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Office of Diversity & Equity

General information

Welcome
The Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE)

Latest News and Highlights

Upcoming Events and Trainings​

Community Resources

Storytelling Program

BHRS Blog

ODE is dedicated to creatively bringing discussions of inequities, disparities, and injustice front and center in our work. We invite you to visit our page on the BHRS Blog: 

 

For more info, email us at ODE@smcgov.org. 
General information

Our Programs/ Classes
Free Classes and Programs

View individual links to learn how to participate in each program:

Mental Health First Aid
Youth Mental Health First Aid
Parent Project®
Health Ambassador Programs
Storytelling Program
Health Equity Initiatives
Suicide Prevention
#BeTheOneSMC (Stigma Discrimination Reduction Campaign)
Mental Health Awareness Month

FREE community education course for the public are made possible by the voter-approved Mental Health Services Act (Prop 63) and Measure K

For more info, email us at ODE@smcgov.org. 

General information

Workforce Development

The BHRS Workforce, Education, & Training  (WET) program provides education, training, and workforce development to San Mateo County behavioral health staff, client/ consumers, and family members.  WET aims to achieve a diverse, culturally responsive, and clinically effective workforce to provide the best possible care for our community. Visit the WET webpage to learn more. 

2021 April Workforce Wellness Month Training Videos 

Ongoing Cultural Humility Trainings

Throughout the year the BHRS Office of Diversity and Equity offers a variety of free trainings to providers, clients, consumers, and community members. They exist to ensure that behavioral health systems prioritize cultural humility, inclusion, and quality care for all. 

Title Description
Becoming Visible- Using Cultural Humility in Asking Sexual Orientation Gender Identity (SOGI) Questions

One of San Mateo County BHRS’ strategic initiatives is to reduce healthcare disparities in the LGBTQ+ populations. In order to achieve this goal, we will start collecting data on sexual orientation and gender identity of all our patients/clients. This will require extensive staff training in LGBTQ+ health and psychosocial issues faced by the LGBTQ+ populations.

Prevention and Management of Assaultive Behavior In Outpatient Settings This course will help participants identify words used to initiate the cycle of provocation/ antagonization as well as primary interventions that must reliably stimulate rational-thought in another. Participants will also recognize communicational missteps and default words to re-establish balance in a professional relationship. 
Working Effectively with Interpreters in a Behavioral Health Setting Learn how you and an interpreter can bridge the gap between a client’s diverse language and culture. You play a key role in helping people from all background improve their health and well-being. Interpreters can improve your communication with clients and help you better understand and meet their individual needs.
Working Effectively with Interpreters: Refresher Course Using the principles that were learned in the in-person training, this course is a convenient online refresher course that is aimed at refreshing staff and county contractors with knowledge and skills to develop competency in working with interpreters.
Building Bridges to Diversity and Inclusion: Cultural Humility for Clinical and Non-Clinical Staff

Cultural humility offers one approach to engage with the ever-changing dynamics of cultural and difference, power and privilege, as we go through our day-to-day work.  This collaborative and interactive training will provide attendees with an opportunity to engage and explore these concepts as we all continue to work towards fostering inclusion in the workplace. 

Office of Diversity and Equity Internship Program The ODE Internship Program is designed to provide work opportunities and practical learning experience for undergraduate college and graduate students in order to enhance their academic preparation and expose them to public service at the county level. Interns are paid with a stipend funded by MHSA. For more information, please email ODE@smcgov.org.

 To learn more about BHRS trainings contact the BHRS Office of Diversity and Equity at ODE@smcgov.org.

General information

Resources

SMC BHRS ODE Cultural Competency Plan

Each year the State of California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) requires county mental health departments to develop a Cultural Competence Plan (CCP) as per the DHCS Cultural Competence Plan Requirements (CCPR) intended to move toward the reduction of mental health service disparities and works toward the development of the most culturally and linguistically competent programs and services to meet the needs of California’s diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural communities in the mental health system of care. At San Mateo County (SMC) BHRS we have tied this requirement to the paths we take to support our workforce, our CBO’s and those we serve.

For fiscal year 20-21, our SMC CCP and updates submission (includes FY 20-21 Plan: 3-year review & redlined Updates for FY 20-21) reflects how BHRS continues to deepen its efforts to develop a culturally responsive and inclusive system in support of the behavioral health and recovery needs of San Mateo County’s increasingly diverse population, while also supporting our communities through the COVID-19 pandemic.

