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Suicide Prevention Week #ImHereForYou Tip #4: Self-Care and Resilience

On our last day of Suicide Prevention Week, we would like to remind us all that, as we take action to support others, it is also vital that we take the time to support and care for ourselves. 

The Importance of Building Resiliency. Practicing self-care is one part of building resilience and does not mean you are being selfish or choosing yourself over your loved one. It means that you are simply being mindful of your own needs, so you are better able to support others. You are better able to take care of the needs of others when you take care of yourself. 

Self-care can be as simple as taking a deep breath when you notice you are becoming stressed. By maintaining your physical and mental wellness, you will likely be better equipped to handle the stressors that come along with supporting someone you care about.

Self-Care Strategies to Build Resiliency and Manage Stress. 

When we are most stressed, we have a tendency to ignore taking care of ourselves, so it is important to set time to care for ourselves in big and little ways. 

  • Remain socially connected. When you are supporting someone else, it can be easy to lose sight of your other social connections. Stay in touch with your family and friends who can offer support. Recognize the importance of setting time with positive support networks. 
  • Make time for yourself. When caring for someone who may be suicidal, it can be hard to find time to take care of yourself. However, to be a productive caregiver, it is important to have some “me time.” Healthy activities that makes you feel better is worth a little bit of time out of your day.
  • Know when you need to ask for help. When caring for someone with suicidal thoughts, it is possible to become overwhelmed. Being overwhelmed does not make you a bad caregiver, family member, or friend, it makes you human. There are various resources for caregivers such as NAMI Family Support Groups. These groups offer support for people with loved ones who have experienced mental health conditions or issues. In addition, you can talk to trained counselors who provide free and confidential support by contacting one of the below 24/7 hotlines: 
    • StarVista Crisis Hotline (San Mateo County) – 650-579-0350
    • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-TALK (8255) 
    • Crisis Text Line – Text “Home” to 741741

To learn more about Behavioral Health and Recovery Services’ Office of Diversity and Equity September Suicide Prevention Month, resources and for a full list of events, visit www.smchealth.org/SuicidePrevention

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please reach out to these 24/7 crisis hotlines: StarVista Crisis Hotline (San Mateo County) – 650-579-0350, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and/or Crisis Text Line – Text “Home” to 741741.

If you or someone you know is in need of mental health or substance use services and you have MediCal, Health Plan San Mateo (HPSM), or are uninsured, please contact BHRS ACCESS at (806) 686- 0101 or TDD at (800) 943- 2833. If you have private insurance please reach out to your insurance company and request support. 

#BetheOneSMC #ImHereForYou

Suicide Prevention Week #ImHereForYou Tip #2: Listen Non-Judgmentally

Listening is an important tool to have in our personal toolboxes to prevent suicide, but listening can be hard! It can be nerve racking to have a conversation about suicide and many of us may feel like we don’t know the “right” thing to say. 

#BeThe1To recommends 5 action steps for communicating with someone who may be suicidal. ASK. KEEP THEM SAFE. BE THERE. HELP THEM CONNECT. FOLLOW UP. 

These are supported by by evidence in the field of suicide prevention. You can read more about each action step here. 

Listening non-judgmentally may not always come naturally to us. In this video, listen to Dylan, a crisis line counselor, talk about how he devleoped better listening skills while talking to hundreds of individuals who were thinking about suicide. As Dylan says “Listening isn’t really easy” but here is how he developed his own listening skill set.  

Suicide Prevention Week #ImHereForYou Tip #1: It’s Okay To Ask About Suicide

In honor of our theme of interpersonal connectedness (or #ImHereForYou), we are offering tips on how to help someone who might be considering suicide or facing struggles in life. 

Myth: Asking someone if they are thinking about suicide will increase suicides or suicidal thought. 

Fact: Acknowledging and talking about suicide may in fact reduce suicidal ideation. 

Studies show that asking at-risk individuals if they are suicidal does not increase suicides or suicidal thoughts. In fact, studies suggest the opposite; findings suggest acknowledging and talking about suicide may in fact reduce rather than increase suicidal ideation.

