Tag Archives: Chinese Health Initiative

Chinese Health Initiative’s New Meeting Schedule

Next Chinese Health Initiative (CHI) meeting is on Friday, November 2nd from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. in Room 201 at 2000 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo.

Starting November, CHI meets the 1st Fridays of the month 1:30 p.m.- 3:00 p.m. in Room 201 at 2000 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo. Our December meeting is scheduled for Friday, December 7th, same time and location. 

For the most up-to-date information, please contact the CHI Co-Chairs Shiyu Zhang and Winnie Wu at CHI@smcgov.org.

August 24 – 2nd Annual Mental Health Open Mic at Philz


On Friday, August 24th, please join us for the 2nd Annual Mental Health Open Mic at Philz in Westborough Square. 

First 50 to register via eventbrite will receive a free coffee that evening! 

We hope to see you there, and we especially hope to hear you speak at our open mic!

Know the signs, find the words, and reach out. Break the silence. 


Facebook event link can be found here. 

This event is hosted by Supervisor Canepa, District 5, The Office of Diversity and Equity, Pacific Islander Initiative, Filipino Mental Health Initiative, and Chinese Health Initiative

Theatre of the Oppressed: Workshop Brings Diverse Staff Together to Explore Oppression in Everyday Lives

During Mental Health Awareness Month, the Community Health Promotion Unit hosted a Theatre of the Oppressed workshop to build awareness – through an embodied, experiential and participatory process – around root causes of health disparities. Participants explored the interwoven nature of trauma and oppression, exposing systems of oppression that perpetuate inequities along racial, ethnic, gender and socio-economic lines. Through story and theatre, participants explored their own awareness of power, privilege and oppression that exists around them as well as counter-oppressive solutions to implement in prevention and community work.

Native and Indigenous Peoples Initiative (NIPI) Co-Chair, Gloria Gutierrez, participated in the workshop describing it as a space for participants

“To express [themselves] void of judgement. As an individual that has been dedicated to learn about other cultures and communities I found [it] incredibly valuable. I would definitely recommend this training to my colleagues and community members as is teaches us a different approach to handle difficult issues.”

Another participant, Sylvia Tang, Co-Chair for the Chinese Health Initiative reflected,

“The training inspired me to think more deeply about the oppressive and liberating features of our Chinese culture that I have experienced. Hierarchy/compliance can be oppressive on the one hand but the fire for family unity/well-being can be liberating on the other hand. While many assume Chinese may quiet and compliant, there are many examples where Chinese-Americans have resisted and fought for the rights of our family’s well-being, including fighting for basic educational and legal rights during the era of the Chinese Exclusion Act.”

Read more

AANHPI Intergenerational Feast: Culture, Connection, Community | Sunday, 5/20


For the first time, in celebration of San Mateo County’s (SMC) Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities, Chinese Health Initiative (CHI), Filipino Mental Health Initiative (FMHI), and Pacific Islander Initiative (PII) collaborate to host a free intergenerational feast for the community filled with delicious free food, inspirational speakers, raffles, and wellness practice performances

Historically SMC’s AANHPI communities have had few events to recognize and celebrate one another. The goal of this event is to bridge the SMC AANHPI communities across ethnicities/ generations to be empowered together towards wellness. The event aims to strengthen relationships  and break the AANHPI communities from their silos. 

Please RSVP for the event by May 16th by emailing Kristie Lui at kflui@smcgov.org or calling her at (650) 573- 5037. 

We hope to see you all there!

Event Flyer

Written by Kristie Lui, CHI Member 

Mental Health Awareness Poetry Slam at Philz Coffee

The room was filled with a standing audience at the first Mental Health Awareness Poetry Slam at Philz Coffee in Westborough on Friday, November 17 6:00-8:00PM.  District 5 Supervisor David Canepa, the Office of Diversity and Equity’s Filipino Mental Health Initiative (FHMI) and Chinese Health Initiative (CHI) hosted this event and plan to host more on an ongoing basis. There were youth and adults who shared their poems and many shared very personal lived experience with mental health, addiction and suicidal ideation. The room was filled with not only people but courage from the poets and support from the audience.

