Tag Archives: Behavioral Health

The Office of Diversity and Equity Finalizes Their Theory of Change Process

The Office of Diversity and Equityadvances health equity in behavioral health outcomes of marginalized communities throughout San Mateo County.png

In Spring 2017, the Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE) underwent a Theory of Change process. The intention of the process was to help clarify, shape, and improve the impact of ODE’s efforts.  This was done by identifying expected and desired change, and then mapping out how those changes can be achieved.   

Why a Theory of Change Process?


ODE Director, Dr. Jei Africa in TOC process

Theory of Change (TOC) is a comprehensive description of an expected and desired change. It is focused on mapping out what a program does and how this will lead to the desired change. It does this through a process of backwards mapping, identifying outcomes, indicators that demonstrate when the outcomes have been achieved and interventions to bring forth the indicators. Through this process, the link between activities and achievements are better understood.   Read more

WRAP Turns 19 Celebration

Please join Voices of Recovery, Telecare, and BHRS in celebrating WRAP’s 19th Birthday with food, fun, and fellowship!

When: Thursday, March 10, 2016

Where: 264 Harbor Blvd. Bldg. A. Jupiter Room, Belmont

Time: 2pm

Special Guest Speakers (via Video Conference) Include:

2:30pm-3:30pm:  Mary Ellen Copeland, PhD–Founder of WRAP

5:30pm-5:45pm: Matthew Federici–Executive Director of the Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery

This event is for anyone in the community who is involved or is interested in San Mateo County’s Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) efforts.

For more information contact:

Jan Allen (650)481-5384, Lee Harrison (650)222-7732, Waynette Brock (650)440-0567

BHRS Training Update

This BHRS training update provides information on upcoming BHRS trainings, updates on the rescheduling of WRAP and ASIST, DSM 5 training follow-up, reminder to pre-register for all BHRS trainings, reminder to complete spirituality survey, and information about outside trainings.


2-23-16: SMMC Grand Rounds–Bridging Spirituality Within Clinical Practice Panel Discussion.  This training is sponsored by the BHRS Spirituality Initiative (12:15pm-1:30pm in Room 100, 225 37th Avenue, San Mateo)

2-25-16: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia Training (registration is full)

2-25-16 and 2-26-16: ASAM training (application period has ended)

3-3-16: Native American Mental Health Training (register on LMS www.smcgov.org/lms or contact kwestrick@smcgov.org  if you do not have an LMS account)

Read more

Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP): Impacting Lives

(WRAP facilitators and participants are submitting their stories to the BHRS blog to share how WRAP has impacted their lives. This first submission is by Jeanette Neal who works as a Family Partner for BHRS and is a WRAP facilitator)

“I am a survivor of multiple traumas. I never allowed those unwanted events to be the definition of whom I am or whom I wanted to become. I turned my back on those memories and always moved forward with the feeling that nothing more could ever disrupt my life because I was in control.

One mother’s day, my love, my friend, and my soul mate for life died in our back yard from an ATV accident.  At that point my life changed. The previous layered trauma, topped with the abrupt horrific death of my husband, and being sued by his family, sent me into a lonely and ill state of depression.

I lost my job and my family took over my home, my life, and my financial responsibilities to care for me.  When I began to feel better I struggled with family members to take back my responsibilities and put my home in order according to what I needed. My relationship with my siblings suffered and I had to rediscover who I was alone as me. I didn’t know what I liked, I had forgotten what it felt like to have a meal alone, and behind my smiling face I struggled with the sadness and fear that something could happen again and I had no control over it.

6 years later I was introduced to Mary Ellen Copeland’s “Wellness Recovery Action Plan” WRAP. I latched on to it because I recognized that it could relieve my constant suffering.  WRAP has given me the security to know that I have a safety net, a plan. It’s a plan that I created, a plan that I can modify as I evolve, a plan that my family members know about. WRAP helped me to rediscover what I’m like when I’m well.  WRAP is what I wake up to as I begin my day with a meditation and review my plan for the day. If I begin to identify warning signs, I can respond with my designed plan for that particular trigger. It has been the greatest gift I have ever given to myself.

Although crap can have a way of presenting itself in my life, I can accept it because I have seeds planted to live with Wellness, to embrace Recovery in all its stages, to initiate my Action for continued maintenances, and have security in knowing that I have a Plan. The loveliest sunflowers I have ever experienced have grown out of a pile of fertilizer.”

Jeanette Neal

(For more information on WRAP, check out the Voices of Recovery website at: http://www.vorsmc.org/)

Next Mental Health Services Act Steering Committee Meeting

It’s time for the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) Steering Committe to meet again!

The MHSA Steering Committee meets twice a year during the Implementation Phase of MHSA and is open to the public. The MHSA Steering Committee plays the important role of making recommendations to the planning and services development process of MHSA and assures that MHSA planning reflects local diverse needs and priorities.

