Category Archives: Recovery Support

The Impact of Criminal Justice on Personal Recovery

People in Recovery come from all walks of life. This year San Mateo County’s Recovery Month will spotlight those in recovery who have come into contact with or run afoul of the criminal justice system. To highlight this topic a special panel of guest speakers and moderators have been assembled for this discussion. All are welcome.

Thursday, September 24, 2020 | 6:00 PM
Moderator: Lee Harris

See the full list of Recovery Month events and and details at All events are virtual. Please register in advance.

If you or some you know is in need of mental health and/or substance use treatment or support, call Behavioral Health & Recovery Services at 1-(800) 686-0101 or visit

Voices of Recovery Screening: “The S word”

September is both Recovery month and Suicide Prevention Month. Join Voices of Recovery for a free screening of “The S Word” which will address this important issue and give hope to survivors as well as those impacted by suicide. There will be time for questions and answers at the screening.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020 | 6–8 PM
Please register here.

See the full list of Recovery Month events at All events are virtual. Please register in advance.

If you or some you know is in need of mental health or substance use support or treatment, call Behavioral Health & Recovery Services at 1-(800) 686 0101 or visit

Black Lives Matter and Black Recovery Matters

In the fight for equality and end to racism, we must listen to those who have lived experience. In recovery we rely on the support of our peers, and this means that their struggles are our struggles. With this in mind we host this event with special speakers to share on the topic of black recovery. 

Telling our stories of anti-black racism and recovery is an important means of educating the community. We welcome everyone to join us for this significant discussion.

Thursday, September 17, 2020 | 6–8 PM
Moderator: Pam Ward

See the full list of Recovery Month events and and details at All events are virtual. Please register in advance.

If you or some you may need mental health or substance use care or support, call Behavioral Health & Recovery Services at 1-(800) 686-0101 or visit

San Mateo County Celebrates National Recovery Month

September is National Recovery Month. This observance celebrates the millions of Americans who are in recovery from mental and substance use disorders, reminding us that treatment is effective and that people can and do recover. It also serves to help reduce the stigma and misconceptions that cloud public understanding of mental and substance use disorders, potentially discouraging others from seeking help. 

Recovery Month in San Mateo County kicks off with a candlelight vigil on August 28 followed by a number of events throughout the month of September including an art show, comedy show, black lives matter event and more. See the full list of events and details at All events are virtual. Please register in advance.

If you or some you know may need mental health or substance use care or support, call Behavioral Health & Recovery Services at 1-(800) 686-0101 or visit

Women’s Treatment Facility Transitions to Serve Only Men

As of June 3rd, Laurel House, a program of HealthRIGHT 360, began serving adult men in need of residential substance use treatment services in San Mateo County.  

Laurel House was the first home opened by the Women’s Recovery Association in 1973 and originally its mission was to treat only women.

Laurel House

The transition to now serve men is a remarkable accomplishment and a testament to HealthRIGHT’s commitment to the entire community and its partners.

The transition occurred mainly to address the recovery needs of men, ease the backlog of clients waiting to access residential care, and fill the growing number of women’s beds that have consistently remained empty system wide since the implementation of Drug Medi-Cal in 2017.  

Read the full article here

Recovery Happens: Real Stories – Real People

The sharing of a personal story can be self-reflective, educational, de-stigmatizing and incredibly empowering. During Recovery Month, we share stories of hope, resilience and recovery from those who have experienced substance use and/or mental health conditions. These individuals share their stories with the hope that others will be inspired to seek help and join them on the path to recovery. 

This overall sense of low self-worth was the perfect combination to lead me toward becoming an addict. Through addiction, I lost myself for years. Using drugs helped me numb my feelings and emotions for most of my adult life... (Melissa)

This life I built over the course of four decades collapsed all at once. Like one big tower, my life came crashing down. The trigger: the demise of a relationship I was in. I found myself looking at a life without love, without the family I helped create, without a job, no place to live, and so forth. I felt I had outlived my usefulness and was too old to rebuild. So, I decided to go for the permanent fix and tried really, really hard to kill myself... (William)

Click here to read the inspiring personal stories of local residents who have experienced mental health and substance use issues.

Detox Center’s Certification Expands Services

The Palm Avenue Detox Center has become San Mateo County’s and California’s first standalone residential withdrawal facility. The new services provide a safe and supportive home-like environment for consumers who are acutely intoxicated or experiencing withdrawal symptoms    

As of July 1, Medi-Cal beneficiaries began receiving new residential withdrawal management services at Palm as a result of the center’s recent certification under the county’s expanded Drug Medi-Cal Organized Delivery System (ODS), Continuum of Care. 

The continuum of treatment services available under the ODS expanded significantly from the “original” Drug Medi-Cal program services to now include outpatient services, short-term residential services, withdrawal management, narcotic treatment program services, recovery services, case management, physician consultation, and additional medication assisted treatments. 

Read the full article in the BHRS Newsletter, Wellness Matters, here.

Releasing Judgement: Join the Voices of Recovery

There continues to be a great deal of stigma in American society associated with mental health illness, substance use and addiction.

However, with the number of opioid overdoses quadrupling nationwide since 1999 and drug-related deaths accounting for 2% of all deaths in San Mateo County in 2017, no one can afford to turn a blind eye.

As difficult as it may be to understand, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addiction is not a social ill but actually a complex disease that can be treated. In coming together during this annual Recovery Month of September to support individuals with substance use issues, we must acknowledge that these individuals benefit from receiving medical help and community support.

Stigma can prevent those who can help from wanting to help and those who need help from having the courage to seek it.

Learning about mental health and sharing personal stories are great ways to overcome stigma and so is supporting loved ones and friends on their journey of recovery.

You can also attend a Recovery month event.  Find a complete list of events happening throughout the month in San Mateo here. Learn more about Recovery Month.

Lee Harrison – National Certified Peer Specialist

congratulations.jpgBHRS’ Lee Harrison, Consumer and Family Liaison in the Office of Consumer and Family Affairs, recently became Mental Health America’s 39th National Certified Peer Specialist. Lee adds this national advanced certification to previously held International and Louisiana State Peer Specialist Certifications. Read more

Nonprofits Caminar and Project Ninety Announce Merger

Partnership Will Expand Capacity for Integrated Behavioral Health Care on the Peninsula

San Mateo, CA – Two nonprofit behavioral health organizations with decades of service to individuals and families on the Peninsula have joined forces. As of June 1, 2018, Caminar and Project Ninety, both headquartered in San Mateo, have merged. Project Ninety now is a division of Caminar. By bringing together mental health and substance use treatment programs, Caminar and Project Ninety will strengthen support in San Mateo County for individuals in recovery, especially adults with co-occurring disorders. Read more

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