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Mental Health Awareness Month


Upcoming Events

San Mateo County will be joining our state and country in celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month (MHAM) this May. MHAM is one of the best times of the year where we can increase awareness and inspire action to reduce stigma against those with mental health and substance use conditions. 

The 2018 theme for the month is ”Bridging Communities to Wellness.” Despite everything that makes us different and unique, we would like to take this opportunity to unify our San Mateo County community around mental wellness and recovery. 

Events scheduled for this month are listed below or in our Calendar of Events. For the most up-to-date information, please continue visiting this site.

Whether you are attending one of these events are celebrating elsewhere, use #BeTheOneSMC to help raise awareness and get a free lime green commemorative pin!  To claim your pin, please e-mail a picture of your tagged social media posts to Sylvia Tang ( 

Tue, 4/24 9am MHAM Proclamation
Board of Supervisors Chambers
400 County Ctr, Redwood City
Details: Board of Supervisors proclaim May as Mental Health Awareness Month in San Mateo County. 
Language: English
Contact: Sylvia Tang | | 650-578-7165  

Tue, 5/1 6:30-9:30pm Parent Education on Mental Health
Westmoor High School – Theatre
131 Westmoor Ave, Daly City
Details: A parent education night that includes presentations that will inform parents on different topics students can face such as student stress, mental health and suicide. Dinner will be provided. 
Language: English
Contact: Islam Hassanein |

Tue, 5/1 8-8:30pm (every Tuesday in May) Tatala 
Radio Tonga VTF
Online via Mobile App and Facebook
Details: Five radio broadcast shows in Tongan about mental health, stigma, resources available in San Mateo, and tools to take care of yourself.
Language: Tongan
Contact: Jenn Awa | | Taulama Facebook

Friday, May 4, 2018 6-9pm
Art of Wellness Festival (MHAM Kickoff)

Cunha Intermediate School – Multipurpose Room
600 Church St, Half Moon Bay
Details: Bridging communities to physical & mental wellness
through dance performances, photo galleries, poetry slams,
film screenings, wellness crafts, and more! Join us for FREE food, performances, activities, raffles, and resources. All ages welcome. Childcare is free.
Languages: English, Spanish (others with 5 days advanced notice)
Contact: Sylvia Tang | | 650-578-7165  
Download Flyer | Descargar Folleto

Sat, 5/5 9am-12:30pm NAMI SMC - Docent Led Wildflower Walk & Picnic
Edgewood Park & Nature Preserve
6 Old Stage Coach Rd, Redwood City
Details: Bring water, a hat, sturdy shoes and sunscreen! Restrooms and water available at the Education Center. Come take a moderate walk to explore the stunning spring wildflowers! Pre-registration is required! $25 donation to include picnic lunch! Dogs, Pets and Smoking are strictly prohibited!  Walk is not wheelchair friendly! Take the free park shuttle!
Language: English
Contact: Debra Mechanic | | 650-638-0800
Download Flyer
RSVP by April 30

Sun, 5/6 9-11:30am 5K Run/Walk for Student Health and Mental Wellness
Seal Point Park
1901 J. Hart Clinton Dr, San Mateo
Details: This event brings the community together on a beautiful May day for a common goal of raising awareness about the importance of Student Health and Mental Wellness. Packet Pickup for the 5K Run/Walk is Saturday, May 5th with a FREE Wellness Workshop from 10am-12pm at the San Mateo Senior Center. The Workshop is designed to provide information on how to achieve a Healthy Mind, Healthy Body, and Healthy Community with a Speaker and 4 Breakout Sessions.
Language: English
Contact:  San Mateo Police Activities League | 650-522-7725
Register at 

Mon, 5/7 6-8pm Suicide Prevention - Practical and Proven Tools
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
975 Sneath Ln, San Bruno
Details: The event will include a workshop component focusing on ways to identify and intervene if a loved one is contemplating suicide. The workshop is followed by a panel of speakers whose lives have been impacted by suicide. This event is organized by the San Mateo County Suicide Prevention Committee.
Language: English
Contact: Narges Dillon |

Tue, 5/8 9am Proclamation of Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander Mental Health Day 
Board of Supervisors Chambers
400 County Ctr, Redwood City
Details: Board of Supervisors proclaim May 10th as Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Mental Health Day in San Mateo County. 
Language: English
Contact: Sylvia Tang | | 650-578-7165

