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Health Equity Initiatives: Ten Year Review

Article Briana Evans

As we recognize Minority Mental Health Awareness Month this July, the Office of Diversity and Equity is pleased  to present our impact report, Health Equity Initiatives: A Ten-Year Review. The report showcases the  efforts and accomplishments of the eight Health Equity Initiatives (HEIs) and the Diversity and Equity Council.

Funded by the Mental Health Services Act, these initiatives connect providers, clients and community members who together, work towards improving and expanding culturally sensitive access to and treatment of behavioral health services for underserved communities and building cultural inclusiveness into the BHRS system.

While some of the project’s the Initiatives have championed may be familiar, like the recently-opened San Mateo County Pride Center (Pride Initiative), you may not have heard about all the ways in which the HEIs are improving our services for San Mateo County residents.

For example, the Native American Initiative contributed to the California Reducing Disparities Project: Native American Strategic Planning Work Group Report. This report provides health professionals across the state with recommendations on working with Native Americans. Through their work, they have impacted health systems and Native lives even beyond our County boundaries. 

The Pacific Islander (PI) Initiative helped design a PI-specific version of the Parent Project, a 12-week program that offers information and resources on disciplining children, preventing drug use, improving grades and communicating with kids. With over 100 PI parents trained, their work has had a lasting impact on families and community health.

Other Initiatives include: African American Community Initiative, Chinese Health Initiative, Filipino Mental Health Initiative, Latino Collaborative, and Spirituality Initiative.  To learn more about the impact of these initiatives and more, check out our impact report.

If you stand in support for minority mental health, join us at an HEI meeting this summer! Come support a community you care about or just get more information. You do not need to identify with the community the HEI supports to participate. For more information about the Health Equity Initiative and to view the Ten-Year Impact Report, visit  www.smchealth.org/hei

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