Suicide Prevention: Continuing the Conversation

Know the Signs - Facebook ImageMany fans and followers of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain are still in shock this week, mourning their unexpected deaths. Suicide among such well-known, talented, and apparently successful individuals reminds us that public personas often conceal personal struggles. Although most people who die by suicide are not famous, they too may be masking their despair, feelings of inadequacy, or hopelessness. Additionally, their relationship problems, financial concerns, or health issues may contribute to feeling overwhelmed.

For anyone struggling- – trained, compassionate people are ready to listen to you:

Call anytime: 1-800-273-8255 or text to 741741. [En Espanol: 888-628-9454]

At the same time, these well-publicized deaths are motivating many individuals to begin to reveal their own struggles to their friends—on social media and in personal conversations. These are essential steps to help overcome the isolation that often accompanies suicidal feelings and such revelations can be responded to with compassion and understanding.

BHRS encourages you to reach out to any of your friends, family and co-workers who may be having difficulty coping. Visit www.suicideispreventable.org to know the signs, find the words to start a conversation with someone you are concerned about, and to find resources you can reach out to for help and support. Check the Each Mind Matters “Say This Not That” tip sheet for more advice. Pain isn’t always obvious:  know the signs, find the words and reach out.

For more information and additional resources, visit www.smchealth.org/suicide-prevention.

Theatre of the Oppressed: Workshop Brings Diverse Staff Together to Explore Oppression in Everyday Lives

During Mental Health Awareness Month, the Community Health Promotion Unit hosted a Theatre of the Oppressed workshop to build awareness – through an embodied, experiential and participatory process – around root causes of health disparities. Participants explored the interwoven nature of trauma and oppression, exposing systems of oppression that perpetuate inequities along racial, ethnic, gender and socio-economic lines. Through story and theatre, participants explored their own awareness of power, privilege and oppression that exists around them as well as counter-oppressive solutions to implement in prevention and community work.

Native and Indigenous Peoples Initiative (NIPI) Co-Chair, Gloria Gutierrez, participated in the workshop describing it as a space for participants

“To express [themselves] void of judgement. As an individual that has been dedicated to learn about other cultures and communities I found [it] incredibly valuable. I would definitely recommend this training to my colleagues and community members as is teaches us a different approach to handle difficult issues.”

Another participant, Sylvia Tang, Co-Chair for the Chinese Health Initiative reflected,

“The training inspired me to think more deeply about the oppressive and liberating features of our Chinese culture that I have experienced. Hierarchy/compliance can be oppressive on the one hand but the fire for family unity/well-being can be liberating on the other hand. While many assume Chinese may quiet and compliant, there are many examples where Chinese-Americans have resisted and fought for the rights of our family’s well-being, including fighting for basic educational and legal rights during the era of the Chinese Exclusion Act.”

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BHRS Coastside Clinic Hosts Open House

On Thursday, May 24 BHRS Coastside Outpatient Clinic held an open house reception for the community as part of Mental Health Awareness Month. It was attended by representatives from other Coastside agencies, staff of the primary care clinic housed in the same building, members of the community, clients and their families, and BHRS staff from Pre to Three and Total Wellness.

Coastside Open House

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Suicide is preventable. 24/7 Crisis Resources

Our thoughts go out to anyone impacted by the deaths of fashion icon Kate Spade and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain. A recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a steady increase in suicide rates throughout the US since 1999.

If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, or are concerned about a loved one who might be, you are not alone. Help is available right now:

Crisis Resources

From Parent Project Graduates to Youth Mental Health First Aiders

Parent Project graduates taking Youth Mental Health First Aid

Parent Project graduates taking Youth Mental Health First Aid at Mills High School in April 2018

When parents and caregivers sign up to take the 12 week Parent Project course, they might not know what is in store for them. A sense of community is built in those short weeks and the knowledge gained sparks a deeper interest to continue learning to help others and their children.

By offering a Youth Mental Health First Aid training after Parent Project, parents and caregivers learn why knowing the signs of a mental health challenge or crisis, including suicide, can help their children. For many, their children are first generation U.S. born children, who face the challenges of growing up in a culture different from their parents. For many parents and caregivers attending the training, trying to understand the world their children are growing up in and finding the support from their peers in the room is the most beneficial aspect of their time in the class.

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. For more information, please contact Frances Lobos at flobos@smcgov.org.

The Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) course is an 8-hour public education training program designed for any adult working with or assisting young people, ages 12-24. For more information on Youth Mental Health First Aid, please contact Natalie Andrade at nandrade@smcgov.org

To learn more about other programs and classes similar to these, visit the Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE)’s website here

Written by Natalie Andrade, YMHFA Program Coordinator

2018 David Lewis Award Nominations

The San Mateo County Mental Health & Substance Abuse Recovery Commission is seeking nominees for its annual David Lewis Awardrecognizing outstanding contributions towards recovery. This honor is made to the individual or organization that has made an extraordinary difference in the lives of people with substance abuse disorders and the San Mateo County community.  Recognition is given for public education or advocacy around alcohol and other drug abuse issues or to address stigma; services to persons with substance abuse disorders; creation of new and innovative programs or community support activities; recognition of fundraising for substance abuse treatment activities or long-term financial support to substance abuse programs; working for new legislation;  and compassionate treatment of persons with alcohol and other drug disorders.

Confidentiality of private information is very important. If you are nominating someone who is in recovery, please be sure that they are comfortable revealing their status.

Awards will be presented to honorees at the San Mateo County Mental Health & Substance Abuse Recovery Commission meeting on September 5, 2018,  Deadline for award nominations is August 3, 2018. Submit a nomination today!

Nonprofits Caminar and Project Ninety Announce Merger

Partnership Will Expand Capacity for Integrated Behavioral Health Care on the Peninsula

San Mateo, CA – Two nonprofit behavioral health organizations with decades of service to individuals and families on the Peninsula have joined forces. As of June 1, 2018, Caminar and Project Ninety, both headquartered in San Mateo, have merged. Project Ninety now is a division of Caminar. By bringing together mental health and substance use treatment programs, Caminar and Project Ninety will strengthen support in San Mateo County for individuals in recovery, especially adults with co-occurring disorders. Read more

June 16 – 2018 SMC Pride Celebration

The San Mateo County Pride Initiative proudly presents the county’s sixth annual LGBTQ+ Pride Celebration on June 16 at San Mateo Central Park. This year’s theme is Celebrate. Resist. Unite.

A number of dynamic artists are already confirmed, including Josie Day, Lady Char and the Sistahs of the Drum Collective. Stop by to enjoy family-friendly activities, resource booths, food trucks and more.

Help us celebrate health, wellness and pride throughout the LGBTQ+ and entire San Mateo County community at this sober event, where all are welcome. See www.smcpride2018.com for updates and information.

Office of Diversity and Equity Job and Internship Anouncements

ODE Logo_Hi Res_Transparent.pngThe Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE) is excited to announce two new job and internship opportunities. ODE advances health equity in behavioral health outcomes of marginalized communities throughout San Mateo County. ODE works to empower communities; influence policy and system changes; develop strategic and meaningful partnerships; and promote workforce development and transformation within BHRS. 

1) ODE is seeking Community Health Planners.

There are currently two vacancies 1) a permanent Community Health Planner position that will support Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) implementation and technical assistance across BHRS; and 2) a limited-term position, through June 30, 2021, that will support the development and implementation of a comprehensive, outcome-based evaluation, data collection and reporting infrastructure for MHSA funded programs.

Application available here

2) ODE is seeking Cultural Stipend Internship Program (CSIP) interns.

The 2018-19 Cultural Stipend Internship Program (CSIP) Awardees complete and present their cultural humility related projects to clinic sites, Health Equity Initiatives (HEI), and community groups. CSIP awardees spend the academic year participating in one of nine HEIs and coordinating a year-long project, in addition to their regular duties as clinical interns. 

CSIP provides a stipend of $5,000 awarded annually to up to 20 interns. Awardees are selected based on their expressed interest in and commitment to cultural awareness and social justice in both community and clinical settings; personal identification with marginalized communities; and/ or lived experience with behavioral health conditions. Priority is given to bilingual and/ or bi-cultural applicants whose cultural background and experience is similar to underserved communities in San Mateo County. Once selected, awardees are then matched with an HEI and tasked with conducting a project that helps BHRS becomes more culturally sensitive on a systemic level, and more accessible to marginalized communities. 

Application available here. 

To learn more about the Office of Diversity and Equity, visit our website at http://www.smchealth.org/bhrs/ode

For other job and internship opportunities with ODE visit https://www.smchealth.org/pod/job-internship-opportunities

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