David Lewis Garden Back in Bloom

The garden at the David Lewis Reentry Center is back in full operation after a temporary hiatus. New funding sources and dedicated volunteers made re-opening the garden to the public possible this past spring.

The center has long been a refuge for East Palo Alto community members coming home from prison. The gardening project allows them an opportunity to reconnect with their community and nature.

Seasonal vegetables and fruits are growing in abundance and are available for community members.

Read more about the garden on Wellness Matters.

Women’s Treatment Facility Transitions to Serve Only Men

As of June 3rd, Laurel House, a program of HealthRIGHT 360, began serving adult men in need of residential substance use treatment services in San Mateo County.  

Laurel House was the first home opened by the Women’s Recovery Association in 1973 and originally its mission was to treat only women.

Laurel House

The transition to now serve men is a remarkable accomplishment and a testament to HealthRIGHT’s commitment to the entire community and its partners.

The transition occurred mainly to address the recovery needs of men, ease the backlog of clients waiting to access residential care, and fill the growing number of women’s beds that have consistently remained empty system wide since the implementation of Drug Medi-Cal in 2017.  

Read the full article here

An Inside Look: StarVista Crisis Center Hotline

One of San Mateo County’s most used suicide prevention resources, and part of  StarVista’s Crisis Intervention & Suicide Prevention Center, is a suicide crisis hotline that operates 24-hour-a-day, 365 days per year.

Call center staff field calls from county residents in emotional distress, dealing with depression, experiencing feelings of being overwhelmed, anxiety and those having thoughts of suicide. 

More than 11,000 calls were answered last year alone, an amazing accomplishment considering that the call center is comprised of a single desk staffed by just one person per shift who juggles multiple call.

In the most recent issue of the BHRS newsletter, “Wellness Matters”, a call center counselor shares an inside look into the crisis counseling experience as well as his own story of recovery. You can find that article by clicking here.

Medication Assisted Treatment Helping More People with Opioid Addiction

As the opioid epidemic continues to have a negative impact across the country, San Mateo County is responding to the challenge by strengthening existing programs and creating new resources to deal with the crisis.

This includes the creation of the Integrated Medication Assisted Treatment (IMAT) program. The IMAT effort consists a team of case managers embedded within San Mateo Medical Center’s Emergency Department and the Primary Care Interface team. In addition, the County opened their first addiction medicine clinic, the San Mateo Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Clinic in 2016.   

In the fall of 2017, the clinic expanded their outreach and engagement efforts to serve those with opioid use disorders (OUD) and has seen a significant increase in the number of patients treated. The increase can be attributed to the county-wide effort and commitment to expand access to care which includes a new protocol established at the San Mateo Medical Center’s Emergency Department earlier this year resulting in patients receiving care sooner, extended service offerings at the MAT clinic- including patient walk in hours, and increasing the number for providers who can prescribe buprenorphine.

To read more about IMAT and other efforts the county is making to expand access to medication assisted treatment click here.

Clara Boyden Named as Deputy Director Alcohol & Other Drug Services 

Clara Boyden has been named to serve as the first Deputy Director for BHRS Alcohol & Other Drug (AOD) Services. 

AOD programs and services are critical to meet the needs of the BHRS community and this is a significant step in providing integrated behavioral health service at all levels. 

Clara first joined the County of San Mateo in 1998 in the Health Department’s Tobacco Prevention Program in the Health Education Unit.  Since then, Clara she has held a number of roles within Health and the Human Services Agency (HSA), including HSA’s Planning and Evaluation Unit.   

Clara is a tireless advocate for individuals struggling with substance use disorders and people in recovery.  Read more about Clara in this “Wellness Matters” article.

Board Proclaims September as National Recovery Month

The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors presented Ray Mills (center), Executive Director of Voices of Recovery San Mateo County, the proclamation designating September 2019 as National Recovery Month this week. Ray is picture with BHRS Director Scott Gilman (left), and Supervisor Dave Pine (right). Learn more about Recovery Month and the upcoming picnic and dance.

Don’t Miss the Most Popular Recovery Month Event

San Mateo County “Recovery Happens” committee members have been hard at work planning events throughout the month of September to celebrate and call attention to the importance of Recovery.

This year’s theme: “Join the Voices for Recovery: Together We Are Stronger” highlights the need to share resources and build stronger networks across the country to support the many paths to recovery. 

Recovery BBQ Picnic (2016)

The variety of events have grown over the years and continue to gain momentum.

Don’t miss one of the most popular events coming up next week on Tuesday, September 24th!

BBQ Picnic and Resource Fair
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 
San Mateo Central Park, 50 E. 5th Ave., San Mateo

Visit the Facebook page or download the event flier.  Learn more about Recovery Month.

9/23 & 9/24 – Preventing Isolation and Loneliness in Older Adults

In honor of Suicide Prevention month, we are hosting a few events next week focused on preventing isolation and loneliness in older adults. Be a part of the conversation! 

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

Connecting Those in Need to Treatment Services

During this 30th anniversary of Recovery Month, communities across the nation are reflecting on their positive strides and plans to make recovery support services more accessible so that people can live meaningful and productive lives. Over the years, recovery-oriented organizations have also played an essential role in states, cities, towns, and neighborhoods to help countless people start and sustain their recovery.

Specifically here, in San Mateo County, there are numerous treatment options and recovery pathways for those dealing with mental and substance use disorders.

Each recovery journey is unique. If you, a family member, or a friend needs help, resources are available. You are not alone.

Click here for a list of local mental health and substance use recovery resources.

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