Category Archives: Wellness Matters

Lived Experience Academy Graduates New Speakers

People from the BHRS Lived Experience Academy say they are graduating feeling hopeful, inspired and proud.

Graduate Velisha Sorooshian (center), Kevin Jones, Executive Director, Telecare (left) and Scott Gilman, BHRS Director (right).

“What I didn’t expect was the emotional impact these classes would have on me. I wasn’t expecting everyone’s traumatic stories to grip my heart in such a deep way,” said Lucas, a recent graduate.

Participants learn how to share their personal stories in the 10-hour program and how to see their challenges as a source of hope, strength and wisdom to redefine their narrative.

It’s given me the tool of knowing how to utilize my voice,” said one participant.

14 people recently graduated from the program, funded by the Mental Health Services Act.

Read more in the latest BHRS “Wellness Matters” newsletter.

Former Teacher Inducted into Consumer Hall of Fame for Sharing His Road to Recovery

Daric Desautel, 2019 Consumer Hall of Fame Recipient

He has a background in education, advocacy, social justice and he once served in the U.S. Army. But Daric Desautel, a former elementary school teacher, found his way to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, San Mateo County while in the midst of his own personal battle with bipolar disorder and addiction.

Since making a full recovery, Daric has dedicated himself to helping others find their way to wellness by serving as a mentor, support group facilitator, and graciously sharing his own lived experience.

Though he now works in substance abuse treatment at the Veterans Affairs, Palo Alto Health Care System, Daric remains active in NAMI SMC.  

The Mental Health & Substance Abuse Recovery Commission inducted him into this years’ 2019 Consumer Hall of Fame Award for his outstanding track record of selfless service.

To learn more about Daric and Consumer Hall of Fame awards read the full article here.

Check out more stories, read past and current issues, or subscribe to our Wellness Matters newsletter, by clicking here.

Stories of Hope

The sharing of a personal story can be self-reflective, educational, de-stigmatizing and incredibly empowering. During Mental Health Awareness Month, we share stories of hope, resilience and recovery from those who have experienced mental health and substance use issues. These individuals are sharing their stories in the hope that others will be inspired to seek help, and join them on the path to recovery.

I turned to alcohol for relief. My self-stigma was so ingrained that I preferred to be considered an alcoholic than to be mentally ill,” said Yoshi who first experienced mental health stigma at age 4 when her mother had a psychotic break and was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

Daniel, who started smoking and drinking at age 12, and cocaine, speed and needles by age 18, shares, ” My inner world was dark, cold and lonely and I used drugs to cope with the feelings of failure and depression, believing it had ruined my life and was beyond redemption or salvation.  Those years were the darkest and most dismal years of my life.

Read their stories and more at on the BHRS online newsletter Wellness Matters.

Wellness Matters – July 2018

WM July 2018Be sure to check out the July 2018 issue of Wellness Matters!

This issue features:

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BE SAFE. BE RESPONSIBLE. Know the health effects of cannabis use

Let's Talk Cannabis blueThe New Year brought with it the legalization of cannabis in California. While medical marijuana has been legal in the state for over two decades, California voters took to the ballots last November to approve of Proposition 64, legalizing recreational cannabis.

Adults 21 or older can now use, carry and grow cannabis. In a 2016 survey of San Mateo County residents, 20 percent of respondents reported currently using cannabis. One in ten non-users said they would try it if it were legalized.

Now that adult use is legal in San Mateo County, you probably have lots of questions about the health effects of cannabis use. Check out this Wellness Matters article for answers.

Wellness Matters – March 2018

WM March 2018Be sure to check out the March issue of Wellness Matters!

This issue features:

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NAMI SMC Seeking Peer PALS Participants

peer palsThe National Alliance on Mental Illness San Mateo County (NAMI SMC) program, Peer PALS, is off to a great start. The free program pairs PALS, who are doing well on their own recovery journey with peers, who are also seeking recovery and could benefit from the friendship and support of a PAL who’s been there.

After holding the first PAL training in November, the program is gaining momentum and seeking more Peer and PAL applicants. NAMI SMC is also partnering with CATS, a free ticket program that will allow Peer PALS to attend exciting events and venues in the Bay Area.

For more information about PeerPALS, check out this Wellness Matters article, or email Rocio, the Peer PALS coordinator at PeerPals@namisanmateo.org.

Wellness Matters – January 2018

CaptureBe sure to check out the January issue of Wellness Matters! 

This issue features:

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Transgender Day of Remembrance

tdor 3These are the names of the 25 transgender people whose murders have been reported, here in the United States in 2017 alone. Today, on the Transgender Day of Remembrance, we remember and celebrate the lives of those who have been taken from us due to anti-transgender violence.

Last Thursday, November 16, the San Mateo County Pride Center held a candlelight vigil to commemorate the trans lives lost this year. Today from 6 to 8 p.m. the Pride Center will be hosting “What’s the T?” a dialogue series that will act as a starting point for local action around the issues that our transgender and gender nonconforming neighbors are facing.

Check out this Wellness Matters article for more on the Transgender Day of Remembrance, and how the San Mateo County Pride Center is offering support and inspiring change in the transgender and gender nonconforming community.

 

Wellness Matters – November 2017

Be sure to check out the November issue of Wellness Matters! 

This issue features:

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Wellness matters november

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