Category Archives: Health Equity Initiatives

FMHI and PII Collaborate to Host 1st Mental Health First Aid for API Community


On Saturday, April 21st, the Filipino Mental Health Initiative(FMHI) and Pacific Islander Initiative(PII) welcome all to attend this upcoming Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training for the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. 

This training is the standard MHFA training, but also incorporates Asian- Pacific Islander (API) culturally-responsive material: giving participants an opportunity to learn about how to help friends and family members, who may be experiencing a mental health condition or crisis, and get certified.

This event is of huge importance for San Mateo County’s API community for a few reasons. SMC’s API community continues to have a lot of stigma around mental health; there remains a division between SMC’s API community; and there is not much available data and resources around mental health for the community. 

The goals of this event are to:

  • Decrease stigma around mental health in the API community
  • Build solidarity among APIs
  • Bring visibility to API communities to gain more data and resources around mental health Read more

Wellness, Resilience and Recovery: Black History Month Event Reflection

On Saturday January 27th, BHRS’ African American Community Initiative (AACI) hosted their 2018 Black History Month event and health fair.  The theme was Wellness, Resilience and Recovery, with the purpose of empowering the community to take charge of their wellness and recovery using the resilience inside us all, and to celebrate Black History Month.  This year’s event was held in San Mateo at the Martin Luther King Junior Community Center. The event was enjoyed by over 70 people consisting of community members/partners, Health System staff, and consumers.  Over thirty plus community agencies provided information and materials on their services.  

The co-chairs of AACI, Tennille Tucker and Talisha Racy co the hosted the event  with Ms. Tucker leading the singing of the National Black Anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing”.  Opening remarks were provided by Carole Groom of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, David Young, the San Mateo County Director of Behavioral Health and Recovery Services and Rick Bonilla, the Mayor of the City of San Mateo.  Invocation was provided by Elder Alvin Swindell, the Pastor of Macedonia Church of God and Christ.

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What’s Happening in SMC’s LGBTQ+ Community?

PRIDE Center on Spirit Day 2017

Annette photographed second from the right on Spirit Day 10/19/17

As a queer person living in San Mateo County, the monthly Pride Initiative meetings are a haven for me to feel connected to local LGBTQ+ community members. Nothing beats being around a table of beautifully unique and bold community members to talk about the numerous efforts we’re working on to strengthen the sense of LGBTQ+ community in San Mateo County.


Pride Initiative Mixer 6-19-11 001

PRIDE Initiative, 2011

Founded in 2007, the Pride Initiative is a health equity initiative that was created by the Office of Diversity and Equity in recognition that LGBTQ+ folks are often met with culturally inappropriate care and a lack of knowledge by service providers in health settings. Since 2007, the Pride Initiative has met on a monthly basis to organize community-based events, create trainings for service providers and advocate as a community for more LGBTQ+ services within county and community settings.

One such example is sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) data collection that will be rolled out this year across BHRS as well as the whole health system; collecting this data will help reduce health disparities experienced by LGBTQ+ folks by normalizing conversations about these aspects of our identities that have a direct impact on our health. Pride Initiative members participated in not only advocating for this, they also contributed to the curriculum that was created to train BHRS staff on how to appropriately serve LGBTQ+ clients and ask SOGI questions with cultural humility.

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Photovoice Presents: Spirituality in Recovery

Spirituality in Recovery Image

In 2011, Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (BHRS), Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE) created their own “Storytelling Program” that emphasizes the use of personal stories as a means to draw communal attention to mental health and wellness.  Read more

In the News: African American Community Initiative

One of our very own, Briana Evans, Senior Community Health Planner with the Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE), was recently featured on Pen Voice. Check out the video below for Briana’s take on the innovative work of the African American Community Initiative and the importance of all of our Health Equity Initiatives.

This Saturday, Black History Month Kick-Off Event: Empowerment Begins with You

2018 Black History Month Event Final Flier 12 27 (002)-1

Reminder that this Saturday, the African American Community Initiative (AACI) is kicking off Black History Month with their event, Empowerment Begins with You. 

Stop by to show your support as well as have fun with a free soulful lunch and inspiring speakers on suicide risk and substance use in the African American community and real stories from real people. There will also be interactive activities for children and cultural entertainment.

A healthy mind, body, and spirit promotes healthy families and communities. 

For more info about the AACI visit their website here

For more info about the event visit

The Office of Diversity and Equity Offers New Community Resources!

The Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE) created a We Welcome All poster and Cultural Humility Group Agreements poster for the community to practice cultural humility, advance equity, and build inclusion in their home space, business space, work space, community space, etc. 

We Welcome All Poster

The We Welcome All Poster was designed to show the Office of Diversity and Equity’s solidarity with San Mateo County’s diverse community. Regardless of race, ethnicity, citizen status, sexual orientation and gender identity, ODE celebrates and values diversity. We invite everyone to celebrate and value diversity with us. 

The varying languages on the bottom half of the poster represent San Mateo County’s 5 threshold languages: English, Chinese, Spanish, Russian, and Tagalog, as well as the county’s 5 emerging languages: Arabic, Burmese, Portuguese, Samoan, and Tongan. 

People with the We Welcome All poster are encouraged to post them near the front entrance of their buildings where visitors and passer-bys are able to see them.

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