As many of you know, May is Mental Health Month or, as we also like to call it, the lime greenest time of the year! This year’s theme, adopted from the statewide campaign, is #SMCTakeAction4MH. The theme encourages everyone to take actionable steps to address mental health and substance use matters. Over the past two years, the pandemic has been especially challenging for many of us. Your mental health is more important than ever. Throughout the month, learn ways you can take action to improve your communities’ mental wellness!
Each year we partner with local agencies and community members to offer free events throughout San Mateo County. This year, we are offering both in-person and virtual events!
To find our full calendar of events, learn ways to get involved, and find behavioral health resources. Visit our website here: SMCMentalHealthMonth.org.
Please promote Mental Health Month with your communities and networks by sharing our promo flyer and utilizing our virtual backgrounds.
July is Minority Mental Health Month. Join BHRS and Heart & Soul for a special Seeing Through Stigma Speakers Panel “Strength In Communities.” The panelist include Alexis Madayag (community member), Deborah Wright (Heart & Soul board member), and Yvette Agua (Heart & Soul Peer Support Specialist) who will share their personal journeys from mental health challenges to places of hope, resilience, wellness, and recovery.
You are invited to help plan 2021 May Mental Health Month (MHM) in San Mateo County! Most of our events and efforts will be virtual.
We will be meet the below dates on Thursdays 3:30-5:00pm via Zoom. The calendar invitation (will be sent later today) includes May dates which we will likely cancel so we can make time for special MHM events. For more meeting information, please see attached document.
You have the following options to join the meeting virtually via Zoom:
“We don’t heal in isolation, but in community.” ― S. Kelley Harrell
Express Unity and #ExpressYourself by attending/sharing one of San Mateo County’s FREE virtual May Mental Health Awareness Month events listed at bit.ly/2020mham (please note space is limited!).
This week, help put an end to stigma and promote community wellness by expressing unity as part of the mental health movement:
● Create messages of encouragement and hope on your windows with sticky notes to show your support. Leave positive messages and doodles for your family members, your roommates or yourself! Click here to get started. Then snap a photo and share it on social media.
How do people and communities deal with difficult events and challenges like a serious illness, the death of a loved one, relationship problems, the loss of a job, and other traumatic events? How can we provide support to our loved ones when they are struggling?
Research shows that resiliency —or the ability to “bounce back” after difficult experiences—is not an innate trait, but rather a complex set of behaviors, thoughts, and actions that can be learned and strengthened. And one of the best ways to build resiliency is by fostering connections with the people around you, whether that’s people in your community or your friends and family. Strong, supportive relationships with close family, friends, and loved ones are a key element for a happier and healthier life.
This week, strengthen your community by expressing encouragement to those around you:
Share one of the Each Mind Matters Affirmation Cards with a friend, family member, colleague, or even a stranger. You can download a printable version or share these via social media.
We all need some extra encouragement from time to time. Print and hang this poster to brighten someone’s day.
View and share messages of hope and recovery from the #BeTheOneSMC photo gallery.
“California Clubhouse is seeing GREEN! We are excited to celebrate and show our support this Mental Health Awareness Month by launching our YouTube channel where we will post videos with the theme “Each Mind Matters: Express Yourself”. This month, we are working with our community to post 30 seconds videos “focusing on how expressing ourselves in different way can raise awareness about mental health.”
We are asking our greater San Mateo County community to post #ExpressYourself videos to raise awareness and break down stigma – 30 seconds is all you need! Post on our Facebook and/or Twitter pages and share with family and friends!
The impacts of COVID-19 have touched us all. However, it has been particularly concerning for our marginalized communities. The pandemic has highlighted how individuals with lack of adequate health insurance coverage, employment instability, economic uncertainty and limited ability to physically distance due to their work or housing situations are at greater risk of the physical and mental health impacts of COVID-19.
This week, you can Express Your Well-Being and #ExpressYourself by attending/sharing one of San Mateo County’s FREE and virtual May Mental Health Awareness Month (MHAM) events listed at bit.ly/2020mham (please note space is limited!).
Maintaining your well-being through regular self-care prevents burnout, reduces the negative effects of stress, and helps you refocus – and it doesn’t have to cost a thing.
However, making time to focus on your well-being isn’t always easy. Self-care isn’t about being selfish or getting a reward — it is a critical part of maintaining our well-being. As author Brianna Wiest says: “Self-care should not be something we resort to because we are so absolutely exhausted that we need some reprieve from our own relentless internal pressure. True self-care is not salt baths and chocolate cake, it is making the choice to build a life you don’t need to regularly escape from.”
Real self-care is a thoughtful practice that builds well-being over time. Here are some resources to help build this practice and express your well-being:
For folks who like a more structured approach, or people who are experiencing mental health challenges or those living with chronic health conditions, a more comprehensive self-care planning approach may be helpful. In this case, a helpful tool one may want to consider is Wellness Recovery Action Planning, developed by Dr. Mary Ellen Copeland. Or take a Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) workshop offered by our local Voices of Recovery San Mateo County.