Category Archives: Support Services

Foster Youth Pop-up Art Museum Inspires Hope

foster youth pop up pic“It’s going to get better” — those are the words of a young man who grew up in the foster care system to anyone who finds themselves in the same painful place.

“Growing up in the system, you’re first afraid, scared and nervous. It’s not your fault. You’re just a victim in all of this. I want you to know it’s going to get better.

“You’re somebody worth caring for. You’re somebody worth believing in.”

His message was shared during the County of San Mateo’s first Foster Youth Pop-up Art Museum, a one-day event held recently in downtown Redwood City.

Youth currently in foster care were joined by former foster youth who shared their artwork and messages of hope and inspiration with the public and each other.

Continue reading about the Foster Youth Pop-up Art Museum here.

Suicide Prevention: Continuing the Conversation

Know the Signs - Facebook ImageMany fans and followers of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain are still in shock this week, mourning their unexpected deaths. Suicide among such well-known, talented, and apparently successful individuals reminds us that public personas often conceal personal struggles. Although most people who die by suicide are not famous, they too may be masking their despair, feelings of inadequacy, or hopelessness. Additionally, their relationship problems, financial concerns, or health issues may contribute to feeling overwhelmed.

For anyone struggling- – trained, compassionate people are ready to listen to you:

Call anytime: 1-800-273-8255 or text to 741741. [En Espanol: 888-628-9454]

At the same time, these well-publicized deaths are motivating many individuals to begin to reveal their own struggles to their friends—on social media and in personal conversations. These are essential steps to help overcome the isolation that often accompanies suicidal feelings and such revelations can be responded to with compassion and understanding.

BHRS encourages you to reach out to any of your friends, family and co-workers who may be having difficulty coping. Visit www.suicideispreventable.org to know the signs, find the words to start a conversation with someone you are concerned about, and to find resources you can reach out to for help and support. Check the Each Mind Matters “Say This Not That” tip sheet for more advice. Pain isn’t always obvious:  know the signs, find the words and reach out.

For more information and additional resources, visit www.smchealth.org/suicide-prevention.

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

May 11 – 11th Annual East Palo Alto Family Awareness Night

Sponsored by the East Palo Alto Behavioral Health Advisory Group and convened by One East Palo Alto, the 11th Annual East Palo Alto Family Awareness Night will be on Thursday, May 17 from 5:30 – 8 p.m. at 1195 Hamilton Court, Menlo Park, CA 94025.

The evening will include a dinner, a discussion on mental health. Community members will have a safe place to engage in and share lived experiences about the different phases of substance use and prevention in order to promote physical, mental, spiritual and cultural wellness.

EPA Family Awareness Night Read more

Alan Cochran Honored with 2018 Consumer Hall of Fame Award

Alan Cochran, 2018 Consumer Hall of Fame awardeeEvery year, the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Recovery Commission (MHSARC) recognizes individuals who have found their way to a path of wellness and recovery from mental illness and are active in the consumer movement to better the lives of other consumers in the county.

On March 7, the MHSARC honored Alan Cochran with the Mental Health Consumer Hall of Fame Award.

Alan took the opportunity to promote the HOPE program, a collaboration between NAMI SMC, Heart & Soul Inc., California Clubhouse and BHRS, where he has been hired as a peer mentor.

“This will be my first paid job since 2011, and it’s all because of the help I got from BHRS, San Mateo County and NAMI,” said Alan. For more on HOPE and Alan’s remarkable work in the behavioral health community, check out this Wellness Matters article.

Lived Experience Academy is back

The Lived Experience Academy is training consumers and family members to share their recovery stories in order to empower themselves and others, educate the health system and dispel stigma. Dinner will be provided at every session and those who complete the academy will be awarded a cash stipend. To participate, candidates must complete and return applications to Lee Harrison by Thursday, February 22. Please share the information below with family and friends who may be interested.

Lived Experience Academy Final

StarVista Launches New Youth Website With Peer to Peer Chat Services

Written by Nicole Marshall, Youth Outreach Coordinator

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           As of January 2018, StarVista, a San Mateo County community based mental health provider, is excited to announce the launching of its fully renovated youth website, OnYourMind.net. This represents a huge success as it represents an expansion of services, and is also a win for the teen volunteers who run the site and have advocated for the changes. The site focuses on mental health and suicide prevention education, offering teen blogs and instant peer to peer chat. Teens are encouraged to seek direct support on a wide range of topics including relationships, stress, bullying, depression, identity, and health. New to the site are several redesigned interactive features: blogs allow visitors of the site to ask questions and leave comments, and new chat software allows seamless connection to fully trained teen counselors Monday through Thursday from 4:30PM to 9:30PM. The best part? OnYourMind.net and its chat services are now completely mobile accessible. Read more

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