We want to first express our deep gratitude to our entire workforce and stakeholders, without whom none of these advancements would be possible, for your honesty and input on how we can improve these efforts in the future. Our goal is for this document to inform and guide our work, for cultural competence and the principles of cultural humility to remain at the forefront of BHRS. We have seen over the past two years how anything is possible when we come together. This document exemplifies those efforts. Again, Thank You for the work, passion, thoughtfulness, and time that so many of you have dedicated to creating meaningful change!

SMC BHRS Cultural Competency Plan 2020-2021

SMC BHRS ODE Cultural Competency Plan 2020-2021

Community Resources
Forms

Participant Demographic Surveys

For Virtual Events

  • Demographic Survey Guide (PDFWord)
  • Presentation Slide (Sample) (PPT)
  • Summary Report (Sample) (PDF)

For In-Person Events

Reports

April 2020: 2020 San Mateo County Community Stigma Baseline Survey

June 2017: 2017 Chinese Community Outreach Worker Progress Report

June 2017: Health Equity Initiatives - A Ten-Year Review

July 2015: Community Education (Measure A Funded) Programs Report

January 2016 – July 2016: 2016 Chinese Community Outreach Worker Progress Report

June 2014 – April 2015: 2015 Chinese Community Outreach Worker Progress Report

April 2014: ODE Report - Eliminating Disparities, Inequities, and Stigma in Behavioral Health

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About Us

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The Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE) advances health equity in behavioral health outcomes of marginalized communities throughout San Mateo County. ODE works to empower communities; influence policy and system changes; develop strategic and meaningful partnerships; and promote workforce development and transformation within the County’s behavioral health service system. 

ODE Theory of Change

Meet Our Staff

Maria Lorente- Foresti

She/ Her/ Hers
Office of Diversity and Equity Director
mlorente-foresti@smcgov.org

Doris Estremera

She/ Her/ Hers
Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) Manager
destremera@smcgov.org

Doris is the Mental Health Service Act (MHSA) Manager for San Mateo County Behavioral Health & Recovery Services providing oversight to the MHSA planning, stakeholder engagement, reporting and evaluation activities. Doris began working for San Mateo County Health in 2003 as an Outreach Worker and has since led strategic planning projects in language access, cultural competence, youth development, public information and risk communication, social marketing, community engagement and partnerships in health policy work.  

Frances Lobos

She/ Her/ Hers
Community Health Planner
flobos@smcgov.org

Frances coordinates the Parent Project, a program that helps families build stronger relationships. She is also a Co-Chair of the Latino Collaborative, which is dedicated to reducing social and health disparities in the Latino community. She is passionate about preventive programs and expanding access to health care for vulnerable communities.

Sylvia Tang

She/ Her/ Hers
Community Health Planner
Stigma Discrimination Reduction
Suicide Prevention
Evaluation Support
stang@smcgov.org | 650-578-7165

Committed to advancing health equity, Sylvia focuses on building coalitions that cultivate self love, community empowerment and social justice. Her main areas of work are stigma discrimination reduction (of mental health and substance use issues), suicide prevention and evaluation support. She co-chairs the Suicide Prevention Committee and Mental Health Awareness Month Planning Committee. She is also a member of the Chinese Health Initiative. She has a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Public Health from UC Berkeley and Master in Public Policy (MPP) from Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Her passions also include singing, making photo books and being civically engaged. 

Kristie Lui

She/ Her/ Hers
Community Program Specialist I
kflui@smcgov.org

Kristie supports a variety of ODE programs and projects as well as the production of several ODE resources with the intention of building inclusion and cultural humility practices in the San Mateo County. She also oversees ODE Communications to bring discussions of inequities, disparities and injustice in ODE’s work. Kristie received her B.S. in Community Health Science from California State University, East Bay.

Maria (Charo) Martinez Resendiz

She/ Her/ Hers
Peer Support Worker
mmartinezresendiz@smcgov.org | 650-542-1447

Camille Hicale

She/ Her/ Hers
Office Specialist
chicale@smcgov.org

Camille provides administrative and office support for ODE.  She brings 10 years of experience as a former San Francisco Unified School District educator.  Born and raised in San Mateo, Camille is grateful to be part of a team whose work empowers the diverse communities throughout the County.