their friends become their primary confidantes. We will learn more about our kids and become a trusted adult in their lives if we know who their friends are. We can do that by doing the above: seeing them and treating them as whole people. Also, kids may feel more comfortable talking to an adult other than their parent because that adult may be less judgmental or emotional. Build a community with other parents at your kids’ school so that we can all support each other.
  • Let them know you are willing to talk about the hard stuff. Narges gave the audience some helpful phrases to start the conversation, using this panel discussion as a launching point: “I attended a talk tonight on teen mental health and suicide. What do you think about those topics?” Leaving it open-ended gives us a chance to hear what the youth believes, what they’ve heard, and what they’ve experienced. She also suggested following up with “If something like this was happening to you or one of your friends, you can come to me. I’m here.” So often youth don’t reach out for fear that the caring adults in their lives can’t handle these conversations. Let them know explicitly that you CAN.
  • Model self-care and help-seeking behaviors. As parents we want to seem invincible to our children because we are their protectors. But children benefit from seeing the way we deal with setbacks and emotional challenges. Of course we need to maintain boundaries and not spill all the inner workings of our mind, but when we are going through a hard time we can show them that it’s okay to pause to take care of ourselves, and to reach out, whether to a loved one or a professional, to get support. We should acknowledge that pain is a normal part of life, that it can be worked through, and most importantly, that it is temporary.

At the beginning of the panel, I felt overwhelmed and pained thinking of all the challenges and pressures that teenagers are facing today. But by the end I felt better equipped to be a supportive adult. I also felt pride and a sense of community, knowing that so many other adults were invested in this topic, and willing to learn more about teen mental health. It will take all of us to break the stigma and support our youth the way they deserve to be supported.

Written by: Mai Le

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