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Office of Diversity & Equity

General information

The Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE)

Latest News and Highlights

Upcoming Events and Trainings​

Community Resources

Storytelling Program


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 
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 

General information

Workforce Development

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

2021 April Workforce Wellness Month Training Videos 

Ongoing Cultural Humility Trainings

Throughout the year the 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 contact Briana Evans at or 650-372-6138.

 To learn more about trainings contact Erica Britton by emailing her at


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

18-19 SMC BHRS Cultural Competency Plan Draft

Updated SMC BHRS Cultural Competency Plan 18-19 & 19-20

Meet Our Staff

Maria Lorente- Foresti

She/ Her/ Hers
Office of Diversity and Equity Director
(650) 573-2714 |

Doris Estremera

She/ Her/ Hers
Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) Manager
(650) 573-2889 |

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.  

Erica Britton

She/ Her/ Hers
Workforce Education Training (WET) Director
(650) 372-6153 |

Frances Lobos

She/ Her/ Hers
Community Health Planner
(650) 372-3272 |

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
(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. 

Tania Perez

Community Health Planner
(650) 573 5047 |

Tania is supporting the work with the Government Alliance for Racial Equity and BHRS’s Multicultural Organizational Development Plan. She received her Master’s in Public Health from University of California, Los Angeles with special interest on the intersection of health and educational disparities. She is passionate about racial equity, systems change, and increasing access to quality services to historically marginalized communities.

Kristie Lui

She/ Her/ Hers
Community Program Specialist I
650- 573- 5037 |

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

Camille Hicale

She/ Her/ Hers
Office Specialist
650-372-6137 |

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.