Category Archives: Support Services

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

February 21 – Trans Talks: Gender Affirming Surgeries

The latest installment of the Trans Talks series, hosted by the San Mateo County Pride Center, will focus on gender affirming surgeries. Check our the post below and share with friends who might be interested.

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, 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? and its chat services are now completely mobile accessible. Read more

Last Day of Open Enrollment for 2018 Health Coverage!

Today is the last day to renew, change or enroll in health insurance coverage through Covered California. Local in-person enrollment assistance is available by calling (650) 616-2002 or 1 (800) 223-8383. People can also enroll directly through Covered California’s website:

February 1 – NAMI Supported Housing Advocacy Forum

The National Alliance on Mental Illness San Mateo County (NAMI SMC), will be hosting their quarterly advocacy forum on February 1 at 5:30 p.m. This quarter’s meeting topic is “getting creative about supported housing business models and funding.” If you or a loved one deal with serious mental health challenges, then stop by for food, conversation, ideas and possible solutions.

When: Thursday, February 1, 2018, Dinner at 5:30 p.m., Panel Speaks 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Where: Silicon Valley Community Foundation, 1300 El Camino Real, San Mateo

Cindy Robbins-Roth, Edgewood:, 415-725-0755
Leanna Harper, Caminar:, 650-393-8976
Helene Zimmerman, NAMI SMC:, 650-638-0800


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