Tag Archives: Mental Health

Help Name the Future Cordilleras Behavioral Health Campus

San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services would like your help in naming the future Cordilleras Behavioral Health Campus and its five new buildings— a Campus Center and four Mental Health Rehabilitation Centers (see digital rendering) currently under construction in the unincorporated area of Redwood City.  

The names should center around themes such as recovery, wellness, healing, and nature to capitalize on its beautiful, serene, natural setting to complement the process of wellness, rehabilitation, and recovery, as well as incorporate the vision of the project.


Submit suggestions using this form by November 23, 2022. 

A diverse committee will review and select the future names, which will be announced before the new programs open.    

About the programs that will be housed at the future Cordilleras Behavioral Health Campus:
The future Cordilleras Behavioral Health campus has been designed to provide a world-class healing therapeutic environment that is far more homelike and far less institutional. This came about from an extensive review of best clinical practices, as well as campus and building models around the world. Treating people in a smaller-scale, more homelike setting reduces social isolation and creates a more natural environment for healing and social skills training, thereby mitigating problems related to adjustment and recovery. There will be four 16-bed mental health rehabilitation centers and co-housing for 57 residents along with a Campus Center. Construction of the new $155 million campus is currently underway next to the current facility. Completion is slated for the fall of 2023. Learn more about this project.  

For questions, please contact Terry Wilcox-Rittgers, BHRS special projects coordinator at twilcox-rittgers@smcgov.org

11/18- TransACTION Day of Change

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!

Email Tanya Beat, LGBTQ Commission Director, tbeat@smcgov.org or
Azisa Todd, SMC Pride Center Lead Trainer & Events Coordinator, azisa.todd@sanmateopride.org

For more information about TransACTION Day of Change, visit: https://www.smcgov.org/lgbtq/event/transaction-day-change

10/11 – National Day of Prayer for Behavioral Health & Understanding

Each year in the beginning of October the nation celebrates the National Day of Prayer for Behavioral Health and Understanding. This day is designed to bring together mental health and substance abuse networks and faith leaders together so that they may recognize the importance of behavioral health issues in our community.

On Tuesday, Oct 11, BHRS Office of Diversity and Equity‘s Spirituality Initiative, Latino Collaborative and numerous faith leaders will virtually host our county’s 5th National Interfaith Day of Prayer for Behavioral Health and Understanding.

Register at https://smcgov.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJAucu2grzouE9NWb7iKsoJKaQk4pG7Y-6GF

We invite consumers, faith base community, providers, and community to attend this event.

For more info contact Pam Ward Pious at wpam3238@gmail.com or Isaac Frederick at ifrederick@smcgov.org

2022 May Mental Health Month #SMCTakeAction4MH


As many of you know, May is Mental Health Month or, as we also like to call it, the lime greenest time of the year! This year’s theme, adopted from the statewide campaign, is #SMCTakeAction4MH. The theme encourages everyone to take actionable steps to address mental health and substance use matters. Over the past two years, the pandemic has been especially challenging for many of us. Your mental health is more important than ever. Throughout the month, learn ways you can take action to improve your communities’ mental wellness!

Each year we partner with local agencies and community members to offer free events throughout San Mateo County. This year, we are offering both in-person and virtual events!

To find our full calendar of events, learn ways to get involved, and find behavioral health resources. Visit our website here: SMCMentalHealthMonth.org.

Please promote Mental Health Month with your communities and networks by sharing our promo flyer and utilizing our virtual backgrounds.

In community, 

Kristie & Sylvia
Co-Chairs, May Mental Health Month Planning Committee
Behavioral Health & Recovery Services Office of Diversity and Equity

Sylvia Tang | She/Her/她
stang@smcgov.org | 650-578-7165

Kristie Lui | She/Her/她

Take Action for Self-Care #6: Being Gentle with Ourselves 

This message is repeated in Spanish below. 

Being gentle with oneself by setting boundaries and limits that support our mental health may be the most important self-care of all, especially with the fatigue and exhaustion we are all experiencing from the seemingly never-ending pandemic. As author Brianna Wiest says: “Self-care should not be something we resort to because we are so absolutely exhausted that we need some reprieve from our own relentless internal pressure. True self-care is not salt baths and chocolate cake, it is making the choice to build a life you don’t need to regularly escape from.” 

Most of us experience any number of emotions from day to day. Experiencing negative emotions, especially when under stress, is part of the human experience; however, if left unprocessed or unacknowledged, they can cause harm physically and emotionally.  

Research has found that breathing practices are effective at reducing stress, balancing our energy and emotions, and helping us process some of the more challenging feelings that can arise. Starting with small actions can be a good way to begin incorporating breathing into our self-care routine.   

For example, try out one of the breathing exercises below or mindful breathing, which has been known to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. 

