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Health System & Community Partners #BetheOneSMC to Bridge Communities to Wellness
Mental Health Awareness Month 2018

News

WHAT: San Mateo County Health System’s Behavioral Health and Recovery Services is partnering with local organizations throughout the month of May to raise awareness about mental health and substance use issues and the importance of getting help. This year’s theme for Mental Health Awareness Month (MHAM) is “Bridging Communities to Wellness,” where all San Mateo County residents can connect to resources that support their well-being, regardless of who they are or where they live in the county.

This is especially important on the Coastside, where broad geographic spans have produced communities that are isolated along the coast and from the inland areas of San Mateo County. San Mateo County will kick off MHAM with the May 4thArt of Wellness Festival in Half Moon Bay. This free event will focus on bridging communities to physical and mental wellness through dance performances, photo galleries, poetry slams, film screenings, wellness crafts, and more. Members of the public are also invited to learn about local resources and to Take the Pledge to help end the stigma surrounding mental health and substance use issues. 

The event was planned by thirteen agencies and is co-sponsored by the San Mateo County Behavioral Health & Recovery Services Office of Diversity and Equity, District 3 Supervisor Don Horsley, and Cabrillo Unified School District School Linked Services.

Guests at the free event will enjoy an evening of hope and inspiration, with a resource fair, food, raffle prizes, performances, activities, and the Be the One photo booth. All ages are welcome, and childcare is free. Spanish interpretation will be provided.

WHEN AND WHERE: The Art of Wellness Festival will be held on Friday, May 4, 2018 from 6 to 9pm at Cunha Intermediate School, Multipurpose Room, 600 Church Street, Half Moon Bay.

See the full calendar of events here: smchealth.org/mentalhealthmonth.

BACKGROUND:  Mental health and substance use conditions are medical conditions, and people can and do recover. One in four people have a mental health condition, but less than half are getting the help they need. Many people do not seek help for themselves or their loved ones because of the stigma surrounding mental health and substance use conditions and the fear that others will judge them. The longer someone waits to get help, the longer their recovery process becomes. The more we talk about mental health and how to best help someone, the more likely a loved one will feel empowered to seek help and recover.

Coastside community members often face barriers to seeking behavioral health services, including limited transportation, geographic isolation, few bilingual private providers, limited community-based agencies who provide behavioral health services, and no psychiatric emergency facilities on the coast. In partnership with community-based organizations, San Mateo County aims to raise awareness around the importance of mental wellness and to encourage the local community to actively seek help as soon as they need it.

For more information on local mental health services available in San Mateo County, visit smchealth.org/mentalhealth.  

For more information on Mental Health Awareness Month events in San Mateo County, visit smchealth.org/mentalhealthmonth.

CONTACT: (650) 867-1661

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