Category Archives: Health Equity Initiatives

CHI’s First Health Care Rights And Immigration Forum For The Chinese Community

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Chinese Health Initiative (CHI) hosted its first Health Care Rights and Immigration Forum for the Chinese Community at Millbrae Library on Saturday, October 14th, 2017. There was a huge turnout, with more than 80 individuals attending in-person, along with over 250+ views from our Facebook live recording of the presentation. Of the attendees, we had 27 representatives, from 13 local community agencies, tabling at the Resource Fair. CHI was also recognized by Board of Supervisor David Canepa and by Chief of Staff from Supervisor Dave Pine’s office for our work in hosting the forum for the Chinese Community.

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Indigenous People’s Day Brings Visibility and Sense of Belonging

6a1a1f647eOn Monday, October 9, the Native American Initiative (NAI), Nuestra Casa, and their partners celebrated Indigenous People’s Day. In this inaugural East Palo Alto Indigenous People’s Day event, approximately 80 guests joined the organizers in celebrating and learning about indigenous healing practices and views of wellness.

While the event was enjoyed by all attendees, the acknowledgement of Indigenous People’s Day is controversial for many Americans. Though the documented atrocities of Columbus’s landing are hard to deny, many feel that Columbus paved the way for the United States of America to exist which is itself worthy of celebration. The Native American Initiative has welcomed conversation on this topic. Last year, BHRS teams invited the NAI to join staff meetings and discuss the importance of indigenous experiences and acknowledging Indigenous People’s Day. What began as controversy became an opportunity for exchange and shared understanding.

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In Observance of Indigenous People’s Day

Indigenous Peoples Day Clinic Closed flyer 10 2016

Credit: Ana Mila, AOD Intern

In acknowledgment of the original inhabitants of this continent –American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians, San Mateo County’s Behavioral Health and Recovery Services will close on Monday, October 9th in observance of Indigenous People’s Day.

Honoring Indigenous People’s Day helps provide indigenous communities with a stage to reveal historical truths of genocide and oppression as well as current injustices. It also allows our San Mateo County community to celebrate indigenous resilience, resistance, and empowerment by connecting indigenous identity to something beyond controversies over sports teams and cultural appropriation.

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BHRS Clinicians Reducing Stigma in Chinese Community

Maureen Lin, Interface and Alice Tong, Adult Central Clinic, appeared in a live show late last night on KTSF, a local Chinese TV station. They discussed (in Mandarin) the importance of mental health and seeking help early, and addressed common cultural beliefs that prevent people asking for help.

San Mateo County Celebrates Pride

Pride post collage

San Mateo County community members celebrate pride with the raising of a flag, live music, energetic speakers and a ribbon cutting ceremony.

 

This past June was Pride month and San Mateo County had a whole lot to celebrate with our fifth annual Pride event and the historic grand opening of the county’s very first Pride Center.

The Pride Initiative held the annual LGBTQ+ Pride event at San Mateo Central Park on Saturday, June 10th. This year’s theme, “Still We Rise,” inspired by Maya Angelou’s 1978 poem, “Still I Rise” was meant to remind us of the need for solidarity across all communities.

This year, for the first time, the Pride flag was raised along with the American flag in the center of the park at the commencement of Saturday’s celebration. Entertainment included poets, musicians, dancers, martial artists and even an open mic, showcasing talent from the community.  Approximately 700 people came out to celebrate.

When the PRIDE initiative originated in 2008, it was the first county sanctioned LGBTQ+ entity in San Mateo County. In a testament to the advances made by our LBTQ+ community and allies, the county proudly kicked off Pride month with the opening of San Mateo County’s very first Pride Center.

Nearly 500 community members gathered on June 1st to celebrate the grand opening, complete with a ribbon cutting, dynamic speakers and live music.

Located at 1021 S. El Camino and 11th  Ave. in San Mateo, the Pride Center combines direct behavioral health services, such as counseling, peer support, and case management, with community support and services. The center is a safe space and welcomes everyone.

The Pride Center is a collaboration with Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, funded through the Mental Health Services Act. The Center is operated by five partner organizations: StarVista, Peninsula Family Service, Outlet of Adolescent Counseling Services, Daly City Partnership and Pyramid Alternatives.

For more information about the Pride Center call 650-591-0133 or email info@sanmateopride.org. For more information about the PRIDE Initiative, check out their website at www.smchealth.org/pride.

Lisa Putkey, Jei Africa and Regina Moreno contributed to this article.