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Mental Health Awareness Month
Events Spread “Words of Wellness” through Local Libraries

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San Mateo County Health’s Behavioral Health and Recovery Services division joins the state and country in celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month (MHAM) this May to inspire action towards reducing stigma and discrimination against persons with mental health and substance use conditions.

Behavioral Health and Recovery Services has partnered with San Mateo County Libraries, the Peninsula Library System, and 20 local community agencies to offer over 40 public events to bring the national and statewide mental health movement to local community spaces—public libraries. This year’s theme, “Words of Wellness,” promotes hope, resiliency, and inclusion throughout our communities.

The public is invited to attend a variety of free events throughout the county, including a Board of Supervisors proclamation on April 23; the lived-experience panel, “Hearing Stories of Mental Health from Those Who Lived It,” on May 7; and the “Building a Community of Healers” open mic on May 24.

Other MHAM offerings include informational workshops, wellness activities, film screenings, speaker panels, artistic performances, open mics, and more. All ages are welcome, and interpretation services are available for some events.

For a complete list of events and additional details, visit

Mental health challenges are very common. In fact, 50% of us will experience a mental health challenge in our lifetime. Just like other health conditions, mental health and substance use conditions are treatable. People can recover and lead full, productive lives. Unfortunately, research shows that many people do not reach out to get the help or support they need. Stigma, shame, and discrimination prevent many from seeking treatment and support.

“Every one of us has the ability to help reduce stigma and encourage compassion and tolerance,” said Behavioral Health and Recovery Services Director Scott Gilman. “The more hidden mental illness remains, the more people continue to suffer needlessly in silence.”

Learning about mental health and sharing stories are key to reducing stigma. Behavioral Health and Recovery Services and its community partners are dedicated to promoting wellness, recovery, inclusion, and equity by reducing stigma and discrimination around mental health and substance use conditions.

Throughout the year, San Mateo County promotes #BeTheOneSMC (, which highlights that each person can take action towards reducing stigma and promoting mental health and awareness.

For more information on mental health services available in San Mateo County, visit

For more information on Mental Health Awareness Month (MHAM) events in San Mateo County, visit


About San Mateo County Health

As a county health department, San Mateo County Health administers public health programs and provides clinical and supportive services to the community. Our mission is to help everyone in San Mateo County live longer and better lives.