Category Archives: Mental Health Services Act

TODAY, May 23 – Waverly Place Apartments Grand Opening

The long awaited grand opening of the Waverly Place Apartments will take place today from 12 to 2:30 p.m. at 105 Fifth Avenue, Redwood City. Lack of affordable housing is one of the biggest barriers faced by those living with behavioral health issues in San Mateo County.

With the support of the Mental Health Services Act, Measure K and other funding sources, Waverly Place is introducing 16 supported housing units for individuals with severe mental illness. Stop by the grand opening grand opening today, and check out this Wellness Matters article for more information.

Waverly Place Apartments Grand Opening Flyer (002)

San Mateo County Proclaims May Mental Health Awareness Month

MHAM proclamation group shot.jpg

Left to right: Jairo Wilches (BHRS Office of Consumer Family Affairs), Suzanne Aubrey (BHRS Office of Consumer Family Affairs), Helene Zimmerman (National Alliance for Mental Illness San Mateo County), Candice Hawley, David Young, John Butler, Sylvia Tang (BHRS Office of Diversity and Equity), Christopher Jump (Heart & Soul, Inc.), Yoshie Hill (Heart & Soul, Inc.).

This morning, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors (BoS) recommitted to raising awareness and reducing stigma around mental health and substance use issues in the 2018 Mental Health Awareness Month (MHAM) Proclamation. Supervisors Dave Pine and Don Horsley made opening remarks highlighting their ongoing commitment to behavioral health in their respective districts and throughout the County.

After receiving the proclamation, our new Behavioral Health & Recovery Services (BHRS) Director David A. Young, PhD, MPH presented an introduction to MHAM and illustrated the importance of raising awareness about mental health and substance use conditions. Dr. Young underscored the prevalence of behavioral health conditions and barriers to receiving help – including stigma – which need to be addressed.

Two Lived Experience Academy graduates, Candice Hawley and John Butler, continued to educate the audience with their personal stories living with a mental health condition. Their stories beautifully illustrated adversity, hope and recovery. Their stories enhance our understanding and empathy for those who live with mental health conditions.

The recording of this Proclamation and other parts of the BoS meeting are located at bos.smcgov.org.

To continue the dialogue about mental health and substance use issues, please wear a lime green ribbon or attend a MHAM events in San Mateo County. More information can be found at smchealth.org/mentalhealthmonth.

Written By Sylvia Tang, Community Health Planner
Office of Diversity and Equity, San Mateo County Behavioral Health & Recovery Services

Today, 4/18 – Behavioral Health Planning Council Meeting

The Behavioral Health Planning Council is hosting its quarterly meeting this Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at the Pullman Hotel in Redwood City. The meeting will cover Workforce Education and Training funds, cultural and implicit bias, the Mental Health Block Grant and more. Stop by if you are interested in getting involved in statewide behavioral health advocacy. The meeting is open to the public.

Meeting Times:
April 18 & 19, 1:30 to 5 p.m.
April 20, 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Agendas and additional information

MHSA Innovation Community Forums

BHRS is looking into technology-based solutions to our community’s unique behavioral health needs. Attend one of the forums listed below, and share your voice on how these Mental Health Services Act dollars are spent.MHSA Innovation Community Forums.jpg

MHSA Innovation Community Forums | 4/17 – 5/10

MHSA Community Forums from April 17th to May 10th. See flyers for times and locations. 

During the forums, participants will learn about three technology innovations that are intended to:

  • Increase access to mental health care
  • Promote early detection of mental health symptoms
  • Predict the onset of mental illness 

Additionally, stakeholder feedback will be gathered around community needs and considerations to best adapt the technology innovations for San Mateo County.

For more information, please contact Doris Estremera, MHSA Manager at destremera@smcgov.org or (650) 219-3840.

Empowering Youth to be Change Agents

20170809_cohort1

HAP-Y Cohort

The Health Ambassador Program for Youth (HAP-Y) is an innovative and community-developed program delivered by StarVista. It is designed for youth ages 16 to 24 who are interested in advocating for communities that have been touched by mental health challenges, raising awareness about mental wellness and increasing access to mental health services. The program is funded by innovation funds through the Mental Health Services Act, which are designed to engage individuals, families and communities to be active change agents regarding wellness, particularly behavioral health. The program is managed by BHRS’ Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE), whose primary focus is reaching and engaging vulnerable families and communities in San Mateo.  

