The Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE) had the honor of graduating two Health Ambassadors, Maria Valencia Trinidad Hernandez and Alexi Rosales, during the monthly Mental Health and Substance Abuse Recovery Commission on November 1st. They each shared with the group their heartfelt personal stories and dedication to help support healthy families and build stronger communities.
Left to right: David Young (Director of BHRS), Maria Valencia Trinidad Hernandez (HAP graduate), Alexi Rosales (HAP graduate), Jei Africa (Director of ODE)
The Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE) started the Health Ambassador Program (HAP) in 2014. HAP was first created per the request of parents subsequent to graduating the Parent Project program. After their 12-week course spent sharing their stories, learning new parenting skills, and supporting one another, the graduates expressed wanting to continue learning about mental illness and staying connected with each other, their neighbors and community members.
The Office of Diversity and Equity’s (ODE) is excited to grow it’s capacity to offer the highly successful Parent Project ® in San Mateo County. The Parent Project ® is a 12-week class that gives parents, grandparents, and caregivers the tools to build strong and healthy families. Since 2013, 550 San Mateo County parents have graduated the program, impacting well over 1,000 children.
Parent Project ® Program Coordinator, Frances Lobos, and Mental Health Program Specialist, Nancy Chen, LMFT, completed a week-long training to become Parent Project® facilitators.
Pictured above from left to right: Ralph Fry, Frances Lobos, Nancy Chen and Dr. Roger Morgan.
The training was offered by the creators of the curriculum themselves, Ralph “Bud” Fry and Dr. Roger Morgan. Bud is a retired Police Supervisor from Los Angeles County and has over 27 years of experience as a parent educator. Dr. Morgan is a Licensed Psychologist practicing in Southern California and specializes in the treatment of children and adolescents with behavior problems.
Currently, ODE is coordinating 5 classes and will have a new schedule of classes for Summer 2017 and Fall 2017 coming out soon. The Parent Project® is offered in English and Spanish. Classes are free and dinner and childcare are provided.
For more information about The Parent Project ®, visit http://www.smchealth.org/ParentProject or contact Frances Lobos at firstname.lastname@example.org, 650-372-3272.
On May 15th, 2016, SMC BHRS Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE) hosted its 3rd Annual Parent Project® Reunion at the Beresford Recreation and Community Center in San Mateo. It was a wonderful opportunity for Parent Project graduates to reconnect with their fellow classmates and facilitators, and celebrate their journey as parents along with their families and friends. Over 200 people attended the reunion and enjoyed the event which included catching up with fellow classmates, watching Folklorico performances by South San Francisco High School’s Alma de Mexico, participating in our fingerprint tree art activity, participating in the Be The One photo booth to end the stigma of mental health conditions, enjoying live entertainment by Los Tres Reyes and delicious food catered by Mango’s Mexican Grill.
Thank you to all of those who came to celebrate with us! Special thanks to those volunteered and made our event such a success! Thank you to Maggie Furey, Parent Project Coordinator, Dr. Maria Lorente-Foresti, Central County Mental Health Clinic Unit Chief and Mayra Gonzalez, ODE Intern for all of the work they have done to coordinate such an amazing course and resource for parents throughout the county and all of their planning to make the Parent Project Reunion possible.
We hope to see all of those who joined us again at our Parent Project Reunion next year!
In March and April 2016, the San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services’ Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE) was proud to introduce our eight newest Health Ambassadors to the Mental Health & Substance Abuse Recovery Commission. These individuals were awarded a BHRS Health Ambassador Certificate and were given a few moments to reflect on their experience participating in the Health Ambassador Program (HAP) and their hopes as a Health Ambassador.
[Our Health Ambassadors recognized in March from L to R: Darryl Stubblefield, Dr. Maria Lorente-Foresti – HAP Coordinator, Nora Perez, and Maria Anguiano. Bold names are our newest HAP recipients.]
[Health Ambassadors recognized in April 2016 from L to R: Marlenne Fajardo, Alejandra Cudos, Yrene Orue, Maggie Furey – Parent Project Coordinator, Maria Cuellar, and Sandy Bay. Bold names are our newest HAP recipients.]
We would like to congratulate these dedicated individuals and recognize them for their commitment and work to broaden our services and assist in addressing health disparities in our San Mateo County communities. We recognize their passion to help others and their pledge to continue learning. We acknowledge their continued work, as a BHRS Health Ambassador, to decrease stigma, assist individuals and families who are in need, to be a liaison with our communities & to teach others the tools to wellness.
To become a BHRS Health Ambassador, individuals must complete the ODE Parent Project® and 4 additional ODE community education courses. More information can be found at www.smchealth.org/bhrs/communityed.
The Health Ambassador Program is supported by SMC BHRS, ODE & is funded by the voter approved Mental Health Services Act (Prop 63).
Congratulations to Yolanda Ramirez who received one of the four the George Culores Hall of Fame award on January 6, 2016. This award is given to individuals, professionals, businesses, and the media who have made an extraordinary difference in the lives of people with mental illness and the communities in which they live.
Yolanda receives her award from MHSARC member, Rocio Cornejo.
Yolanda was nominated and chosen because of the dedication and heart she puts into working with and helping the communities of San Mateo County. Yolanda first got involved with BHRS over 4 years ago when she took The Parent Project® with the Office of Diversity and Equity as well as a NAMI course through the Office of Consumer and Family Affairs. She has since become a BHRS Health Ambassador, Parent Project facilitator, and NAMI Family to Family facilitator. Additionally, Yolanda switched career paths and now works as a Family Partner for Transitional Aged Youth at Edgewood Center for Children and Families where she uses her personal experience to provide support, training, and consultation to fellow parents involved in the treatment process of their youth’s transition to adulthood.
Congratulations to Yolanda on this much deserved award!
For more information on the Office of Diversity and Equity’s (ODE) Parent Project ® please visit http://smchealth.org/bhrs/ode/CommunityEd#parenting
For more information on the ODE’s Health Ambassador Program (HAP) please visit http://smchealth.org/bhrs/ode/CommunityEd#HAP
For more information on our MHSARC meeting please visit http://smchealth.org/mhsarc.
The Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE) has been coordinating Parent Project® classes across San Mateo County since 2010. We are proud to announce that we just completed our 36th parenting class. Each class is 12 weeks in length and focuses on providing practical and emotional support and knowledge to parents.
So, what is so wonderful about 36 classes? For us, it’s the incredible experience of reaching 629 parents in our community. It’s also about directly impacting 1,672 children that live with our Parent Project graduates!
Do you, or does someone you know, want to be part of this amazing group of individuals that have worked to better their familial relationships? If so, visit http://smchealth.org/bhrs/ode/CommunityEd#parenting
Congratulations to our newest ODE Parent Project® facilitators! These 3 individuals completed a week long training in San Jose, honing their facilitation skills and learning various techniques from the creators of the Parent Project®, Ralph Fry and Dr. Roger Morgan. Congratulations and we can’t wait to have you begin teaching in our communities!
Pictured from L to R: Dr. Roger Morgan, Rocio Lemus, Darryl Stubblefield, Alexi Rosales, and Ralph Fry.