Category Archives: Prevention

Survey Shows Continuing Widespread Availability of Tobacco Products in San Mateo, the Peninsula

New research shows that in San Mateo County, 74% of stores that sell tobacco carry a popular brand of “little cigars” individually for under a dollar, less than the cost of a candy bar. This finding is part of new research released Wednesday on the availability and marketing of tobacco products, alcohol, condoms, and healthy and unhealthy food options in California stores that sell tobacco. Read the full story on the San Mateo Patch.

More Parent Project® Facilitators!

The Office of Diversity and Equity’s (ODE) is excited to grow it’s capacity to offer the highly successful Parent Project ® in San Mateo County.  The Parent Project ® is a 12-week class that gives parents, grandparents, and caregivers the tools to build strong and healthy families.  Since 2013,  550 San Mateo County parents have graduated the program, impacting well over 1,000 children.

Parent Project ® Program Coordinator, Frances Lobos, and Mental Health Program Specialist, Nancy Chen, LMFT, completed a week-long training to become Parent Project® facilitators.

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Pictured above from left to right: Ralph Fry, Frances Lobos, Nancy Chen and Dr. Roger Morgan.

The training was offered by the creators of the curriculum themselves, Ralph “Bud” Fry and Dr. Roger Morgan. Bud is a retired Police Supervisor from Los Angeles County and has over 27 years of experience as a parent educator.  Dr. Morgan is a Licensed Psychologist practicing in Southern California and specializes in the treatment of children and adolescents with behavior problems.

Currently, ODE is coordinating 5 classes and will have a new schedule of classes for Summer 2017 and Fall 2017 coming out soon.  The Parent Project® is offered in English and Spanish.  Classes are free and dinner and childcare are provided.

For more information about The Parent Project ®, visit http://www.smchealth.org/ParentProject or contact Frances Lobos at flobos@smcgov.org,  650-372-3272.

Oct. 25: Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention Planning – Be Part of the Solution

Is alcohol or substance use a problem in our community?  How should we prevent alcohol and other drug use in San Mateo County? If you have thoughts and opinions about these questions – We want to hear from you!

San Mateo County BHRS invites you to a Strategic Planning Meeting for Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention on Tuesday, October 25th 2016 in Room 100, 225 37th Ave, in San Mateo.  During this session, we’ll hear from a guest speaker about their experience and journey to recovery. We will also be taking a closer look at the factors that contribute to alcohol, marijuana, and other substance use.

Join us on October 25th to help inform the conversation and help prevent substance use in your community!

Please email Kathy Reyes ekreyes@smcgov.org  or call 650-802-6587 to RSVP for the meeting.

View flyer: English,  Spanish

RAND study looks at stigma from a cultural perspective

A recent RAND study surveyed individuals of various racial and ethnic groups across California and asked about their willingness to interact with people experiencing mental health conditions such as depression, schizophrenia, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), capturing one important aspect of stigma.  The results of the study suggest that some racial and ethnic groups may be more hesitant to seek help when experiencing mental distress given the level of stigma in their respective communities. The study also strongly supports targeted stigma reduction efforts, such as culturally tailored messages or outreach activities for example.

randstigma_tableThe three interactions asked about included participants’ willingness to “move next to”, “spend an evening socializing with”, or “work closely on a job with” someone with a mental health condition.

While results varied slightly across the interactions studied, White Americans in California were the least stigmatizing of people with mental illness, Latinos and African Americans showed slightly more stigmatizing, and Asian Americans show the highest level of stigmatizing attitudes. Some key findings include:

  • All Racial/Ethnic Groups
    • Differences across groups were small when asked about socializing with someone experiencing symptoms of depression or schizophrenia but varied in the context of PTSD
    • All groups showed higher negative responses to schizophrenia
  • African Americans and Latinos most closely resembled the low stigmatizing responses of Whites yet, there were significant differences depending on the interaction
  • Asian Americans on average had greater unwillingness to interact with individuals with depression and PTSD compared to other racial/ethnic groups
    • No differences in level of stigma found for Asian-Americans speaking different languages
  • Latinos scored lowest compared to other groups on unwillingness to work closely with someone experiencing symptoms of mental health illness. With regards to acculturation:
    • Spanish speaking Latinos were much less willing than English speaking Latinos to socialize with someone experiencing symptoms of PTSD
    • Twice as many English-speaking Latinos than Spanish-speaking Latinos were unwilling to work closely with someone with symptoms of schizophrenia
  • White Americans were the least stigmatizing overall and express less hesitancy about moving next door to someone with PTSD and depression than other groups

To learn more about what San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE) is doing to reduce stigma among our diverse communities, visit our website at www.smchealth.org/ode. Find out how you can get involved and help reduce stigma with our Health Equity Initiatives

And finally, take the pledge to end stigma online and learn more about San Mateo County’s Be The One (anti-stigma) campaign.

 

Written by Nixi Cruz-Sanchez, Former Intern, Office of Diversity and Equity

Help us Plan Future Substance Use Prevention Efforts

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Attention all community partners, advocates and champions:  Does alcohol, marijuana and/or other drug use impact your community or the communities you serve?  Help us plan for future substance use prevention efforts.

San Mateo County Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention is conducting a Strategic Planning meeting where we will be take a closer look at the factors that contribute to alcohol, marijuana, and other substance use. Ultimately, we will be identify key priorities and strategies to prevent substance use in our communities.