The participants of the program, most whom have lived experience with mental health challenges, participate in a 14-week training program, creating a personal Wellness Recovery Action, and learning about common mental health challenges and the principles of suicide prevention.

HAP-Y Cohort

After completing the trainings, HAP-Y graduates are encouraged to conduct community presentations to start conversations and increase knowledge about mental health and community supports available. In the first year of HAP-Y, 20 youth successfully completed the program. They have already reached an audience of over 300 through classroom-based presentations. Preliminary evaluations suggest an increase of over 30 percent in knowledge of where to seek supports and services for mental health issues.

HAP-Y has seen success, not only in reaching an audience, but in providing a sense of community for participants. HAP-Y graduates said the group provided a welcoming and loving environment, where they could have real conversations about topics that they are often unable to have with their peers.

As the program enters its second year, there is an additional focus on continuing to engage past participants and building on their skills and passions. If you are interested in learning more about the program, please contact hapy@star-vista.org.

The next 14-week HAP-Y training will start on May 15th and will be hosted in Half Moon Bay. Please share this information with any youth you think may be interested in participating in this program. 

Co-written by Narges Dillon, Brenda Nunez & Islam Hassanein, StarVista and Nancy Chen, ODE

AACI Hosts Black History Month Kick Off Event: Empowerment Begins with You

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

On Saturday, January 27th, African American Community Initiative (AACI) will be kicking off Black History month with a fun, informative, and free event celebrating the wellness, resilience, and recovery of the African American Community. 

Stop by the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center to share stories, promote wellness and take one step towards improving the well being of our communities. With a focus on understanding substance use and suicide risk in the African American community, the event will feature a resource fair, informative presentations, a Photovoice panel where young people will share their stories, cultural entertainment, children’s activities and a free soulful lunch.

Read more

How Knowing the Signs Can Help Save a Life

IMG_1864

Natalie Andrade with ALGEE the MHFA mascot

Before I started working at the Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE), I did not have a clue as to what the warning signs of suicide, depression, and anxiety were. It wasn’t until I became a Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) instructor that I realized the importance of knowing the signs of mental health challenges. During my instructor training, taught by two amazing trainers from the National Council, I felt empowered to go back to my community and teach others important skills one can learn from the training. Knowing the signs of suicide can help save a life, yet the most challenging piece of knowing the signs is having the courage to start the conversation about suicide with someone you are concerned about.

In the YMHFA training, participants practice using a 5-step action plan called ALGEE, which stands for:

 

  • Assess for risk of suicide or harm
  • Listen nonjudgmentally
  • Give reassurance and information
  • Encourage appropriate professional help
  • Encourage self-help and other support strategies

Read more

December 9 – Filipino Mental Health Initiative Immigration Forum

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Office of Diversity and Equity’s Filipino Mental Health Initiative(FMHI) is excited to announce they will be hosting an immigration forum, Immigrants: At the Crossroads, for the Filipino Community on Saturday, December 9th at St. Andrew Catholic Church Hall in Daly City from 1:30 – 4pm. 

According to Psychiatric Services, the Philippines is the fourth largest country of origin of immigrants to the United States, and the second-fastest-growing Asian immigrant group in the United States. Yet Filipino Americans are shown to significantly under-utilize existing mental health care services that are culturally, socially, and linguistically incompatible with their needs. Along with stigma, the attachment to traditional practices and healing methods remains a notable barrier to appropriate care for the Filipino American community.

Read more

Mental Health Services Act Prevention and Early Intervention Task Force

pei_task_force_launch_flyer-page-001

Starting this Friday, October 27th, Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) will be convening a Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) Task Force to develop strategies to better serve the behavioral health care needs of individuals ages 0-25.

The last PEI Task Force was assembled in 2006 prior to the disbursement of MHSA funding. Since then, learning and best practices have emerged; context and environment have shifted. For three 2-hour meetings, this special time-limited task force is intended to make recommendations for prevention and early intervention priorities and programming for children, youth and transition age youth in San Mateo County as part of the MHSA Three-Year Plan.

Read more

« Older Entries