Category Archives: Training

ABC’s of Local Advocacy in San Mateo County

On November 15th, the California Association of Mental Health Peer Run Organizations (CAMHPRO) delivered a workshop on the basics of local advocacy to over 40 behavioral health peer partners, family members and advocates from Heart & Soul, Inc., the California Clubhouse, Voice of Recovery, National Alliance on Mental Illness San Mateo and BHRS.

The workshop covered everything from what it takes to participate in community program planning, mental health boards, system of care meetings and other local input opportunities, to knowing the laws including the Mental Health Services Act regulations, to mock input opportunities.

Participants got to practice writing and giving effective public comment input. Many nervously made their way up to the room podium and shared their 2 minute public comment, often including their own personal lived experience as a means to add a personal touch to their input.

The most inspiring part of the workshop was getting to wrap up the day with a real action plan.  Groups were formed representing each of the agencies that were present to select a topic and issue they would like to work on as a team.  The groups developed on action plan that included next steps, who was responsible, deadlines and a follow up meeting. You could feel the excitement in the room as each group presented their advocacy issue and next steps.

The workshop was provided in collaboration with the Peer Recovery Collaborative and the BHRS Office of Consumer and Family Affairs and the Office of Diversity and Equity.

Parents from the Migrant Education Program trained in YMHFA

After three evening sessions, parents from the Migrant Education Program in South San Francisco were trained in Spanish Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA).  The Migrant Education Program, provided by South San Francisco Unified School District, is a program that funds and supports educational programs for migratory children and their families. The program’s School Liaison/Recruiter, Veronica Benavides, helped coordinate YMHFA for parents in collaboration with Behavioral Health and Recovery Services Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE).


Youth Mental Health First Aid is offered in English and Spanish.

For more information about YMHFA, visit or contact Natalie Andrade at or 650-372-8548.

What do I need to know about older adult suicide prevention?


When most people think about suicide, young people come to mind. What many people do not know is that suicide rates are higher among older adults than any other age group, particularly among men. Physical and social challenges related to aging can increase the risk of depression, anxiety and isolation, but help is available for coping with these challenges.

Warning signs of suicide for older adults

How the warning signs are expressed or what you might hear or observe can be different from a younger person.

  • Depression
  • Hopelessness
  • Withdrawal
  • Preoccupied with death
  • Looking for means to self-harm
  • Changes in sleep
  • Saying goodbye
  • Increased substance use
  • Neglecting doctor’s orders
  • Failure to take care of self

If you observe these warning signs, especially if they are new or unusual for the person, or if something doesn’t seem right to you, take action. The most important thing to do is ask the person directly if they are considering killing themselves.  Then listen and let them know you care and truly want to help.

Suggest a few services and supports. Offer to sit with them while they call, or accompany them to an office visit.

Daily Challenge: Learn about older adult suicide prevention and supports for older adults in San Mateo County by attending a Suicide Prevention Among Older Adult Provider Training on September 13, 12:15-1:30pm at the San Mateo County Health System, 225 37th Avenue, Room 100, San Mateo.

This event is for providers, community partners, & community members serving adults 60 & over. Please RSVP to: Dina Gibbs, CME Coordinator,, by September 9 (space is limited).

Sept. 13: Suicide Prevention Among Older Adults Training


The San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services is hosting a training free and open to the public on suicide prevention among older adults (generally 60+). The target audience is for anyone serving and supporting older adults in San Mateo County, including clinicians, mental health staff, community center staff and other individuals supporting older adults.

The training will include great speakers such as Dr. Patrick Arbore, Carmen Lee and Dr. Barbara Yates-Weissman. The training will take place on Tuesday, September 13 12:15-1:30pm in Room 100, 225 37th Avenue, San Mateo, CA, 94403. For more information, please see the flyer.

Get Certified in Youth Mental Health First Aid – Fall Dates!

YMHFA SMCOE 11-7 & 12-5

Youth Mental Health First Aid is being offered on Monday, November 7th and Monday, December 5th at the San Mateo County Office of Education.

Learn how to recognize the unique warning signs and risk factors of a mental health challenge and how to offer support and help until appropriate professional help is received!

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.

Sign up today!  To register, click on the following links:

Monday, November 7th:

Monday, December 5th:

For more information about YMHFA contact Natalie Andrade at or 650-372-8548


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