Current agenda items: New Prevention and Early Intervention and Innovation Guidelines, Annual Update, Full Service Partnership Outcomes, Innovations Projects.


Wednesday, October 28, 2015 / 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
San Mateo County Health System, Room 100
225 37th, San Mateo, CA 94403

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TOMORROW…Speak Up, Save a Life: Suicide Prevention Forum

In recognition of September Suicide Prevention Month, we are partnering with StarVista and Caltrain to host the following free and public event tomorrow:

Speak Up, Save a Life: Suicide Prevention Forum
Friday, September 25 / 12:00-1:30 PM
San Mateo Main Library, Oak Room
55 West 3rd Avenue, San Mateo, CA, 94402

The Forum will feature keynote speaker Dr. Jorge Wong, Behavioral Health Services Director at Asian Americans for Community Involvement and panelists Salvador Zuno, Caltrain Transit Police; Narges Zohoury Dillon, StarVista Crisis Hotline; Teresa Tantau, in recovery from a suicide event; and Alan Cochran, family member of someone who has experienced suicide.

Refreshments will be provided and Continuing Education Units (CEUs) will be available. Interpretive services will be available upon request with three days’ notice. If you have any questions about this event, please contact Sylvia Leung at sleung@smcgov.org or 650-578-7165.  Download the flyer.

GDG 2015@County-57-COPY

If you or someone you know may be thinking about suicide, speak with a trained counselor who can help you 24 hours/day, 7 days/week. Call the StarVista crisis hotline (650) 579-0350.

For more information on suicide prevention, visit www.smchealth.org/SuicidePrevention.

More on Suicide Prevention Day and Week:
United States Presidential Proclamation of World Suicide Prevention Day
Get Involved with Suicide Prevention Week

Make Your Personal Pledge to Be The One to Help

As you may have heard, BHRS Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE) is hosting a “Be The One” campaign to help reduce stigma toward behavioral health conditions. Part of the campaign encourages everyone to submit their own personal pledge on how they will reduce stigma around mental health and substance use conditions. In just one and a half months, we have gathered over 140 pledges, including photographic, online and post card pledges.  Those who have made pledges have expressed how gratifying it is to share. Check out the pledges by visiting http://smcbhrsblog.org/betheonesmc

The more we talk about mental health and how to best help someone, the more likely a loved one will feel empowered to seek help and recover. Be The One to help!

You can make your own personal pledge by visiting http://smcbhrsblog.org/betheonesmc and/or share your written pledge and/or photo with us, your friends and your family via social media with #BeTheOneSMC.


Dr. Jei Africa, ODE Director, shares his pledge… I will Be The One to “say people recover and there is hope.”

Crisis Collaboration Continues

The next BHRS Crisis Collaboration meeting will be held on Thursday, April 23rd from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM at the Sobrato Center; 330 Twin Dolphin Drive, Redwood City.  This continues to be a ripe forum for diverse agencies throughout the county to come together and work to improve system-wide crisis collaboration.

Based on feedback from the current work groups and a desire to further connect as a system, we are hosting an informative panel discussion on 5150’s.  Panel participants will share unique experiences from very different viewpoints: as a client/consumer, a family member, police officer, and psychiatric emergency services staff.  The goal is to educate one another on what works well, raise awareness about needs/challenges faced by the multiple parties involved and learn how we can better support one another in a 5150.

Also – for those of you anxiously awaiting for the MH 911 Brochures & Wallet Cards in Spanish they are in development!  We will post updates here as soon as they are available, likely in May 2015.

Creating Partnerships to Increase Access for African American San Mateo County Residents

In honor of Black History Month, this Saturday, February 21st the African American Community Initiative (AACI) of the Office of Diversity and Equity, in partnership with the African American Community Health Advisory Council (AACHAC), will host its 7th annual Black History Month Summit with the theme “Mental Health Wellness: The Key to Complete Health.”  The event will take place at the East Palo Alto Community Church on 2201 University Avenue in East Palo Alto.  The goal of this event is to help increase access to behavioral health and recovery services among African American residents in San Mateo County.

Join us for the keynote address as Dr. Donna Barnes, Ph.D. speaks about barriers to treatment, suicide awareness, and surviving and thriving after treatment. We hope you’ll join us for this free event!

For more information about the Summit or AACI, contact Amina Burrell, Co-Chair, at (650) 573-2610 or email her at amburrell@smcgov.org

AACI meets every 2nd Tuesday from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at 225 37th Ave, San Mateo.

Crisis Collaboration Work Moving Forward

The Behavioral Health & Recovery Services Crisis Collaboration Workgroup met for the third time this past week and a diverse group of service providers within San Mateo County were in attendance. Representatives from:  BHRS, Law Enforcement, School Districts, San Mateo Medical Center, Mills Hospital, V.A., NAMI, Probation, Emergency Medical Services, Mid-Pen Housing, crisis line providers, crisis response non-profits and several others came together with the goal to:  Read more