Asking a friend the question “Are you thinking about suicide?” communicates to them that you are open to speaking about suicide in a non-judgmental and supportive way. Asking in this direct, unbiased manner, can open the door for dialogue about their emotional pain and can allow everyone involved to see what next steps need to be taken. Other questions you can ask include, “How do you hurt?” and “How can I help?” Avoid promising to keep their thoughts of suicide a secret.

It is important to be direct and talk openly about suicide. “Are you thinking about hurting yourself” is not as direct as “Are you thinking about killing yourself”. 

In Honor of Suicide Prevention Month and World Suicide Prevention Day 2019

To learn more about Behavioral Health and Recovery Services’ Office of Diversity and Equity September Suicide Prevention Month, resources and for a full list of events, visit www.smchealth.org/SuicidePrevention

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please reach out to these 24/7 crisis hotlines: StarVista Crisis Hotline (San Mateo County) – 650-579-0350, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and/or Crisis Text Line – Text “Home” to 741741.

If you or someone you know is in need of mental health or substance use services and you have MediCal, Health Plan San Mateo (HPSM), or are uninsured, please contact BHRS ACCESS at (806) 686- 0101 or TDD at (800) 943- 2833. If you have private insurance please reach out to your insurance company and request support. 

#BetheOneSMC #ImHereForYou

Join us on Thursday evening, Sept 19, for a panel presentation of San Mateo County’s first-ever graphic novel on mental health.

The Office of Diversity and Equity Storytelling Series worked with our community to create its first graphic novel on mental health. The graphic novel includes the lived experiences of some of the people with

 whom we work. These clients and peers shared their stories of resilience in a method that can make sense to everyone: comics. This way, more people in our county may benefit from the hope and resilience that transcends the experiences of hardships that inspired these stories.

In the workshop where the graphic novel was created, each artist had the opportunity

 to create a spread (inner panels of two facing pages). Looking at the book, one story illustrates the growth of a storyteller by showing the growth progression of a water lily, which metaphorically grows towards the light from underneath the water. Other stories include recounts of events and the positive impact that these events had on the lives of the storytellers.

While each story differs, they all hold a common theme: recovery is possible, and all of us are resilient. Further, these stories represent all of us because each of us has experienced hardship, and all of us have opportunities to practice resilience and self care.

On the 19th, we will read the graphic novel, host a panel in which the storytellers will answer questions, and discuss the ways that we all relate to the stories shared.

Join us for a healing and positive evening.

To learn more about September Suicide Prevention Month, resources and for a full list of events, visit www.smchealth.org/SuicidePrevention

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please reach out to these 24/7 crisis hotlines: StarVista Crisis Hotline (San Mateo County) – 650-579-0350, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and/or Crisis Text Line – Text “Home” to 741741.

If you or someone you know is in need of mental health or substance use services and you have MediCal, Health Plan San Mateo (HPSM), or are uninsured, please contact BHRS ACCESS at (806) 686- 0101 or TDD at (800) 943- 2833. If you have private insurance please reach out to your insurance company and request support. 

#BetheOneSMC #ImHereForYou

Caltrain Proclaims September as Suicide Prevention and Rail Safety Month

As early as 2009, Caltrain has partnered with San Mateo County to prevent suicide in our local community. Caltrain’s suicide prevention work is featured in our 2017-2020 Suicide Prevention Roadmap

For September Suicide Prevention Month and Rail Safety Month, Caltrain and San Mateo County Health – Behavioral Health & Recovery Services is partnering in the following ways: 

  • Accepting September Suicide Prevention and Rail Safety Month Proclamation from Caltrain Board
  • Presenting on suicide prevention work to the Caltrain Citizens Adivisory Committee
  • Providing Question Persuade Refer (QPR) suicide prevention gatekeeper training to train staff for Caltrain staff

To learn more about Behavioral Health and Recovery Services’ Office of Diversity and Equity September Suicide Prevention Month, resources and for a full list of events, visit www.smchealth.org/SuicidePrevention

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please reach out to these 24/7 crisis hotlines: StarVista Crisis Hotline (San Mateo County) – 650-579-0350, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and/or Crisis Text Line – Text “Home” to 741741.

