Each year our San Mateo County Women in County Government recognizes exceptional women working in our government departments. This year numerous nominations were received to honor the outstanding dedication and service women have made to serve our communities.
We would like to congratulate Gloria Cahuich Gonzalez, Co-Chair of Behavioral Health & Recovery Services’ Latino Collaborative and Community Program Specialist II with SMC Public Health, Policy and Planning. Gloria has shown her passion, commitment and compassion to our Latinx community in her work to lead two Sana Sana Colita de Rana Events and provide resources and supports to our marginalized communities. The work she and other nominees below have done emphasizes the importance of creating a positive impact in San Mateo communities by implementing a racial equity lens in the work we do.
Congratulations to all other BHRS nominees: Rookie of the Year: Dori Bailey, MD., BHRS Adult Psychiatrist
Development Champion: Chummy Sevilla, BHRS Clinical Services Manager II
Public Service/Extra Mile: Barbara Weissman, MD, BHRS Adult Psychiatrist Linda Hildreth, BHRS Supervising Mental Health Clinician Maria Lorente-Foresti, Ph.D., BHRS Director Office of Diversity and Equity Tennille Tucker, BHRS Supervising Mental Health Clinician Yolanda Ramirez, BHRS Senior Community Program Specialist
Please join us in congratulating these amazing women that make a difference everyday for our workforce and those we serve.
Written by Kristie Lui and Maria Lorente-Foresti, Ph.D., BHRS Office of Diversity and Equity
In honor of *Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), San Mateo County and San Mateo County Pride Center invites you to TransACTION Day of Change where they are providing the community the opportunity to commit to ending TDOR (#endTDOR).
TransACTION Day of Change will feature resource booths, an Allegiance Wall, Reading of the Names, and a Candlelight Vigil. Creating change is difficult; especially when we mourn those who have lost their lives simply for being themselves. The event want to honor those who have died and also create ways for our community to learn and take action to #endTDOR.
Amazing agencies from San Mateo County and the Bay Area have been invited to provide exclusive resources, services and practical information that support trans and gender-diverse community members and their friends and families. This is where “ally” becomes a verb and we all take part in creating inclusive spaces at home, at work, and at school.
This event is free, inclusive, and will feature an Allegiance Wall where you can sign your name and walk away with practical ways to build awareness and ways that allies can impact and create a safer community for everyone.
Additionally, we are proud to announce that there will also be a COVID-19 and MPX vaccination clinics will be joining us. Both clinics are open to the public and they encourage folx to make appointments via MyTurn while walk-ins are also welcome. Please see the second attached flyer below for more information!
Questions? Email Tanya Beat, LGBTQ Commission Director, email@example.com or Azisa Todd, SMC Pride Center Lead Trainer & Events Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org
MCOD stands for Multicultural Organization Development, and since 2015 BHRS has been working on our MCOD plan to advance equity, diversity, and inclusion principles in the workplace. This framework was established to support BHRS’ ability to work effectively and respectfully with people from diverse cultural, linguistic, and social backgrounds.
To achieve this, the MCOD Action Plan was developed to focus on three key areas:
1) The recruitment, retention, and promotion of diverse staff at ALL levels, including leadership, 2) the creation of a brave workplace environment in which speaking out, respectful dialogue, and acknowledging differences is accepted and encouraged, and 3) promoting transparency and collaboration in decision-making and policy-making to ensure that those who are most impacted have meaningful participation.
Each of these areas has specific strategies, activities, and tasks to make progress towards a more inclusive organization. To begin this work, BHRS rolled out a survey in 2019 to measure our culture among staff. Since 2019 leadership team members have been surveyed to better understand the organizational climate and sentiment around MCOD. For example, 73% of BHRS leadership members currently agree that BHRS values diversity at all levels of the organization. In addition, BHRS executive team members were assigned, and subcommittees were formed to oversee the progress in each plan area. As we begin 2022, we look forward to supporting the subcommittee work and beginning to engage all BHRS staff in these efforts.
For more information on the MCOD action plan please click here. For any questions, please contact Frances Lobos at email@example.com
Written by Frances Lobos, Office of Diversity & Equity
We want to learn about what the impact of remote services has had on the quality of BHRS services. Your responses to this survey will help us to understand what barriers you still encounter for remote interactions during the COVID-19 health emergency. Your feedback will help BHRS better address issues with and develop strategies for remote client engagement during the pandemic and after the health emergency is over.
As of July 1, 2019, San Mateo County Health transitioned their Representative Payee services to Life Inc. Rep Payee services are provided to clients of BHRS and Aging & Adults Services who need assistance managing their Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This service helps ensure clients pay their bills on time and can take care of their essential living needs.
Before the transition, Aging & Adult Services staff processed and distributed the payments to clients. The change to Life Inc. removes the need to have service providers and other vendors involved in the payment process. The transition is expected to be complete by October.
You can read more about what other benefits clients will receive from Life Inc. in the BHRS Newsletter “Wellness Matters” here.
After a three-year process, Canyon Oaks Youth Center (COYC) Residential Treatment Facility completed the conversion from a Level 14 Youth Group Home to a Short Term Residential Therapeutic Program (STRTP) and the program received their permanent STRTP License on June 1st.
The committed and experienced team of leaders and staff of COYC have pioneered therapeutic approaches to address the needs of youth who have experienced significant trauma to support their health and recovery and continue to do so. In addition, COYC has been accredited for a period of 3 years by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, International (CARF).
By pursuing and achieving accreditation, COYC has demonstrated that it meets international standards for quality and is committed to pursuing excellence. This accreditation decision represents the highest level of accreditation that can be awarded to an organization and shows the organization’s substantial conformance to the CARF standards.
To receive a three-Year Accreditation of this caliber, an organization has to put itself through a rigorous peer review process and demonstrate to a team of surveyors during an on-site visit that its programs and services are of the highest quality, measurable, and accountable.
Read the full article in the latest edition of the BHRS newsletter, “Wellness Matters“, here.
In partnership with other jurisdictions around the San Francisco Bay Area, San Mateo County commissioned a survey of parents and teens during December 2018-January 2019 to establish the baseline measures on the knowledge, perceptions and use of cannabis.
788 total parents and youth participated in that survey (502 parents and 286 teens and young adults). The AOD Prevention Program intends to use the findings to support an education campaign that will focus on the target groups with the messages needed to improve prevention efforts in San Mateo County.
The survey revealed the importance of engaging parents in the effort to address their child’s use of cannabis – pointing to the significant influence that parent perceptions and behaviors have on youth perception and use. Also, the data shows that parents who have used cannabis are less concerned about potential harm or their teen using cannabis, which points to the need to ensure that parents understand the difference in the potency of current cannabis products in comparison to the cannabis they may have used when they were young.
Read more about this and other key findings highlighted in the survey in our latest edition of the “Wellness Matters” newsletter.
The 12th Annual Housing Hero Awards celebration recognizes community partners who have demonstrated exceptional leadership in providing and/or maintaining housing for people in San Mateo County with mental health and/or substance use conditions. The ceremony will take place on Thursday, October 24, 2019, 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM, Redwood Shores Library Community Room, 399 Marine Parkway, Redwood City.
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.