Category Archives: Training

StarVista Seeks Health Ambassadors for HAP-Y Program

StarVista’s Health Ambassador Program for Youth (HAP-Y) is seeking youth ages 16-24 to become Health Ambassadors. The training covers common challenges in mental wellness, signs and risks of suicide, suicide prevention and how to access mental health services. Trained Ambassadors will help raise awareness and increase access to behavioral health services.

Participants can receive community service hours or internship hours in collaboration with their academic institutions. Additionally, a completion bonus of $700 is distributed to those who participate in the program.

The next training starts in January 2019. For more information, contact Brenda Nunez, Program Coordinator, at hapy@star-vista.org.

Downlaod the HAP-Y flyer.

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

From Parent Project Graduates to Youth Mental Health First Aiders

Parent Project graduates taking Youth Mental Health First Aid

Parent Project graduates taking Youth Mental Health First Aid at Mills High School in April 2018

When parents and caregivers sign up to take the 12 week Parent Project course, they might not know what is in store for them. A sense of community is built in those short weeks and the knowledge gained sparks a deeper interest to continue learning to help others and their children.

By offering a Youth Mental Health First Aid training after Parent Project, parents and caregivers learn why knowing the signs of a mental health challenge or crisis, including suicide, can help their children. For many, their children are first generation U.S. born children, who face the challenges of growing up in a culture different from their parents. For many parents and caregivers attending the training, trying to understand the world their children are growing up in and finding the support from their peers in the room is the most beneficial aspect of their time in the class.

The Parent Project® is a free, 12-week course that is offered in English and Spanish to anyone who cares for a child or adolescent. For more information, please contact Frances Lobos at flobos@smcgov.org.

The Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) course is an 8-hour public education training program designed for any adult working with or assisting young people, ages 12-24. For more information on Youth Mental Health First Aid, please contact Natalie Andrade at nandrade@smcgov.org

To learn more about other programs and classes similar to these, visit the Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE)’s website here

Written by Natalie Andrade, YMHFA Program Coordinator

Are Implicit Bias Trainings Enough to Actually Stop Incidents Like Philadelphia Starbucks?

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On 4/12, two black men were sitting at a table at Starbucks without making a purchase and were arrested when declining a store manager’s demand to leave.

Since then, Starbucks’ CEO Kevin Johnson has announced changes to its policy including mandatory implicit bias tests, shutting down all US Starbucks stores on May 29th. This opens larger conversations about what is implicit bias, how it can be harmful, and whether Starbucks’ implicit bias test can actually make a difference.

Implicit bias refers to the automatic associations people have in their minds about a group of people, including stereotypes. They are formed subconsciously and unintentionally, but result in the prejudiced behaviors, attitudes, and actions for or against a person or group of people.

According to CNN, studies have shown that implicit bias contributes to “shooter bias”, the tendency for the police to shoot unarmed black suspects more often than white ones

Starbucks’ Implicit Bias training intends to combat the issue of implicit bias. However according to Cornell professor, Michelle Duguid’s research, sometimes implicit bias trainings have a negative effect on its audience; by explaining to people that stereotyping is common, people are sometimes actually more likely to express those biases.

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Empowering Communities Far From Home

Written by Natalie Andrade, Mental Health First Aid

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Philippine Consulate’s Mental Health First Aid Training on January 27th.

The Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE) was invited to the Philippine Consulate on Saturday, January 27 to provide a Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training to consulate staff. The Philippine Consulate provides services to Filipino Nationals in the San Francisco Bay Area. The day was filled with rich conversation about the struggles of feeling homesick and how this can affect one’s mental health, which is a taboo and stigmatized topic in the Filipino community. A participant stated that she was able to feel a connection to the information provided due to the cultural piece both instructors integrated in the course.

The word “homesick” is defined as the experience or longing for one’s home during a period of absence from it. When people leave their home countries, the sense of loss and homesickness is commonly felt. Homesickness is the word used by Philippine Consul General, Hon. Henry S. Bensurto, Jr. in his opening speech during the training to staff to describe the challenges they, as a community, often face when living away from home.

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Welcome New Parent Project Grads!

Written by Frances Lobos, Parent Project Coordinator 

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MidPen Housing South San Francisco Parent Project class

During our Fall 2017 semester a total of 74 parents and caregivers of San Mateo County signed up for our 12-week course, and 57 graduated the program.  This brings our graduates total to 742 since Parent Project began to be offered through Measure K funding. Participants had the opportunity to establish support networks and learn about additional community resources, while learning better communication and conflict management skills.

Many reflected how they benefited from the program through post evaluation surveys:

  • “It was an incredible experience, full of learning. The best decision I could’ve made, the best 3 hours of my week.”
  • “This class & instructors are amazing. I was nervous coming into this but they made it fun, warm, and welcoming.”  
  • “I’d like Parent Project Part 2!”

The Office of Diversity and Equity would like to thank all our facilitators, partners, and host sites for continuing to make this program a success!

For more information on our upcoming spring semester schedule, please contact Frances Lobos at flobos@smcgov.org or 650-372-3272.

For more information about the Parent Project visit their page on the Office of Diversity and Equity website here

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