Tag Archives: bhrs

Youth Center Receives New Certification

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).  

Youth drawing with chalk on wall

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.

Parents Are Key to Addressing Youth Cannabis Use

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.

North County Clinic Opens its Doors

Youth in North County can now receive services at the new BHRS Youth Clinic. The clinic is officially open at:

350 90th Street 2nd Flr, Daly City, CA  94015
Ph: (650) 301-8650, Fax: (650) 877-5486. 

Housing Heroes Awards – October 24

Ingrid Dela Rosa accepts award and commendations from Alex Kobayashi and Lee Harrison (2018)

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. 

Download the flier for details.  


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.

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.

New System Expands Services and Access to Care

Since launching the Drug Medi-Cal Organized Delivery System (DMC ODS) pilot in San Mateo County in February 2017, BHRS data has shown a 140% increase in the number of unique Medi-Cal beneficiaries served  annually by the Substance Use Disorder (SUD) provider network  – from 516 people in 2016 to 1,245 people in 2018.  DMC services billed to the State have also increased 206% since implementation.  This increase is due in part, to the increase in the number of certified DMC  providers, from four in 2016 to twenty-four certified DMC providers currently. 

What is the Drug Medi-Cal Organized Delivery System? 

The Drug Medi-Cal Organized Delivery System (DMC-ODS) is a pilot program which expands the services that can be provided to Medi-Cal beneficiaries under the Drug Medi-Cal benefit that were not previously covered.  Important new services include:  residential treatment, recovery support services, case management, and medication assisted treatment services.  When combined with the original DMC services (outpatient services, intensive outpatient, and opioid treatment services), a comprehensive substance use disorder benefit is now available.  Through these services, our aim is to improve access and timeliness to care,  enhance our client’s experience of care, and improve overall client health and wellness.    

Read more on how BHRS will continue serving and expanding treatment options and quality of care through this system, click here.

Recovery Happens: Real Stories – Real People

The sharing of a personal story can be self-reflective, educational, de-stigmatizing and incredibly empowering. During Recovery Month, we share stories of hope, resilience and recovery from those who have experienced substance use and/or mental health conditions. These individuals share their stories with the hope that others will be inspired to seek help and join them on the path to recovery. 

This overall sense of low self-worth was the perfect combination to lead me toward becoming an addict. Through addiction, I lost myself for years. Using drugs helped me numb my feelings and emotions for most of my adult life... (Melissa)

This life I built over the course of four decades collapsed all at once. Like one big tower, my life came crashing down. The trigger: the demise of a relationship I was in. I found myself looking at a life without love, without the family I helped create, without a job, no place to live, and so forth. I felt I had outlived my usefulness and was too old to rebuild. So, I decided to go for the permanent fix and tried really, really hard to kill myself... (William)

Click here to read the inspiring personal stories of local residents who have experienced mental health and substance use issues.

NAMI Walk 2019

Join the effort to support the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), raise awareness about the importance of good mental health and have fun in the process!

On September 21st, community members, volunteers and mental health advocates from around the Bay Area will walk together to support NAMI, their programs, and their mission to provide support, education, and advocacy to the mental health community.

SIGN UP to walk or support a team by making a donation to a team member listed on the ROSTER here.

Lived Experience Academy Starts October 3

Former LEA graduates and facilitators

Do you or someone you know have an empowering story to share?

The Lived Experience Academy, starting again next month, trains individuals who have experienced mental health and/or substance abuse challenges to share personal stories that make a difference, help reduce stigma, improve the BHRS services and develop leadership skills. 

Individuals in the program learn how to present stories of recovery in a way that inspires others and helps improve the County’s behavioral health services and the lives of San Mateo County clients and family members.

Apply by September 16, 2019. 

For more information or to apply, contact: Lee Harrison at (650) 372-6118, leharrison@smcgov.org or Jairo Wilches at (650) 573-2890,   jwilches@smcgov.org from the BHRS Office of Consumer & Family Affairs.

Download the flier.

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