Category Archives: Mental Health/Substance Use Care

In a Crisis or Need Support?

The @StarVistaSMC Crisis Center provides suicide intervention services and programs for San Mateo County residents, including a 24-hour crisis hotline, mobile youth crisis response team, online and text teen crisis support, and educational presentations to the community and schools.

StarVista’s Crisis Center’s website www.sanmateocrisis.org provides a dedicated space to share program services, updates, resources, and more.


StarVista’s Teen Crisis Services consist of an online teen chat and teen text line, which are free, peer-to-peer services that are accessible from http://www.sanmatecrisis.org or by texting 650-747-6463.


StarVista’s 24/7 Crisis Hotline 650-579-0350 offers a safe and confidential place for people to explore feelings, concerns, vent frustrations, clarify problems, and get referrals. Our crisis hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for crisis intervention.

Specialized Mobile Crisis Response Service for Youth

StarVista’s Crisis Center now offers a Specialized Mobile Crisis Response Service for youth ages 0-25! The Youth Stabilization, Opportunity, and Support (S.O.S.) Team is a program of @StarVistaSMC Crisis Center in partnership with San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services.


The Youth S.O.S. team is designed to respond to children and youth ages 0-25 that are experiencing an escalation of mental and behavioral health symptoms (such as suicidal ideation/intent, self-injurious behaviors, undiagnosed mental health disorders, etc).

Services for the State mandated Family Urgent Response System (FURS), which provides 24-hour crisis response for current and former foster youth and their caregivers, has also been integrated into the Youth S.O.S. team in partnership with Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, the Human Service Agency, and Juvenile Probation.

To learn more about S.O.S., please visit StarVista.

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.

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