Category Archives: Uncategorized

Maligayang bagong Taon (Happy New Years in Tagalog) from the Filipino Mental Health Initiative!

Written by: Nancy Chen, member of FMHI

For many of us, preparing for a New Year is a time of reflection on the past year’s events, accomplishments and challenges.  It is also a time of introspection about the hopes for the upcoming year.  The Filipino Mental Health Initiative (FMHI) would like to express much gratitude and appreciation for the opportunity to reach the Filipino community as well as surrounding communities.

FMHI is one of 9 mental health initiatives funded from the Mental Health Services Act in 2010 through  Behavioral Health and Recovery Services Office of Diversity and Equity. FMHI seeks to improve the well-being of Filipinos in San Mateo County by reducing stigma associated with mental health issues, increasing access to services, empowering the community to advocate for their mental health, and supporting wellness and recovery.  FMHI collaborates with county staff, community partners, consumers/family members, and community stakeholders to ensure that culturally appropriate services are available to Filipino residents.

The Filipino Mental Health Initiative (FMHI) has received support from various collaborations in 2017, wrapping the year up with three successful community events: 1) Philz Coffee Suicide Prevention Outreach event, 2) Philz Coffee Mental Health Poetry Slam, and 3)Immigrant Rights and Health Forum.  These events were made possible due to the support and collaboration with Supervisor David Canepa’s office, Philz Coffee, and St. Andrew Catholic Church’s Social Justice Ministry. 

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Become a Cultural Humility Trainer Through 2-day Training!

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Become a Cultural Humility trainer with creators of the multicultural-affirming tool, Melanie Tervalon, MD, MPH and Jann Murray- Garcia, MD, MPH. As a trainer, you will be able to teach Cultural Humility trainings to other organizations in order to further educate the importance of critical self- reflection and life-long learning; changing power dynamics for client focused care; advocating for and maintaining institutional consistency; and community- based care and advocacy. 

Please note: You may only apply if you have already taken Melanie Tervalon’s Cultural Humility training as a participant. 

Deadline to apply is January 31st. Application can be found here

For more information, contact Erica Britton at ebritton@smcgov.org or (650) 372- 6153. 

AACI Hosts Black History Month Kick Off Event: Empowerment Begins with You

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On Saturday, January 27th, African American Community Initiative (AACI) will be kicking off Black History month with a fun, informative, and free event celebrating the wellness, resilience, and recovery of the African American Community. 

Stop by the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center to share stories, promote wellness and take one step towards improving the well being of our communities. With a focus on understanding substance use and suicide risk in the African American community, the event will feature a resource fair, informative presentations, a Photovoice panel where young people will share their stories, cultural entertainment, children’s activities and a free soulful lunch.

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Midnight Tonight: Deadline to Enroll for Covered California Insurance Starting January 1

covered californiaThe deadline to enroll in Covered California and have coverage starting January 1 is midnight tonight, December 22.  

Important Covered California deadlines:

  • For coverage beginning January 1, 2018 – Enroll by December 22, 2017
  • For coverage beginning March 1, 2018 – Enroll by January 31, 2018, last day of open enrollment 

How to enroll in Covered California

K-Pop Artist’s Death by Suicide Sparks Conversation About Mental Health

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A portrait of Kim Jong-Hyun on a mourning altar at a hospital in Seoul on December 19, 2017.

Millions of fans mourn the tragic loss of K-Pop star, Kim Jong-Hyun, better known as Jonghyun, who died by suicide on Monday at the age of 27. Jonghyun was best known as the lead singer of K-Pop band, SHINee which rose to fame after the release of its debut EP, Replay, in 2008. As well as being a singer and accomplished dancer, Jonghyun played a large part in the group’s song writing and production.  He had also made headlines for speaking out on issues of the government’s education policy and in support of LGBTQ+ rights.

Jonghyun was considered one of the most talented and well- rounded artists in the K-Pop music industry. According to SM Entertainment, the singer’s management company, “Jonghyun is the best artist who loved music more than anyone else, enjoyed the stage, and loved to communicate with fans through his music. We will always remember you.”

Suicide continues to be a prevalent public health issue primarily due to the constant stigmatization of mental health. A petition on change.org was created in honor of Jonghyun asking for more mental health support for artists in the entertainment industry. The petition explicitly asks for all entertainment industries to make a plan or program to monitor mental health in their employees as well as ensuring that the program would not be used against them and harm their careers. This petition, once reaching its goal of 300,000 signatures is expected to be delivered to Entertainment Industries and the South Korean Government.

Hopefully this petition will increase conversations about mental health and suicide prevention as well as recognition of its importance in saving a life.

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Facebook’s AI Can Detect and Intervene in Suicide

Facebook’s new “proactive detection” artificial intelligence (AI) technology will scan all posts for patterns of suicidal thoughts. When necessary, they will send mental health resources to the user at risk or their friends, or contact local first-responders. By using AI to intervene in concerning posts instead of waiting for users to report concerning posts, Facebook will decrease how long it takes to send help.

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FMHI’s Immigrants: At the Crossroads was a Great Success!

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Last Saturday on 12/9, the Social Justice Ministry of St. Andrew Catholic Church partnered with the Office of Diversity and Equity’s Filipino Mental Health Initiative (FMHI) to host an immigration forum called Immigrants: At the Crossroads. The aim of this event was to empower members of the Filipino community to improve their mental health, increase knowledge about immigrant rights, and let the community know that health is available.

Attorney Lisa M. Newstrom, a managing attorney from Bay Area Legal Aid presented on the rights of noncitizens in healthcare programs. In her work, Newstrom commonly hears questions related to what health care an immigrant or low-income person can receive. Bay Area Legal Aid is able to provide help for low-income people for free, relating to topics of domestic violence, housing preservation, economic security, health access, and consumer protection. They focus on specific client populations, including youth and veterans.

Attorney Lourdes Tancino of Tancino Law Offices also covered updates on immigration laws. Tancino Law Office is a full service law firm assisting clients in business and immigration matters. They specialize in family-based immigration, employment based immigration, temporary work visas, removal/ deportation defense and naturalization.

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