Category Archives: Older Adults

SamTrans Launches “Ride Now” Taxi Subsidy Pilot Program

Reducing the Risk of Suicide in Older Adults

olderadultsWhen most people think about suicide, young people come to mind. What many people do not know is that suicide rates are higher among older adults than any other age group. Physical and social challenges related to aging can increase the risk of depression, anxiety and isolation, but help is available for coping with these challenges. #BeThe1To support the older adults in your life and share the Institute of Aging 24/7 Friendship Line at 1-800-971-0016.  #SMCPrevention

To gain more in depth knowledge on how to prevent suicides among an older adult, you can attend the Suicide Prevention in Older Adults training on Friday, September 29 9:30-11:30am at 350 Twin Dolphin Drive, Redwood Shores. Register by 9/25 at

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Learn About How to Prevent Suicide Among Older Adults

The San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services is hosting a training free and open to the public on suicide prevention among older adults (generally 60+). The target audience is for anyone serving and supporting older adults in San Mateo County, including clinicians, mental health staff, community center staff and other individuals supporting older adults.

The training will feature the following great speakers:

Dr. Patrick Arbore (Institute of Aging, Center for Elderly Suicide Prevention)
Carmen Lee (Stamp Out Stigma)
Dr. Barbara Yates-Weissman (San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services)

The training will take place on Tuesday, September 13 12:15-1:30 pm in Room 100, 225 37th Avenue, San Mateo, CA, 94403. For more information, please see attached flyer.


Mental Wellness Screening event for Chinese seniors a success

imageOn July 26th 2016 the Chinese Health Initiative (CHI), of the Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE), coordinated a free Mental Wellness Screening event for 25 seniors of Self Help for the Elderly, a senior center dedicated to provide a place and resources of monolingual Chinese residents of San Mateo County.

ODE’s Chinese Outreach Worker, along with CHI members, Chinese-speaking community volunteers, and BHRS staff and clinicians, organized the event.  Services included screening monolingual seniors for depression, educating them on their results and referring them to appropriate care, if needed.  Service agencies from throughout San Mateo County also attended to promote behavioral health resources available to the community.

Chinese seniors who participated in the event provided very grateful responses to this event in spite of the strong stigma ingrained within traditional Chinese culture. CHI is very appreciative of the opportunity to work closely with Self Help for the Elderly and looks forward to future partnerships.

New BHRS Deputy Director Adult/Older Adult Services

I am very pleased to announce that Karen Krahn has been selected to fill the BHRS Deputy Director Adult/Older Adult position.

Karen has an extensive and rich history of experiences in behavioral health services in the public and private sectors. For the past 9+ years she has worked for the state of Hawaii Department of Health’s Behavioral Health Division. Among her responsibilities were directing clinical operations, strategic planning, compliance, performance improvement, forensic and multicultural service programs, implementation and oversight of supported housing, case management, co-occurring programs, supported employment, expansion of career ladder for peer specialists, crisis services, and contracting.

Karen also worked for Magellan Health Services as Vice President of Quality Improvement and was responsible for public sector policy, program development and oversight of quality improvement with 14 Medicaid managed care contracts in 12 states.

With Karen’s background she will be a great help to BHRS as we navigate the many challenges and opportunities that are here and ahead of us in the coming years.
Karen will join us at the end of February

Mental Health First Aid Training Offered to Older Adult Caregivers and Volunteers


Older adult caregivers, volunteers and community members crowded the room in San Mateo for the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training course held in Spanish, prompting training coordinators to plan for a future training in the coming months.   Thirty-four individuals (pictured above), most of whom caregivers and volunteers, were certified in Mental Health First Aid during the mid-November training. The training marked the second course in 2015 offered in collaboration with Aging and Older Adult Services to In-Home Support Services (IHSS) Registry caregivers. Also in attendance were volunteers from Peninsula Family Services.

The course was taught by BHRS staff members Hector Moncada, Supervising Mental Health Clinician, and Gloria Gutierrez, Clinician, both of whom are very active in the Latino community. Mental Health First Aid is provided by the Office of Diversity and Equity.

MHFA is a FREE 8-hour certification course that teaches community members how to recognize and appropriately respond to an individual experiencing an emotional or behavioral health challenge, including depression, anxiety, psychosis, and substance abuse. If you would like to host a training or are interested in attending, please contact Natalie Andrade at