Agenda:

  • Introductions, Guest Speaker
  • Data Presentation- Epidemiology (What are the current trends?)
  • Causal Mapping (What factors contribute to substance use?)
  • Determine Key Priorities & Strategies (What should we do and how should we prevent substance use?)
  • Closing, Next Steps

Meeting Date/Location

Monday, September 26, 9am – 1pm
400 Harbor Blvd, Bldg. B, Belmont, Bali and Belize conference room

Please email Kathy Reyes ekreyes@smcgov.org  to RSVP for the meeting.

View the meeting flyer for more information.

Note that a second session for parents, youth and anyone else unable to attend on September 26th has been scheduled for October 19th from 5:30 – 8 pm at 225 37th Ave, Room 100, San Mateo. A separate flyer for this event will available.  Please feel free to contact Kathy Reyes ekreyes@smcgov.org  with any questions or for more information.

Invite Young People to Play A Role in Suicide Prevention

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Helping young people learn the warning signs and how to intervene is a crucial life skill that will prepare them to support their friends and family members. Fortunately, there are many exciting programs that offer unique and interesting ways to engage young people in suicide prevention.

The Directing Change Program & Film Contest encourages young people ages 14-25 to create 60-second films about suicide prevention and mental health. Host a local screening, encourage young people to submit a film to the contest, or host a local screening, or ask your local movie theater to show a film. To view and download films and find several suicide prevention resources for schools and young people, visit www.DirectingChange.org.

Active Minds Suicide Prevention Month 2016 is encouraging supporters to highlight the reasons they speak up about mental health and suicide prevention by using the hashtag #ReasonsISpeak and cumulating in Active Minds National Day Without Stigma on October 3, 2016.   A cornerstone of Active Minds Suicide Prevention Month is their blog series, which features the stories of suicide attempt survivors and survivors of suicide.  For blogs, social media events and Twitter chats visit www.ActiveMinds.org/SuicidePrevention.

Daily Challenge: Be inspired!

  • Take 60 seconds to watch one Directing Change film today and share it via social media with #directingchange and #eachmindmatters. Watch one of four films created by San Mateo County youth at http://www.directingchange.org/films-by-county/ (select “San Mateo County” link).

 

StarVista’s Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Center Saves Lives

There is one suicidal death every 12.3 minutes. It takes the lives of over 30,000 people in a given year. It is the 10th leading cause of death for all ages and the 2nd leading cause for 15-24 year-olds. These are the facts about suicide that provides a small glimpse into a rising public health crisis in the United States. If you look beyond the statistics there are real people, just like you and or someone you may know, who is struggling with grief, depression, anxiety, trauma, and everyday life challenges. They are trying to escape feelings of rejection, hurt or loss. They are angry, ashamed and guilty. They are feeling worried, unwanted, unloved. They feel alone.

Suicide is preventable. You can be the one to help. Most people who experience suicidal thoughts are in a temporary serious crisis, which can be prevented with your help.

StarVista Crisis Hotline

In San Mateo County, the StarVista Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Center is certified by the American Association of Suicidology and available to San Mateo County residents. The Crisis Center provides an array of crisis services that include assessment, education, support, and outreach. With the support of the voter approved California Mental Health Services Act funds (MHSA -Prop. 63), in 2015 the Crisis Center provided youth intervention services by conducing 76 school presentations about crisis services that reached 2,214 students. This resulted in making contact with 138 of those students who were in crisis.

Within the center is the Crisis Hotline. The Crisis Hotline is a call center where residents who are in distress can call to speak to a trained counselor 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Volunteers must go through a rigorous 32-hour training class where they learn the fundamentals of assessment, de-escalation, and support. In 2015 alone, 13,593 calls were placed to the Crisis Hotline, and 99 high-risk callers were provided with follow up services by an MHSA-funded therapist.

The level of coordination that goes into making the Crisis Center the backbone of San Mateo County’s response to suicide prevention for our residents is truly impressive. It is hard to believe that the hotline is a single desk tucked into the office corner. Each shift, a single volunteer staffs the call center often juggling multiple calls with incredible poise and grace.

“It’s a privilege to work every day with volunteers and staff that are so passionate and caring” said Narges Dillon program director for the Crisis Hotline. “When you call the crisis line, you will be heard by someone who cares and that is often what people need to get them through a rough day or a suicidal crisis.”

There are thousands of callers each year, and many stories have remained with the volunteers.

A caller contacted the crisis line and reported that she has experienced suicidal thoughts off and on since she was 12 years-old. She began crying. She had never spoken to anyone about these thoughts before. Whenever she was alone around trains or BART, she had suicidal thoughts and urges to jump in front of the train. The counselor helped de-escalate the caller and then helped her identify that her kids and her work is what makes her feel good, what helps her keep moving forward. The caller and the counselor created a safety plan which included contacting the crisis line. In under an hour the caller was comforted knowing a supportive and caring counselor was available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by simply picking up the phone and making a call.

If you or someone you know needs support by a trained volunteer, contact the Crisis Hotline at (650) 579-0350 or the Spanish Crisis Hotline at (800) 303-7432. It’s up to us.

For any other questions including volunteer opportunities, contact Narges Dillon at narges.dillon@star-vista.org.

In 2004, Proposition 63, now known as the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), was approved by California voters. This Act imposes a 1% tax on personal income in excess of $1 million. Much of the funding will serve as an avenue to reform California‘s mental health treatment system by allowing County health departments to provide comprehensive behavioral health services. San Mateo County, Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (BHRS) made a conscious decision to promote a vision of collaboration and integration by embedding MHSA programs and services within existing programmatic and administrative structures.

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