Category Archives: Mental Health/Substance Use Care

County Breaks Ground on New Facility with a Focus on Wellness, Recovery

On April 12, 2021, advocates for the mentally ill, treatment providers and local officials celebrated the groundbreaking for the new $105 million Cordilleras Mental Health Center, located on 20 acres of unincorporated land between San Carlos and Redwood City. When it opens in 2023, it will replace the current facility that opened in 1952 as a tuberculosis hospital and transitioned to a mental health facility in the 1970s. Learn more about this project.

Starvista’s New Crisis Center Website and Teen Text Line

StarVista’s Crisis Center offers multiple crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for residents in San Mateo County. The Crisis Center recently launched its new website, www.sanmateocrisis.org. This online resource provides quick links and information about Crisis Center services, resources and news, and is the new home for its Teen Crisis Chat and the recently launched Teen Crisis Text Line.

Teen Text Line: 650-747-6463
Monday to Thursday, 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. PST
The new teen text line is a free, peer-to-peer service that can be accessed by texting 650-747-6463. Teens can chat anonymously with trained youth peer counselors under Crisis Center staff supervision about various topics. While mainly focused on crisis intervention and suicide prevention, teens can also talk about school stress, relationship issues, and mental health challenges.

Online Teen Chat: sanmateocrisis.org – Monday to Thursday, 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m PST
The online teen chat is a free, peer-to-peer service that is accessible from sanmatecrisis.org. Teens can chat anonymously with trained youth peer counselors under Crisis Center staff supervision about various topics. While mainly focused on crisis intervention and suicide prevention, teens can also talk about school stress, relationship issues, and mental health challenges.

While these teen programs are intended to focus on youth ages 13 and up, no youth will be turned away on the basis of age. Learn more about StarVista’s Teen Crisis Services at sanmateocrisis.org/teen-crisis-services.

Medication Assisted Treatment

According to a recent report40% of adults in the U.S. are dealing with depression, anxiety or substance abuse linked to the COVID-19 pandemic. Every day, over 130 people die from opioid related drug overdoses.  

See the full graphic here.

Much like heart disease or diabetes, addiction is a chronic disease and can be treated and managed. 

Research shows that a combination of medication and therapy can successfully treat substance use disorders and prevent or reduce opioid overdose. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) combines behavioral therapy and FDA approved medications (which reduces withdrawal symptoms, cravings, and prevents relapse), and to provide a holistic approach to treating substance use disorders. 

Learn about San Mateo County’s Integrated Medication Assisted Treatment program for alcohol and opioid use at www.smchealth.org/imat or mental health services at www.smchealth.org/bhrsservices 

Combating isolation during covid-19

A Vision of a World Free of Stigma

Scott Gilman, BHRS Director

There are an unlimited number of issues and challenges facing California’s public mental health and substance use (behavioral health) system. Despite billions in revenue being distributed to California counties, there are significant barriers to accessing treatment. Stigma remains one of the main forces keeping people from seeking treatment at all levels of behavioral health needs. Read more from BHRS Director, Scott Gillman, on stigma and the impact it has on individuals and their family members who might need help.

San Mateo County Court Gets Grant for DUI Program

San Mateo County Superior Court received a $300,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety for the third year in a row. This grant supports the Multiple Driving Under the Influence Court, which aims to help second and third time DUI offenders, and connects them to resources needed to address their substance abuse, while simultaneously connecting them with the recovery resources they need to address their substance abuse and achieve stability. 

Read the article here:
https://www.smdailyjournal.com/news/local/superior-court-gets-grant-for-dui-program/article_d99f2b18-0818-11ea-b99b-dfd226b87c27.html

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

California Clubhouse Seeks Program Staff Generalist

California Clubhouse is looking for dynamic, hard-working, compassionate individuals who want to make a difference in the lives of adults recovering from mental illness. The opening is for a full time, hourly Program Staff Generalist. See the position description for more information.

Empowering Communities Far From Home

Written by Natalie Andrade, Mental Health First Aid

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Philippine Consulate’s Mental Health First Aid Training on January 27th.

The Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE) was invited to the Philippine Consulate on Saturday, January 27 to provide a Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training to consulate staff. The Philippine Consulate provides services to Filipino Nationals in the San Francisco Bay Area. The day was filled with rich conversation about the struggles of feeling homesick and how this can affect one’s mental health, which is a taboo and stigmatized topic in the Filipino community. A participant stated that she was able to feel a connection to the information provided due to the cultural piece both instructors integrated in the course.

The word “homesick” is defined as the experience or longing for one’s home during a period of absence from it. When people leave their home countries, the sense of loss and homesickness is commonly felt. Homesickness is the word used by Philippine Consul General, Hon. Henry S. Bensurto, Jr. in his opening speech during the training to staff to describe the challenges they, as a community, often face when living away from home.

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Feb 1st & 2nd | AACHAC Presents “An Evening with HeLa”

HeLa_OneSheet_Proof-1In honor of Henrietta Lacks and her contributions to the field of science, the African American Community Health Advisory Committee(AACHAC) partnered with San Francisco-Peninsula and the San Mateo County Health System, for an event that features a presentation with members of the Henrietta Lacks family. 

Henrietta Lacks is best known as the source of the first immortal human cell line that forms the HeLa line used for medical research. When Lacks died of cervical cancer in 1951, cells were taken from her body without her knowledge to form the HeLa cell line which has been used extensively in research since that time. Although other immortal cells have since been established, Lack’s HeLa cells are the standard in labs all around the world.

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