Category Archives: Mental Health Services Act

East Palo Alto Wellness Center Introduces New Programs and Partnerships

Services at the Barbara A. Mouton Multicultural Wellness Center have significantly expanded with more workshops, events, support groups and mental health resource services being added over the past year.

The facility’s multicultural environment is designed to affirm the inherent worth and dignity of individuals served in a community that reflects and celebrates the diversity of East Palo Alto.

The Mouton Center was established in 2009 by One East Palo Alto.  It is funded by BHRS with Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) funding. 

Click here to read more.

Lived Experience Academy Graduates New Speakers

People from the BHRS Lived Experience Academy say they are graduating feeling hopeful, inspired and proud.

Graduate Velisha Sorooshian (center), Kevin Jones, Executive Director, Telecare (left) and Scott Gilman, BHRS Director (right).

“What I didn’t expect was the emotional impact these classes would have on me. I wasn’t expecting everyone’s traumatic stories to grip my heart in such a deep way,” said Lucas, a recent graduate.

Participants learn how to share their personal stories in the 10-hour program and how to see their challenges as a source of hope, strength and wisdom to redefine their narrative.

It’s given me the tool of knowing how to utilize my voice,” said one participant.

14 people recently graduated from the program, funded by the Mental Health Services Act.

Read more in the latest BHRS “Wellness Matters” newsletter.

4/22 – MHSA Steering Committee

Reminder that Mental Health Service Act’s (MHSA) upcoming Steering Committee meeting is this Monday, 4/22 at 3pm.  New members will be joining and having an “Orientation to MHSA” prior to the meeting at 2pm, same location.  All are welcome to attend!

What: MHSA Steering Committee Meeting
When: April 22, 2019, 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Where: County Health Campus, Room 100 (225 37th Ave., San Mateo)

At this meeting we will: 

  • Provide input on the MHSA Plan to spend available one-time revenue
  • Receive an update on new MHSA Innovation funding cycle
  • Hear from current Innovation project, Health Ambassador Program for Youth

Actions: 1) approval of the MHSA Plan to spend one-time revenue and 2) approval of a no-cost one-year extension of current innovation projects, the Health Ambassador Program for Youth and the NMT in an Adult System of Care. 

Read more

11/16 – Technology Suite Advisory Committee

Technology Suite Advisory Committee

Recently, Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (BHRS) joined a County Behavioral Health Technology Collaborative, a statewide project aimed at utilizing technology- based and online services and supports to engage and increase access for individuals experiencing symptoms of mental illness who may struggle accessing traditional resources. 

We are seeking a Technology Suite Advisory Committee (TSAC), composed of mental health providers, mental health clients/consumers, family members and community members to help design and oversee the Technology Suite implementation and evaluation. The purpose of the committee is to have a forum for members to provide recommendations on the features offered through the Technology Suite and input on the implementation. The TSAC will review the Technology Suite activities and make suggestions for improvement. The Office of Diversity and Equity will be overseeing the implementation process. 

The informational meeting is to answer any questions, share more about the statewide project and the role of the committee.  You can attend the informational meeting to learn more without any commitment to further participation.

Written by Brittany Ganguly, Community Health Planner

Office of Diversity and Equity 

September 24 – MHSA Steering Committee Meeting

MHSA Steering Cmttee Flyer_092418-1

The next MHSA Steering Committee has been scheduled and as always is open to the public!  The Steering Committee meets twice a year and makes recommendations to the planning funding and services development for MHSA.   At the next meeting  we will:

  • Review an MHSA framework and key principles for funding programs and expansions.
  • Learn about the Pride Center outcomes and request for a 2-year extension.
  • Hear about the next steps for the MHSA Innovation funding cycle.

Key Action Item: Steering Committee members to approve a recommendation to request an Innovation fund extension for the Pride Center. 

MHSA Steering Committee Meeting

Monday, September 24, 2018 / 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm

Foster City Community Cntr, Wind Room

1000 E Hillsdale Blvd.  Foster City, CA 94404

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.

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