Each year during the first week of October the nation celebrates the Interfaith National Day of Prayer for Behavioral Health and Understanding. This day is designed to bring together mental health and substance abuse networks and faith leaders together so that they may recognize the importance of behavioral health issues in our community.
On Tuesday, Oct 5, Nami of San Mateo County, Office of Diversity and Equity‘s Spirituality Initiative, San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, and numerous faith leaders will virtually host our county’s 5th National Interfaith Day of Prayer for Behavioral Health and Understanding.
Please join the PRIDE Initiative, our sponsors, Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, the BHRS, Office of Diversity and Equity, the SMC PRIDE Center, the SMC LGBTQ+ Commission and our Community Partners for the 9th Annual San Mateo County PRIDE Celebration June 6th-June 12th. This will be our second mostly virtual event. The Purpose of the Annual PRIDE Celebration is to promote health and wellness among the LGBTQ+ Community. To Build a sense of community. To provide info about behavioral health services. Help individuals in marginalized communities seeking services. To provide a free LGBTQ+ positive, sober environment for San Mateo County.
This year’s event will consist of a week-long series of Workshops centered on issues important to the LGBTQ Community and ending on Saturday with a Grand Finale filled with entertainers from our Local Community from 11-2pm, streamed live from the PRIDE Center Facebook page in partnership with PENN TV. So far some of the workshops include a return of the Queer Author’s series which is a collaboration of the SMC LGBTQ+ Commission and SMC Public Libraries. This year the Queer Author’s Series is featuring author George M Johnson with their book All Boys Aren’t Blue: A memoir manifesto on June 9th at 6pm. The SMC PRIDE Center is offering a workshop A Road Map, Tips and Tools for people who identify as Transgender or Gender Non-Binary on June 10th 6-7:30 pm.
The PRIDE Center is offering a SOGIE Training for Community Members on June 7th 6-8 pm. Kaiser is offering a workshop with an Expression Specialist from their Gender Clinic to offer people who identify as Transgender and Gender Non-binary tips on everything from how-to put-on makeup, how to dress and how to walk etc. on June 10th 6-7:30 pm. The Office of Diversity and Equity Health Equity Initiatives will be holding an informative outreach workshop on June 8th 7-8 pm.
On Saturday we will be having our Grand Celebration filmed live at SMC PRIDE Center and streamed on the PRIDE Initiative Facebook page featuring MC Jesus U Betta Work, the return of favorites like local rap artist Aima the Dreamer and the Youth Drag Group from Cappuccino High School the Rebel Kings and much more. To link to our full schedule of events, to register and to stream our Grand Finale go to www.SMCPRIDECelebration.com.
Written by Zachary Comtois, PRIDE Initiative Co-Chair
In September 2020, the Directing Change Program launched a Hope & Justice category as an opportunity for youth to express their feelings and to inspire others through art. Submissions around “Hope” focus on sharing personal stories about what gives us hope during these challenging times and how we practice self-care. The “Justice” option asks youth to share a personal experience with discrimination or injustice that allows others to feel empathy, or entries can educate others about bias and encourage youth to take a stand against injustice when they see it.
Filmmakers Ryan Kang and Keunho Kim, students from Burlingame High School placed 1st in the Hope & Justice category with their film “Quarantined Hope”. Kang shared,
“Our short film is meant to inspire hope by documenting how writing poetry has given me a sense of hope during this pandemic. Mainly, it focuses on how poetry acts as an escape from all the stress and gloom of the current state of the world. The message is not specifically about poetry, but finding something or someone that can help cope with difficult emotions.”
The film’s message of inspiring hope aligns with this year’s Mental Health Month statewide theme #HopeForChange. The theme reminds us that while change is not always planned and can often be uncomfortable, it’s important to remind ourselves and others to spread and rely on the hope that carried us through a year of change. In honor of Mental Health Month, San Mateo County is hosting free virtual events throughout the month. For more information on the events, visit SMCHealth.org/MHM.
Along with Mental Health Month, May is Asian Pacific American (APA) Heritage Month. Uplift APA voices throughout the month of May and share creations by the APA community like this short film! For ways to support San Mateo County’s APA community, visit SMCHealth.org/HEI to learn about our various Health Equity Initiatives.
On behalf of the collaborators that brought you the “Race & COVID-19” Town Hall series in 2020, we’d like to invite you to our 4th Town Hall: “Community & Coronavirus: a year later” that will take place on Thursday, April 29th at 3pm. Together we’ve experienced so much in the past year, this event will be dedicated to acknowledging our collective challenges, growth and experiences. We will ask for your input on what supports are still needed and what are the priorities of our communities as we continue to respond to the pandemic.
As a result to the feedback we received during the previous Town Halls, Digital literacy trainings, resource guides, and needs assessments for some of our marginalized groups have been conducted and made available to communities throughout San Mateo County.
Join us to get an update on San Mateo County efforts and to hear from your fellow community members and leaders as we continue to work toward healing and recovery.
Please share this information widely, we look forward to a great dialogue.