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Community Education


Community Education & Programs

Learn about and get certified in Mental Health First Aid, which helps you identify and respond to mental health crises; take a Parent Project course to learn parenting skills and get information about resources and support available in your communities; become a Health Ambassador and help other members of your community who may be experiencing symptoms of a mental illness or a substance use problem; or become a graduate of the Lived Experience Academy to empower others in furthering their healing process.

FREE community education courses for the public are made possible by the voter-approved Mental Health Service Act (Prop 63).

For more information, visit the Office of Diversity & Equity, or email them at

General information

Be Sensitive, Be Brave
Cultural Responsive Workshops for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention

The Be Sensitive, Be Brave infuses culture and diversity throughout these two free foundational workshops on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention for community members.

Be Sensitive, Be Brave – For Mental Health

The mental health workshop prepares community members to help friends and loved ones during times of distress. Learn how to recognize mental health conditions, what to do when someone needs support, and tools for maintaining good mental health.

Learn how to:

(650) 208-5799
General information

Mental Health First Aid
Become a MHFAider - 1,578 MHFAiders trained!

Hosted by The Office of Diversity and Equity

Mental Health First Aid is an interactive 8 hour public education program that helps the public identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. 

Participants will gain an overview of mental illness and substance use disorders in the U.S., learn the risk factors and warning signs, build understanding of the impact of mental illnesses, and reviews common treatments.

General information

Youth Mental Health First Aid
Become a YMHFAider - 2,432 YMFAiders trained!

Hosted by The Office of Diversity and Equity 

The Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) course is an 6-8-hour public education training program designed for any adult working with or assisting young people, ages 12-18. The course focuses on how to help a young person who may be experiencing a mental health challenge or crisis.

Participants will learn:

The Parent Project ®

The Parent Project ®
Over 1000 Parent Project Graduates!

Fall 2023 Schedule

To sign up for a specific class, please contact the facilitator in the flyer. Please note that signing up online does not guarantee your registration as space is limited. The facilitator will contact you to confirm your spot on the sign up list. 

General information
Storytelling Program

Storytelling Program

Hosted by The Office of Diversity and Equity

The Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE) storytelling program empowers community members to share their stories of recovery and wellness to heal and to address issues within their communities. Participants engage in workshops that help them create and share their stories in different forms. Beginning with a framing question, facilitators support participants to share their stories as Photovoices or Digital Stories.

General information

Health Ambassador Program

As a community member with knowledge and experience, you can make a difference in the lives of families, friends, neighbors, and other members in your community who may be experiencing symptoms of a mental illness and/or a substance use problem. Health Ambassadors are individuals who are committed to helping to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals in their community and complete the Health Ambassador Program.

Health Ambassador Opportunities:

  • Teach youth and adult courses in your community.
  • Assist in identifying needs in your community and helping to make a change.
  • Share your thoughts with the County of San Mateo about wellness in your community.
  • Work with other dedicated individuals. Participate in various volunteer opportunities.

San Mateo County’s Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (BHRS) Health Ambassador Program (HAP) was created in recognition of the important role that community members serve in effectively reaching out to others.


Lived Experience Academy (LEA)

The Lived Experience Academy (LEA) is designed for individuals who identify as having experience with mental health and/or substance use challenges, and/or their family members. Participants will learn how to share their stories for the purpose of empowering themselves, furthering the healing process, reducing stigma, and educating others about behavioral health conditions. Graduates can go on to be part of the Speakers Bureau and receive a stipend to share their stories with behavioral health providers and community members.