If you or someone you know is in need of mental health or substance use services and you have MediCal, Health Plan San Mateo (HPSM), or are uninsured, please contact BHRS ACCESS at (806) 686- 0101 or TDD at (800) 943- 2833. If you have private insurance please reach out to your insurance company and request support. 

#BetheOneSMC #ImHereForYou

Parent Project Fall 2019 All Class Flyer

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. The classes meet for three hours each week. Parents learn parenting skills and get information about resources and other support available in their communities. Parents/caregivers learn and practice skills such as:

  • appropriate ways to discipline
  • preventing or stopping alcohol, drug and tobacco use
  • improving communication skills
  • improving grades and school attendance

Each class also provides free dinner and childcare to make it as accessible as possible to all parents/guardians.

Please help share Parent Project’s Fall 2019 All Class Flyer with your networks!

Suicide Prevention Month Mini-Grants and Call for Events – Applications Due July 12

We are three months away from September Suicide Prevention Month (SPM) (and Recovery Month!) which includes National Suicide Prevention Week (September 8-14) and World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10). SPM aims to empower everyone in the community to prevent suicide.

This year, we are partnering with libraries and community agencies in San Mateo County to promote the theme of interpersonal connectedness (positive relationships between individuals). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirms that studies show that connectedness is overall an important protective factor for suicide and states, “[c]onnectedness between individuals can lead to increased frequency of social contact, lowered levels of social isolation or loneliness, and an increased number of positive relationships.”

Each year, the San Mateo County Behavioral Health & Recovery Services Office of Diversity & Equity and Suicide Prevention Committee publishes a Calendar of Events which promotes the SPM events broadly across local providers, partners and community in San Mateo County. For the first time, we will also be offering mini-grants for selected recipients.

  • If you would like your SPM event listed on the printed calendar AND would like to apply for the mini-grant for your event, please complete this online application by  Friday, July 12, 2019.
  • If you would like your SPM event listed on the printed calendar ONLY, please complete this online application by  Friday, July 12, 2019.

Any events submitted after this deadline will likely not be on the printed calendar but can be posted on our county suicide prevention website at smchealth.org/SuicidePrevention.

If you have any questions, please contact Suicide Prevention Committee Co-Chairs Islam Hassanein (islam.hassanein@star-vista.org)  and/or Sylvia Tang (stang@smcgov.org).

Mental Health Monday: Events Reminder #4

Mental Health Awareness Month 2019 is now in its 4th week!
Check out some upcoming events below, and enter in our raffle to win lime green swag! All you have to do is like this post, comment below, and share the post with your friends!

Mon, 5/20 1pm Introduction to Mental Health with NAMI
Woodside Library 
3140 Woodside Rd, Woodside
Details: NAMI San Mateo will present a mental health program discussing mental illness, as well as the services and programs that NAMI offers. Following this discussion, a person living well with their mental health diagnosis will be sharing their story.
Languages: English
Contact: Kayla Marie; Paula Teixeira | teixeira@smcl.org

Mon, 5/20 4pm Design and Bind Journals (Teens)*
Menlo Park Belle Haven Branch Library
413 Ivy Drive, Menlo Park
Details: Take some time out of your hectic schedule to enjoy some art therapy with Christie Inocencio from Christie’s Creative Cupboard. She will bring all the supplies for you to design and bind your own journal. For grades 5-12.
Languages: English
Contact: Gina Feil | gifeil@menlopark.org
For pre- registration click here.

Tue, 5/21 6pm Design and Bind Journals (Teens)*
Menlo Park Main Library
800 Alma Street, Menlo Park
Details: Take some time out of your hectic schedule to enjoy some art therapy with Christie Inocencio from Christie’s Creative Cupboard. She will bring all the supplies for you to design and bind your own journal. For grades 5-12.
Language: English 
Contact: Gina Feil | gifeil@menlopark.org
For pre- registration click here. 