Belly Breathing: When you breathe, your belly should expand, involving your diaphragm, a large muscle in your abdomen. This type of breathing is known as diaphragmatic, or belly breathing and can lower stress levels, reduce blood pressure, lower our heart rate, and help us relax. Download, share and watch the 30-second Belly Breathing Animation, which can be found here: https://www.suicideispreventable.org/social-media.php 

4-7-8 Breathing Technique 

Otherwise known as “relaxing breath”, 4-7-8 breathing, is a simple breathing exercise that can be done anywhere, anytime to aid in stress reduction, grounding, and even sleep. Inhale for a count of 7, hold for a county of 4, and then exhale for a count of 8!  Download and share the 4-7-8 Breathing Card and Social Media post which can be found here.

For 24/7 emotional support for you or your loved one, reach out to these resources: 


Tomar acción para el autocuidado #6: Ser gentil con nosotros mismos 

Ser amable con uno mismo estableciendo límites que apoyen nuestra salud mental puede ser el cuidado personal más importante de todos, especialmente con la fatiga y el agotamiento que todos estamos experimentando debido a la aparentemente interminable pandemia. Como dice la autora Brianna Wiest: “El cuidado personal no debería ser algo a lo que recurramos porque estamos tan absolutamente agotados que necesitamos un respiro de nuestra propia presión interna implacable. El verdadero cuidado personal no consiste en baños de sal y pastel de chocolate, es tomar la decisión de construir una vida de la que no es necesario escapar con regularidad “. 

Todos los días, la mayoría de nosotros experimentamos una gran cantidad de emociones. Experimentar emociones negativas, especialmente cuando está bajo estrés, es parte de la experiencia humana; sin embargo, si no se procesan o no se reconocen, pueden causar daño físico y emocional. 

Los estudios han descubierto que las prácticas de respiración son efectivas para reducir el estrés, equilibrar nuestra energía y emociones y ayudarnos a procesar algunos de los sentimientos más desafiantes que pueden surgir. Comenzar con pequeñas acciones puede ser una buena forma de comenzar a incorporar la respiración en nuestra rutina de cuidado personal.  

Por ejemplo, pruebe el ejercicio de respiración a continuación o la respiración plena, que reduce la sensación de estrés y ansiedad. 

4-7-8 Técnica de respiración 

También conocido como “respiración relajante”, respiración 4-7-8, es un ejercicio de respiración simple que se puede hacer en cualquier lugar, en cualquier momento para ayudar a reducir el estrés, conectarse a tierra e incluso dormir. Inhala contando hasta 7, mantén pulsado para un conteo de 4 y luego exhala para un conteo de 8. Descargue y comparta la tarjeta de respiración 4-7-8 y la publicación en las redes sociales que se pueden encontrar aquí

Para obtener apoyo emocional las 24 horas del día, los 7 días de la semana para usted o su ser querido, comuníquese con estos recursos

Take Action for Self-Care #5: The Art of Gratitude 

This message is repeated in Spanish below. 

Making time for self-care isn’t easy, especially when we’re busy and overwhelmed with many concerns such as work, school and the ongoing pandemic.  Mindfulness can be a first step for anyone who struggles with self-care. While there is a very deep body of work to be explored and practiced for those who are interested (like Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) experimenting with mindfulness is available to anyone.  

A good place to start is to consciously shift our awareness to the smallest moments of joy we experience -a good laugh, a friendly hello, or feeling touched by a kind word or gesture. Research has found that small moments of positivity can accumulate over time and form new pathways in our brain. As a result, feelings of positivity and gratitude become easier the more we experience them. 

Another starting point is to think about someone or something we are grateful for. The ways we show and practice gratitude can differ based on our culture, background, upbringing, and personalities. “Connective gratitude” is practiced in various cultures and occurs when we show gratitude in a meaningful and personalized way, thinking about how we can pass kindness to others. Though not the answer in every situation, gratitude can bring us closer together, giving us hope as we focus on something, or someone, that is going well. 

Practicing gratitude is an important skill that can strengthen our relationships, and relationships are an important part of our self-care practice. This Self-Care Assessment asks us to think about our relationships.  Do you schedule regular activity with your partner/spouse or your children? Do you make time to see friends? Do you stay in contact with relatives and faraway friends? Allow others to do things for you? Do you ask for help when you need it? 

With all this in mind, the Directing Change Program asked youth to reflect on “the Art of Gratitude” through art, film and narrative in November 2021.  We hope you will take a moment to draw inspiration from their creativity. 

For 24/7 emotional support for you or your loved one, reach out to these resources: 

Tomar acción para el autocuidado #5: ¿De que estas agradecido? 

Hacer tiempo para el cuidado personal no es fácil, especialmente cuando estamos ocupados y abrumados por muchas preocupaciones, como el trabajo, la escuela y la pandemia en curso. La atención plena basada el presente puede ser un primer paso fácil para cualquier persona que tenga dificultades con el cuidado personal. Hay un cuerpo de trabajo extenso para explorar y practicar para aquellos que estén interesados ​​(como la Reducción del estrés basada en la atención plena). Experimentar con la atención plena es fácil y está disponible para cualquier persona. 

