Category Archives: Uncategorized

11/16 – Technology Suite Advisory Committee

Technology Suite Advisory Committee

Recently, Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (BHRS) joined a County Behavioral Health Technology Collaborative, a statewide project aimed at utilizing technology- based and online services and supports to engage and increase access for individuals experiencing symptoms of mental illness who may struggle accessing traditional resources. 

We are seeking a Technology Suite Advisory Committee (TSAC), composed of mental health providers, mental health clients/consumers, family members and community members to help design and oversee the Technology Suite implementation and evaluation. The purpose of the committee is to have a forum for members to provide recommendations on the features offered through the Technology Suite and input on the implementation. The TSAC will review the Technology Suite activities and make suggestions for improvement. The Office of Diversity and Equity will be overseeing the implementation process. 

The informational meeting is to answer any questions, share more about the statewide project and the role of the committee.  You can attend the informational meeting to learn more without any commitment to further participation.

Written by Brittany Ganguly, Community Health Planner

Office of Diversity and Equity 

Community Celebrates Indigenous People’s Day

Indigenous Peoples’ Day is a holiday that celebrates and honors the Indigenous peoples of America. In this year’s 2nd Annual Indigenous Peoples’ Day, held on October 8, community members gathered in East Palo Alto. A collaboration with many community partners including the Native and Indigenous Peoples’ Initiative (NIPI) and Nuestra Casa, the event hosted resource tables, workshops and a community dinner.

There was a strong sense of family this year, as there were many youth who attended. The day was opened with a four directions blessing and continued to four workshops including drumming, nature sounds, and paper bag puppets. The sound based workshops had a special way of re-grounding everyone through mindfulness and release. Following, was a wonderful performance by danzantes, or dancers. To conclude the day, there was a tasty dinner of Pozole and spicy chile. The intimate dinner provided the opportunity to reflect on the day, in which community members and providers had the opportunity to realize the value of different identities coming together to find wellness— for when we connect with ourselves and others, we are more likely to feel fewer symptoms of anxiety and feel more grounded.

11/13 -Transgender Day of Remembrance 2018

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Please join us  for our Transgender Day of Remembrance Gathering on November 13th, 2018 from 5:00pm-7:00pm at San Mateo Public Library. Our program will begin with a candlelight procession and solidarity chants through downtown San Mateo at 5:00pm. Afterwards, we will return to the library to hear from community speakers (additional youth speakers not included on flyer), share resources and learn about actions we can all take to stand in solidarity against anti-transgender violence. As a few of our nation’s leaders consider redefining the meaning of gender, erasing the experiences of transgender folks, we must unite to raise awareness of anti-transgender violence and the lethal implications of defining gender strictly within a binary. Our collective resistance is one more step towards wellness and healing for us all.

This event is brought to the community by the PRIDE Initiative, the LGBTQ Commission , The San Mateo County Pride Center, and BHRS Office of Diversity and Equity.

Written by Annette Pakhchian, LGBTQ+ Community Outreach 

Chinese Health Initiative’s New Meeting Schedule

Next Chinese Health Initiative (CHI) meeting is on Friday, November 2nd from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. in Room 201 at 2000 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo.

Starting November, CHI meets the 1st Fridays of the month 1:30 p.m.- 3:00 p.m. in Room 201 at 2000 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo. Our December meeting is scheduled for Friday, December 7th, same time and location. 

For the most up-to-date information, please contact the CHI Co-Chairs Shiyu Zhang and Winnie Wu at CHI@smcgov.org.

3rd Annual National Day of Prayer Celebrates Truth, Inclusion, and Love

 

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For the third time in San Mateo County, the National Day of Prayer for Behavioral Health Recovery and Understanding was recognized on Oct. 2nd 2018 at the Redwood City County Center. San Mateo County BHRS and NAMI co-sponsored the observance of this Day of Prayer by inviting faith and secular leaders as well as consumers to participate in this hour long event.  Faith and secular leaders around the country publicly recommit themselves to replace misinformation, blame, fear and prejudice with truth, inclusion and love in order to offer hope and support.  The event included members from various faiths, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Catholic, Hindu, the Church of Latter Day Saints., and the Native and Indigenous Peoples Initiative. The event also included a testimony from a consumer and a family member.  The Spirituality Initiative worked with NAMI in organizing the event which included 20 organizations (community based, faith based, and provider based) tabling the event as well as the speakers. Over 80 people attended this year’s event. 

