Broadway by the Bay Opens the Dialogue About Mental Illness

Broadway by the Bay will be presenting NEXT TO NORMAL a contemporary musical addressing several mental health issues such as ethics in modern psychiatry, mental illness, grief and lose, drug abuse, and the power of love and sheds light on a few subject matters still considered taboo in many communities and allows the opportunity to open the conversation about mental illness and its impact on families.


NEXT TO NORMAL is a brave and breathtaking musical that the New York Times calls “… a feel everything musical.” The contemporary musical follows the journey of the Goodman family. While on the surface, suburban parents Dan and Diana, and their children Natalie and Gabi appear a “perfect loving family”, beneath the surface shows how far two parents will go to keep themselves sane and their family’s world intact.

NEXT TO NORMAL is running August 11 – 27, 2017 at the historic Fox Theatre in Redwood City.  For more information visit or check out the flyer.




Safe and Easy Medicine Disposal

safe med disposal graphcSan Mateo County’s Safe Medicine Disposal Program has partnered with the Medication Education & Disposal (MED) Project to provide 28 safe medicine disposal kiosks – and counting – throughout San Mateo County. This program is critical in preventing accidental exposure of medicine to children and pets, keeping our oceans and drinking water clean and curbing the nationwide opioid epidemic.

To find a medicine disposal kiosk near you, visit More information about MED-Project can be found at

LEEW Ice Cream Social!

The Lived Experience Education Workgroup (LEEW) held a summer social earlier this month. Fruit and ice pops kept everyone cool, as we took turns asking ice breaker questions such as, “What would others be surprised to know about you?” and “What three words would you use to describe yourself?”. Read more

BHRS African American Community Initiative Presents at Board of Supervisors Meeting

By Austyn Lee, Office of Diversity & Equity Summer Intern

On Tuesday, July 25th, the African American Community Initiative (AACI) gave a presentation entitled “Conversations about Black History Year” at the Board of Supervisors Meeting in the Redwood City Hall of Justice and Records.

The AACI is one of the county’s nine Health Equity Initiatives (HEI) that address racial, ethnic, and cultural disparities within BHRS. AACI aims to be a resource for African American community members who experience disparities in access to and quality of care in our county. Read more

Share Your Personal Recovery Story during September 2017 Recovery Month

2017-recovery-month-vertical-web-bannerSeptember is National Recovery Month and BHRS is seeking short narratives/testimonies (200 – 400 words) celebrating the success of people in recovery. Narratives may be published in the BHRS newsletter, Wellness Matters, posted online in the BHRS blog and in other San Mateo County communications and social media channels.

We are seeking a range of submissions reflecting diverse perspectives, cultures and personal experiences of recovery.

How to Submit:

  • Submission deadline:  August 18, 2017
  • Submissions and/or questions can be emailed to Lauren Mascarenhas at:
  • All submissions will be published with first name only (if anonymity is preferred please state so in your submission).
  • All submissions must be accompanied by a signed release giving us your permission to publish your story.  The form can also be found at:
  • All submissions are subject to review/editing/publication by BHRS.
  • Longer narratives (up to 500 words) may be submitted for consideration but are subject to editing for length.


Office of Diversity and Equity Kicks off New Fiscal Year with 100th YMHFA Session!

Wednesday, July 5th marked the 100th Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) session for San Mateo County’s Behavioral Health and Recovery Services Office of Diversity and Equity. The YMHFA training took place at Puente de la Costa Sur in Pescadero.

Puente is the only Community Resource Center serving San Mateo County’s rural South Coast. According to a recent report prepared by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation in February 2017, the South Coast is “home to about 2,950 largely marginalized and isolated residents, mostly Latino farm and nursery workers and their families, as well as low-income Caucasian residents.” Considered that the South Coast is the Bay Area’s most rural zone, communities in the region have no emergency room, public library, public park, childcare center, affordable grocery store, laundromat, sewage system or flood control system. Read more

BHRS Office of Diversity & Equity and Alcohol and Other Drug Attend 2017 CPI Regional Training in Sacramento

Last week, San Mateo County BHRS and partner organizations traveled to Sacramento for the annual Community Prevention Initiative (CPI) Regional Trainings hosted by the Center for Applied Research Solutions (CARS).  This year, the CPI Regional Trainings theme is Cultural Competence, a guiding principle of the Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF).  If you would like a copy the conference presentations and resources contact Colin Hart at

The breadth of presentations was far reaching to include topics such as:

  • Gathering Culturally Competent Data & Culturally Competent Evaluation
  • Strategies for Gathering Culturally Competent Data for American Indian/Alaska Native Populations
  • Youth Culture & Substance Use Disorder Youth Panel
  • Creating Culturally Competent Substance Use Disorder Prevention Services for LGBTQ Populations
  • Cultural Competency in Working with Immigrant and Refugee Populations
  • Cultural Competency SUD Prevention Services for Native Populations
  • Preventing Substance Use Disorders in Rural California

Read more

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