Category Archives: Stigma

Photovoice (Mental Health Awareness Month Kick-Off)

Check out the Pop-Up Photovoices that our community made at the Mental Health Awareness Month Kick-Off event at the College of San Mateo. People wrote about their journey in behavioral health, a turning point in their life, a scar (physical or emotional), or a letter to the system.

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

Assistant Principal from Abbott Middle School Praises Youth Mental Health First Aid

Assistant Principal, Elizabeth Gray, from Abbott Middle School experiences a crucial moment with a student, a moment that most school staff are not yet prepared to face unless they’ve taken a Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) training. When a middle school student expressed thoughts of suicide in her notebook, Elizabeth sprang into action and used the skills learned in YMHFA to ask the difficult yet important question, “Are you thinking about killing yourself?” After asking the question twice, Elizabeth was able to get this young person immediate help. Since taking the training, Elizabeth has expressed the importance of YMHFA, saying that teachers are really the first responder’s to a student and can notice slight changes like mood and behaviors in a student.

See what Elizabeth about how the training has helped her:

1 in 5 young people experience a mental health challenge in their lifetime. Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) is an 8-hour public education training program designed for any adult or student peer working with or assisting young people, ages 12-24. In 2013, San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, Office of Diversity and Equity, partnered with the County Office of Education to begin offering this training to all schools throughout the county. Classroom teachers, school site administrators, school office personnel, coaches, bus drivers, after school providers, parents, teacher’s aides, school health aides, yard duty staff, crossing guards, peers and other school personnel are strongly encouraged to become Youth Mental Health First Aiders.

For more information about YMHFA, visithttp://smchealth.org/bhrs/ode/CommunityEd/ or contact Natalie Andrade at nandrade@smcgov.org or 650-372-8548

 

Honesty helps break down mental health barriers

Each Mind Matters – Stigma Video from Each Mind Matters on Vimeo.

When we speak honestly and openly about mental health, stigma loses it’s power. Honesty breaks down barriers and removes obstacles so people may seek help sooner. Each Mind Matters is California’s Mental Health Movement dedicated to creating open and honest conversations about mental health that break down the barriers of stigma. See San Mateo County’s Be The One stigma reduction campaign.

May Mental Health Awareness Month Kick Off

May Mental Health Awareness Month (MHAM) Kick Off Event was a huge success with over 100 people in attendance. The Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE), along with other organizations serving San Mateo County,  led the planning of this event and many have organized a variety of events throughout the month of May.  The “Be the One” slogan is this year’s MHAM theme and the primary goal is to raise awareness and reduce stigma against individuals with mental health or substance use conditions and learn how to be the one to help.

MHAM_KickOff_Image#1

This year’s Kick Off event consisted of resource tables, a “Be the One” photo booth, art display, community artwork and a digital storytelling panel.  Individuals with lived experience with mental health and/or substance abuse conditions shared their stories through a short video they created that included any combination of video, sound, music, animation, photographs, and other images of their choosing.  Digital stories are an effective means of shedding light on important social issues including stigma and empowering individuals, as they share their personal journey.

Following is a list with links to view the digital stories that were screened in MHAM_KickOff_Image#2this year’s kick off event:

MHAM_KickOff_Image#3

Overall, the the kick off event was a humbling and inspiring experience as participants had the opportunity to listen to speakers who shared their personal stories with behavioral health conditions and also offer their voice through community artwork and their pledges to reduce stigma at the  Be the One photobooth.

ODE thanks all the organizations and planning committee members for the work they put into organizing a very successful Kick Off event, and the events throughout the month of May, as well as all the community members and providers who came out in support!

Written by: Martha Gonzalez

 

South San Francisco High School Peer Leaders Trained in Youth Mental Health First Aid

MHFA

In collaboration with South San Francisco High School Counselor, Ms. Jeanne George, twenty-two (22) current and future peer leaders are now trained in Youth Mental Health First Aid. The Peer Leader Program is a year-long class, where students are hand selected to work as tutors by providing academic support and serve as mentors and role models to other students at the high school.

1 in 5 youth will experience a mental health challenge in their lifetime. Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) is an 8-hour public education training program designed for any adult or student peer working with or assisting young people, ages 12-24. In 2013, San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE), partnered with the County Office of Education to begin offering this training to all schools throughout the county. Classroom teachers, school site administrators, school office personnel, coaches, bus drivers, afterschool providers, parents, teacher’s aides, school health aides, yard duty staff, crossing guards, peers and other school personnel are strongly encouraged to become Youth Mental Health First Aiders.

For more information about YMHFA, visit http://smchealth.org/bhrs/ode/CommunityEd#YMHFA or contact Natalie Andrade at nandrade@smcgov.org or 650-372-8548.

 

Be a Youth Mental Health First Aider!

YMHFA SMCOE 6-1 & 8-25

Youth Mental Health First Aid is being offered on June 1st and August 25th at the San Mateo County Office of Education. Sign up today! Class limit is 30 people.

In 2013, San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, Office of Diversity and Equity, partnered with the County Office of Education to begin offering this training to all schools throughout the county. Classroom teachers, school site administrators, school office personnel, coaches, bus drivers, afterschool providers, parents, teacher’s aides, school health aides, yard duty staff, crossing guards, peers and other school personnel are strongly encouraged to become Youth Mental Health First Aiders.

For more information about YMHFA, visit http://smchealth.org/bhrs/ode/CommunityEd#YMHFA

or contact Natalie Andrade at nandrade@smcgov.org or 650-372-8548

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