The hour presentation began with Rev. Frazier opening the event with a prayer and Dr. Maria Lorente-Foresti Director of Office of Diversity and Equity of BHRS and Helene Zimmerman the Executive Director of NAMI, providing the welcoming addresses, and Issacs Fredericks from BHRS Spirituality Initiative being the MC for the event.

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Happy First International Pronouns Day!

Today is International Pronouns Day! Sharing your pronouns and asking others for theirs can help everyone feel comfortable and acknowledged. SMC Health recommends sharing your pronouns in your email signature! See the example below to see how you can share yours, and check out our blog post, “Sharing Our Gender Pronouns” for more discussion on why pronouns are an essential part of respectful communication.

Signature- AJP

Written by Annette Pakhchian, LGBTQ+ Community Outreach 

www.smhealth.org/bhrs/ODE

 

10/20 – 6th Annual Sana, Sana Colita de Rana: Celebrating the Culture of Healing the Soul

The San Mateo County Latino Collaborative presents the sixth annual Sana, Sana, Colita de Rana, an event where community members can learn about healthy habits, healthy communities, nutrition and access to mental health services. This year’s theme is “Tradiciones que Sanan el Alma” which means, “Celebrating the Culture of Healing the Soul!” 

For more information email the Latino Collaborative at latinocollaborative@smcgov.org and visit their website at smchealth.org/sanasana. 

 

 

Bringing Awareness to Students About Knowing the Signs, Finding the Words, and Reaching Out

 

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Office of Diversity and Equity Interns, Alicia and Priscilla, table at Burlingame High School to teach students about Suicide Prevention Month

A special thank you to Burlingame High School [BHS] for inviting us to their on-campus resource fair for Suicide Prevention and Awareness week. In recognition of September as the National Suicide Prevention month, the counseling team at Burlingame High School organized a tabling event which included community agencies such as StarVista, Health Right 360, The Crisis Text Line, and The San Mateo County Pride Center. The resource fair was held during lunchtime, allowing students to ask questions, learn about different services and resources offered, and gain awareness regarding suicide prevention. We were able to bring awareness to students about knowing the signs of suicide, finding the words to say to a friend or loved one, and how to reach out for help. 

 

Alongside the tabling participation, BHS incorporated games and activities to promote their messaging campaign, “You Matter,” where students wrote positive messages of encouragement to express a shared sentiment of community support amongst peers. The poser is to be displayed on campus.  

If you or someone you know is facing a mental health crisis, call the StarVista Crisis Hotline 650-579-0350 (1-800-273-8255). 

For more information on how to help a loved one who may be at risk of suicide, visit www.suicideispreventable.org

For information on San Mateo County suicide prevention resources, visit www.smchealth.org/suicideprevention

Written by Alicia Vasquez and Priscilla Bustos, Office of Diversity and Equity interns

The S- Word Film Screening and Panel Opens Up Dialogue About Suicide and Stigma

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Last Wednesday, on September 19th, over 100 people attended San Mateo County’s first ever S- Word Film Screening and Panel hosted at the San Mateo High School Performing Arts Center in collaboration with San Mateo Union High School District, Star-Vista and the Office of Diversity and Equity. 

The S- Word is a documentary following a survivor of a suicide attempt as she embarks on a mission to document the stories of fellow survivors and document their stories of insight, humor, and courage. She discovers a national community rising to transform personal struggles into action.

During the panel discussion, audience members were able to ask questions about suicide anonymously that were displayed on the projector for the panelists to answer. Questions included “how do I connect with others that are considering suicide” and “what’s the best time or age to talk about this topic?” 

Sylvia Tang, Office of Diversity and Equity, Co- Chair of Suicide Prevention Committee, and Co- Coordinator of this event states,  

“I am so thankful that we had an engaged audience who asked thoughtful questions and wanted more community screenings of the S-Word. This film helped start a dialogue about suicide; this is such an important first step in suicide prevention because it raises awareness and reduces stigma around suicide.  We hope more community members and agencies join the San Mateo County Suicide Prevention Committee because we need everyone to help prevent suicide in our schools and greater community.”  

Special thanks to all the panelists: 

And all who tabled including:

This event was co-partnered by StarVista, The Office of Diversity and Equity, and San Mateo Union High School District.

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