Wed, 5/22 6:30pm Mental Health Self Care with StarVista
Sharp Park Library
104 Hilton Way, Pacifica
Details: Learn techniques for self care! Each participant will create their own self care kit to take home. 
Languages: English
Contact: Paula Teixeiral | teixeira@smcl.org

Wed, 5/22 7:45pm Wed, 12th Annual Break-Fast event ​
Westmoor High School – Cafeteria
131 Westmoor Avenue, Daly City
Details: This event is to bring community together to share a meal and celebrate the month of Ramadan. This event helps bridge community members of all faiths or no faiths and is open to Muslims and non-Muslims alike. 
Languages: English
Contact: Islam Hassanein | islam.hassanein@star-vista.org

Thu, 5/23 10:30am – 12pm Millbrae Library: Story time​
Millbrae Library 
1 Library Ave, Millbrae
Details: Come to Story Time to hear stories related to social emotional development to children and families at Millbrae library. This can be a Chinese and English bilingual story time. 
Languages: English, Chinese Mandarin if requested
Contact: Shiyu Zhang | zhan1502@umn.edu

Thu, 5/23 3pm Felton Early Psychosis/BEAM Open House
1108 S El Camino Real, San Mateo CA
Details: Felton Early Psychosis and BEAM Programs of San Mateo will be hosting an annual Open House celebration. Come and learn about the program, the services offered, and the dynamic team that provides the services. Included in this year’s Open House Agenda will be an announcement about exciting changes coming to the program. You will not want to miss it!
Languages: English (Spanish and Mandarin available upon request) 
Contact: Rod Cooper | rcooper@felton.org

Thu, 5/23 6-7:30m Youth Mental Health: Assessing Resources for Yourself and Others
Half Moon Bay Library, Community Room
620 Correas St, Half Moon Bay
Language: English
Contact: Smitha Gundavajhala | sgundavajhala@yli.org

Fri, 5/24 7pm Building a Community of Healers: An Open Mic Night
PRIDE Center
1021 S El Camino Real, San Mateo
Details: Join CORA and the PRIDE Center for an open mic night focused on healing, self-care, and mental health. 
Languages: English
Contact: Sagarika Gami | sagarikag@corasupport.org

Fri, 5/24 7:15pm Mental Health Open Mic
Café Zoë, 1929 Menalto Ave, Menlo Park
Details: San Mateo County poet Laureate Aileen Cassinetto joins the Menlo Park Library at Café Zoë to help break the silence surrounding suicide and mental illness. Enjoy some coffee or tea while you share your own words and/or listen to others.
Languages: English
Contact: John Weaver | jnweaver@menlopark.org

Sat, 5/25 3pm Film Screening & Panel: The S- Word
San Carlos Library Upstairs Community Rooms A&B
610 Elm St, San Carlos
Details: Screening of the S-Word Film “It is not the word suicide that is the problem; it is the silence that so often follows.” This film follows people who are surviving and thriving. Q and A to follow. 
Languages: English
Contact: Rhea Bradley | bradley@smcl.org

For a complete list of events and more information about Mental Health Awareness month, visit www.smchealth.org/mentalhealthmonth
To find mental health and substance use services and resources in San Mateo County, visit www.smchealth.org/bhrsservices

#WordsOfWellness#BeTheOneSMC

Words of Wellness Wednesday: Affirmation Cards from Each Mind Matters

Along with our own county mental health awareness month initiative, San Mateo County also participates in our statewide initiative: Each Mind Matters. This year, Each Mind Matter’s theme for MHAM is strength in community. As part of their theme and also aligning with San Mateo County’s theme Words of Wellness, Each Mind Matters created message cards for people to share inspirational messages with each other or affirm for themselves. A total of 10 designs are provided: two bilingual, four in English and four in Spanish.

The affirmation/ support cards create an easy way to show support and bridge the distance between someone who is struggling and someone who would like to help.

Visit here to see the full set of message cards!

For a complete list of events and more information about Mental Health Awareness month, visit www.smchealth.org/mentalhealthmonth.  To find mental health and substance use services and resources in San Mateo County, visit www.smchealth.org/bhrsservices

**Enter in our raffle to win lime green swag! All you have to do is “like” this post, comment below, and share the post on social media!**

#WordsOfWellness #BeTheOneSMC

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