Un buen lugar para comenzar es conscientemente enfocar nuestra atención a los momentos más pequeños de alegría que experimentamos: una buena risa, un saludo amistoso o el sentimiento que resulta al recibir una palabra o un gesto amable. Los estudios han encontrado que los momentos pequeños de positividad pueden acumularse con el tiempo y formar nuevas vías en nuestro cerebro. Como resultado, los sentimientos de positividad y gratitud se vuelven más fáciles cuanto más los experimentamos. 

Otra manera para comenzar es pensar en alguien o en algo por lo que estamos agradecidos. Las formas en que mostramos y practicamos la gratitud pueden diferir según nuestra cultura, antecedentes, educación y personalidades. La “gratitud conectiva” se practica en varias culturas y ocurre cuando mostramos gratitud de una manera significativa y personalizada, pensando en cómo podemos transmitir bondad a los demás. Aunque no es la respuesta en todas las situaciones, la gratitud puede acercarnos más, dándonos esperanza mientras nos enfocamos en algo, o alguien, que nos va bien. 

Practicar la gratitud es una habilidad importante que puede fortalecer nuestras relaciones, puesto que las relaciones son una parte importante de nuestra práctica de cuidado personal. En el asesoramiento de autocuidado que se encuentra adjunto nos pide que pensemos en nuestras relaciones. ¿Programa actividades regulares con su pareja / cónyuge o sus hijos? ¿Toma tiempo para ver a sus amigos? ¿Mantiene contacto con familiares y amigos lejanos? ¿Permite que otros hagan cosas por usted? ¿Pide ayuda cuando la necesita? 

Con todo esto en mente, el Programa Directing Change pidió a los jóvenes que reflexionaran sobre la pregunta “¿De que estas agradecido?” a través del arte, video o películas y la narrativa en noviembre del 2021. Le pedimos que tome un momento para inspirarse de la creatividad de estos jóvenes. 

Para obtener apoyo emocional las 24 horas del día, los 7 días de la semana para usted o su ser querido, comuníquese con estos recursos

Take Action for Self-Care #4: Check-in, Learn More & Get Support 

This message is repeated in Spanish below. 

What are your hopes for 2022? With the ongoing pandemic, we may have had to adapt what our goals are or how we go about achieving them. An important goal to continue pursuing is to take action for your mental health.  

One thing to place at the top of the resolution list is making time for self-care. Taking the time to intentionally care for our whole self – body, mind and soul – can keep us energized and mentally well in 2022.  Self-care creates wellness not only for oneself but for the whole community around us.  

And remember, real self-care has very little to do with “treating yourself” and a whole lot do with making choices for our long-term wellness every single day. Real self-care is about building habits that support our health and well-being. It’s making choices about where and how we spend our precious energy and time.  

Here are some examples of some actions you can take:  

  • Make time for self-care 
  • Check-in with friends and family more often 
  • Learn more about mental health, self-care practices, and support options available in your community 
  • Get support when needed and remember:  You are not alone 

For 24/7 emotional support for you or your loved one, reach out to these resources: 

Tomar acción para el autocuidado #4: regístrese/comuníquese, aprenda más y busque ayuda. 

¿Qué esperan para el 2022? Con la pandemia en curso, es posible que hayamos tenido que adaptar cuáles son nuestros objetivos o cómo vamos a lograrlos. Un objetivo importante que debe seguir persiguiendo es tomar medidas para proteger su salud mental. 

Lo primero en la lista de resoluciones debería ser él hacer tiempo para el cuidado personal. Tomar el tiempo para cuidar intencionalmente de todo nuestro ser (cuerpo, mente y alma) puede mantenernos con energía y mentalmente bien en el 2022. El cuidado personal crea bienestar no solo para uno mismo sino para toda la comunidad que nos rodea. 

Y recuerde, el verdadero cuidado personal tiene muy poco que ver con “darse un gusto” y mucho con tomar decisiones para nuestro bienestar a largo plazo todos los días. El verdadero cuidado personal consiste en desarrollar hábitos que respalden nuestra salud y bienestar. Se trata de tomar decisiones sobre dónde y cómo gastamos nuestra preciada energía y nuestro tiempo. 

A continuación, se muestran algunos ejemplos de algunas acciones que puede hacer: 

  • Tómese un tiempo para el cuidado personal 
  • Comuníquese con amigos y familiares con más frecuencia 
  • Obtenga más información sobre la salud mental, las prácticas de autocuidado y las opciones de apoyo disponibles en su comunidad 
  • Obtenga apoyo cuando lo necesite y recuerde: no está solo 

Para obtener apoyo emocional las 24 horas del día, los 7 días de la semana para usted o su ser querido, comuníquese con estos recursos

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