Tag Archives: Mental Health

AACI Hosts Black History Month Kick Off Event: Empowerment Begins with You

2018 Black History Month Event Final Flier 12 27 (002)-1

On Saturday, January 27th, African American Community Initiative (AACI) will be kicking off Black History month with a fun, informative, and free event celebrating the wellness, resilience, and recovery of the African American Community. 

Stop by the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center to share stories, promote wellness and take one step towards improving the well being of our communities. With a focus on understanding substance use and suicide risk in the African American community, the event will feature a resource fair, informative presentations, a Photovoice panel where young people will share their stories, cultural entertainment, children’s activities and a free soulful lunch.

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1-800-273-8255

fdcd930d5170419e978927d110bc6f5e.1000x1000x1This week, October 1st through October 7th, is Mental Health Awareness Week. Mental health conditions are important to discuss year-round, but highlighting them during this week provides a dedicated time for mental health allies and advocates across the country to come together as one unified voice.

This year during MTV’s Video Music Awards, rapper Logic released the video for his new song titled 1-800-273-8255. The song brought up the topic of suicidal ideation: the feeling of not wanting to live and feelings of hopelessness. The video portrays a black high school student struggling to cope with his father’s reaction to his sexuality and the loneliness of abruptly losing a safe haven. Watch the video here.

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Spanish Suicide Prevention Resources

Preguntar directamente sobre el suicidio puede ayudar a salvar una vida pero puede ser difícil si no sabe qué decir. Visite www.elsuicidioesprevenible.org para aprender sobre cuales son algunas de las herramientas de cómo usted puede hacer una gran diferencia en la vida de otros.

Asking about suicide directly can help save a life but it can be difficult if you do not know what to say. Visit www.elsuicidioesprevenible.org (Spanish) or www.suicideispreventable.org to learn about some of the tools on how you can make a big difference in the lives of others.

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Help Veterans In Crisis

veteran affairs#BeThe1To remind the #Veterans and #Servicemembers in your life that you support them. 1 small act can make a big difference for those in crisis. Learn more how to support a veteran in crisis by attending the Department of Veteran Affairs Suicide Prevention Training on Friday, September 22 10-11:30am at 225 37th Avenue, San Mateo. Register by 9/18 at www.vasuicideprevention.eventbrite.com. #SMCPrevention

If you or someone you know is facing a mental health crisis, call the 1-800-273-8255. For veterans, press 1.

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Pride Center’s Suicide Prevention Month Events

pridecenterThe risk of suicide is high among the LGBTQ+ community. For example, the rate of suicide attempts is 4 times greater for lesbian, gay and bisexual youth and 2 times greater for questioning youth than that of straight youth.

San Mateo County Pride Center is here to help the LGBTQ+ individuals with clinical and community resources. #BeThe1To attend or share the Suicide Prevention Month events happening at the Pride Center.   #SMCPrevention

If you know a LGBTQ+ youth facing a mental health crisis, call The Trevor Project (1-866-488-7386), Trans Lifeline (1-877-565-8860) or Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255).
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Why Don’t Teachers Get Training On Mental Health Issues

Earlier this month, I represented ODE at the first annual Pacifica Family Summit at Ingrid B. Lacey Middle School. The day featured workshops led by youth as well as adults on topics such as peer mentoring, meaningful youth engagement, substance use, and digital storytelling. It was a great start of a longer conversation among students, families, teachers, and school staff about mental health.

On one youth-led panel I attended on coping with stress, anxiety and special needs, a member of the school’s staff said that teachers and coaches often serve on the front line of mental health disorders: “Your child might not open up to you, but she’ll open up to me.” Which made me wonder, why don’t teachers receive more training on mental health issues, especially among adolescents?

An article on KQED News asks the same question. Author Katrina Schwartz notes that teachers have a lot of balls to juggle: “content standards, the social and emotional needs of students, behavior, and often trauma.” Citing an article originally published in The Atlantic, Schwartz also notes that more and more schools are using such evidence-based mental health programs as Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and Trauma-Sensitive Schools. But without basic mental health training, “it is easy to confuse the symptoms of a mental health disorder with run-of-the-mill misbehavior.”

The Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE) offers a free, interactive course for schools in San Mateo County called Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA). This training is geared towards adults who work with youth, including classroom teachers, school site administrators, school office personnel, coaches, bus drivers, afterschool providers, teacher’s aides, school health aides, yard duty staff, crossing guards, parents, faith community members, and the general community. The course empowers adults to identify and respond to a young person (aged 12-24) who may be experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis/challenge or emotional distress. With YMHFA’s 5-step Action Plan, school personnel will be better equipped to identify signs, symptoms, and risk factors for mental health challenges that commonly affect our young people. Mental health literacy creates a safer, supportive, and inclusive school community by reducing stigma and increasing access to and knowledge about appropriate mental health services. YMHFA has made me a better listener and has encouraged me to bring more awareness to the stigma of mental health in our communities.  To date, San Mateo County has trained 1,538 individuals in Youth Mental Health First Aid.

To learn more about the program or to become a YMHFAider, contact Natalie Andrade at nandrade@smcgov.org or 650-372-8548. If you prefer to watch a video about our MHFA program, click here.

Co-authors: Hillary Chu and Natalie Andrade

Catholic Charities at SMHS Parent Project

 

2(Photo L-R):Felipe Navarro (Catholic Charities), Rocio Lemus (Parent Project Facilitator), Diana Otero (Catholic Charities), and Alexi Rosales (Parent Project Facilitator)

Due to a high level of fear and anxiety being experienced by families, on Tuesday, February 28th Parents Project participants received important information about current immigration policies and what to do if stopped by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).  Diana Otero, Program Director for Catholic Charities Refugee & Immigrant Services in San Mateo County, began by asking parents how they were feeling about the current situation. She reminded the group that this is not the first time immigrant communities have been targeted. Parents were encouraged to 1) know their rights, 2) be prepared, 3) become a legal resident, if possible.  More importantly, to not let fear paralyze them from seeking accurate information and preparing for the future. With the message “don’t stress, plan,” the presentation concluded with a call to action, parents were given the phone number to Congress and asked to call each day to ask for immigration reform.  Many parents expressed feeling less anxious and more reassured after the presentation.

For more information about the Parent Project, contact Frances Lobos at flobos@smcgov.org.

 

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