Written by Sylvia Tang, Co-Chair of Suicide Prevention Committee

Learn more about suicide prevention at: smchealth.org/suicide-prevention

CHI’s First Health Care Rights And Immigration Forum For The Chinese Community

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Chinese Health Initiative (CHI) hosted its first Health Care Rights and Immigration Forum for the Chinese Community at Millbrae Library on Saturday, October 14th, 2017. There was a huge turnout, with more than 80 individuals attending in-person, along with over 250+ views from our Facebook live recording of the presentation. Of the attendees, we had 27 representatives, from 13 local community agencies, tabling at the Resource Fair. CHI was also recognized by Board of Supervisor David Canepa and by Chief of Staff from Supervisor Dave Pine’s office for our work in hosting the forum for the Chinese Community.

Read more

Chinese Outreach Pilot Program Makes a Positive Impact

While Chinese make up 11% of the San Mateo County population, only 2% of BHRS clients are Chinese.  In 2013, the Chinese Health Initiative (CHI) of the Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE) documented their findings of under-utilization of behavioral health services by Chinese immigrants and Chinese Americans and in June 2014, with Mental Health Services Act funding, successfully launched the Chinese Outreach Pilot Program.

The Chinese Outreach Pilot Program’s primary goal is to link individuals and families in need to appropriate behavioral health resources and further document the behavioral healthcare gaps and needs of the Chinese community. A part-time bilingual Outreach Worker was hired to provide outreach, linkage and warm hand-off.


“…the community needs more culturally and linguistically competent outreach workers to help overcome the barriers for this population to take advantage of mental health services. If these fledgling programs cease we will continue to see a lack of usage of those services until it’s too late in the cycle. It’s great to see the pilot program and we should continue and expand on the success of that program.” – community member

Chinese Outreach Pilot Program Successes To-Date

(June 2014 – April 2015)

  • 9 targeted language and culturally appropriate outreach materials created
  • 27 outreach and education events at community organizations and health fairs
  • 10 formal seminars or presentations conducted
  • 6 strategic partnerships to better serve and link Chinese clients to services
  • 42 Chinese clients and their families linked to behavioral health services

(January 2016 – June 2016)

  • 2 strategic partnerships to better serve and link Chinese clients to services (a strong screening and referral system in primary care clinics and effective linking through the BHRS Access center)
  • 4  outreach and education events to public high schools
  • 23 monolingual Chinese seniors provided mental wellness screening
  • 21 community based agencies reached and developed partnerships
  • 12 Chinese clients and their families linked to behavioral health services


The Chinese Outreach Pilot Program has demonstrated a need for increased outreach and services for the Chinese community; so much so that the initial outreach worker was hired by a local health agency which provided the majority of referrals to BHRS.   In January 2016, a new Outreach Worker was hired to continue the work.  While there are systemic and resources challenges still to be addressed, we are hopeful that the Outreach Worker model will continue to sustain the successful efforts and partnerships developed and even be replicated to support other underserved communities in San Mateo County.

To view the full reports, please visit the ODE website at www.smchealth.org/bhrs/ode.

Mental Wellness Screening event for Chinese seniors a success

imageOn July 26th 2016 the Chinese Health Initiative (CHI), of the Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE), coordinated a free Mental Wellness Screening event for 25 seniors of Self Help for the Elderly, a senior center dedicated to provide a place and resources of monolingual Chinese residents of San Mateo County.

ODE’s Chinese Outreach Worker, along with CHI members, Chinese-speaking community volunteers, and BHRS staff and clinicians, organized the event.  Services included screening monolingual seniors for depression, educating them on their results and referring them to appropriate care, if needed.  Service agencies from throughout San Mateo County also attended to promote behavioral health resources available to the community.

Chinese seniors who participated in the event provided very grateful responses to this event in spite of the strong stigma ingrained within traditional Chinese culture. CHI is very appreciative of the opportunity to work closely with Self Help for the Elderly and looks forward to future partnerships.