Pride Celebration Brings LGBTQ+ Community Together

Hundreds of people descended on San Mateo Central Park for a daylong celebration of diversity and inclusion last Saturday. 

The annual Pride event, held every year since 2013, focused on promoting health and wellness in the LGBTQ+ community. 

This year’s theme, “Rooted in Resilience”, conveyed how the San Mateo County LGBTQ+ community is rooted in our community and resistant against phobias that occur daily towards our LGBTQ+ community. 

“Seeing the San Mateo County LGBTQ+ community and allies coming together to celebrate diversity, resiliency and solidarity was powerful and beautiful, reinforcing the need to continue our work to be inclusive and valuing of everyone”, Maria Lorente-Foresti, Ph.D., Director, Office of Diversity and Equity.

The family friendly event included food trucks, musical performances, kids’ activities, arts and crafts, story time, vendors and Zumba lessons. The San Mateo County Pride event was held in collaboration with the Pride InitiativePride Center and the LGBTQ Commission.  

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.

Today! Rooted in Resilience: 7th Annual San Mateo County Pride Celebration – June 15th—-celebrating-pride/article_a0b21ffa-8e2d-11e9-af14-9fd38fdf8052.html

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Read more about the event in the San Mateo Daily Journal or visit the Pride Initiative’s facebook page or the event website.

New class aims to change perception of mental illness in Latino community

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The six-week course known as “NAMI Basics,” provides basic mental health support training based on protocols from the National Alliance for Mental Illness. NAMI Basics, offered for the first time in Spanish on the Coastside, offers information and guided support for family members and caregivers of youth and young adults with mental health disorders and is graduating its first class of participants next week.

Overall, the Latino community does not talk about mental health issues so there is a general lack of information and misunderstanding about the subject,” according to information provided on NAMI’s website.

“Some people refuse to acknowledge that their kids have mental health issues. We want them to know that they are not alone,” said San Mateo County Sheriff’s Sgt. Victor Lopez.

Click here to read more about this unique program.

Affordable Housing Available in Redwood City

Affordable Housing Unit Waitlist Opening 6/3/19-6/14/19

The Housing Authority of the County of San Mateo will be accepting online applications between 6/3/19 and 6/14/19 for the Mosaic Garden Project-Based waiting list. 

Mosaic Garden is located at 3770 Rolison Road in Redwood City.  With the exception of one 1-bedroom unit, all units at Mosaic Garden are studios. The property is currently undergoing rehab that, based on MidPen Housing’s best estimate, will be completed in late September 2019.

Interested parties may register online at during the opening period.

Please download a copy of the flyer below for additional information regarding the opening.

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.

May 24: Navigating the Mental Health System

To help human service providers, mental health practitioners, mental health consumers and families better understand how to access mental health services and what to do in a crisis, the Mental Health Association of San Mateo County is sponsoring  “Navigating the Mental Health System” on May 24th. CME’s are available. More info or to register.

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 |

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 |
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 |
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 |

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 |

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 |

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 |

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 |

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 |

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 |

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 |

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


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