Tue, 5/15 12-2pm StarVista Crisis Hotline Volunteer Information Session
609 Price St - Rm 107, Redwood City
Details: Discussion with volunteers about their experiences on volunteering on San Mateo County’s only Crisis Hotline. Lunch will be provided. 
Language: English
Contact: Islam Hassanein |
Download Flyer
RSVP by 5/14 using this online form

Wed, 5/16 1-2:30pm Open House, Service that Help Combat Isolation in Older Adults
Peninsula Family Service
24 Second Ave, San Mateo
Details: Peninsula Family Service will showcase two programs that combat Isolation in older adults, The Senior Peer Counseling Program and 70 Strong.
Languages: English. Staff who speak Spanish will be available.
Contact: Susan Houston |

Thu, 5/17 9am-12pm Know Your Rights Train-the-Trainer
San Mateo County Pride Center
1021 S El Camino Real, San Mateo
Details: This training will teach people how to conduct Know Your Rights presentations to marginalized communities and be able to exercise their rights, regardless of immigration status. They will learn about resources available and other relevant information. This workshop is offered as part of the Prevention Training Academy. 
Language: English
Contact: Kathy Reyes |
Register at

Thu, 5/17 5:30-8pm 11th Annual Family Awareness Night – ”It Takes A Village To Raise A Healthy Community. Let’s Talk About It.” 
One East Palo Alto Program Operations Facility
1195 Hamilton Ct, Menlo Park
Details: To provide community members with a safe space to engage in and share lived experiences about the different phases of substance use and prevention in order to promote physical, mental, spiritual and cultural wellness.
Languages: English, Spanish, Tongan, Samoan
Contact: Kava Tulua |

Fri, 5/18 5-8pm Queer Open Mic
San Mateo County Pride Center
1021 S El Camino Real, San Mateo
Language: English (other languages available with 1 week notice)
More Information: Facebook Event Page
Contact: Andres Loyola |

Sun, 5/20 4-7pm Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Intergenerational Feast of Wellness: Culture, Connection, Community
South San Francisco Municipal Building – Atrium
33 Arroyo Dr, South San Francisco
Details: In honor of AANHPI Mental Health Day (officially May 10th), the Chinese Health Initiative, Filipino Mental Health Initiative and Pacific Islander Initiative are co-hosting this event to celebrate our many AANHPI cultures, bridge connections across ethnicities and generations, and empower our community towards wellness. There will be free food, raffles, entertainment and inspiring speakers. Child care provided.
Language: Request interpreter at least 5 days before event.
Contact: Kristie Lui | | 650-573- 5037
RSVP by May 16 
Download Flyer

Wed, May 23 6-8:30pm (6pm reception and 6:30-8:30pm program)
NAMI SMC General Meeting: Serenity House Update and Mental Health & Addictions
Mills Health Center, 100 S San Mateo Dr, San Mateo
Details: Mental health difficulties and substance abuse often go hand in hand. With the right help, it is possible get back on track. Learn about some of the steps in the recovery process & about the field of addiction studies. Join us to learn more about these programs and their benefits and hear directly from program graduates. Speakers include Pernille Gutschick, Clinical Services Manager, SMC Behavioral Health & Recovery Services,Nicole Ibarra, Health Right 360 Manager: Mills Health Center, Deptartment of Behavioral Health and Angela Stocker, MA, Dir., Addiction Studies, College of San Mateo. 
Language: English
Contact: Helene Zimmerman |

Thu, 5/24 12:30-4:30pm Felton Early Psychosis and BEAM Programs San Mateo Open House
1108 S El Camino Real, San Mateo
Details: Felton Early Psychosis and BEAM Programs of San Mateo will be hosting an annual open house celebration as part of 2018 Celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month.
Languages: English, Spanish, Mandarin
Contact: James M. Spotts |

Thu, 5/24 1-5pm Theatre of the Oppressed
San Mateo County Office of Education
101 Twin Dolphin Dr, Redwood Shores
Detail: The Theatre of the Oppressed is a form of teaching developed by the Brazilian theatre practitioner Augusto Boal in the 1970s and was influenced by the work of the educator and theorist Paulo Freire. Boal’s techniques use theatre as means of discussing social and political change by shedding light on the experience of the oppressed and how systems of oppression operate. In the Theatre of the Oppressed, the audience becomes active, such that as “spect-actors” they explore, show, analyze and transform the reality in which they are living. This workshop is offered as part of the Prevention Training Academy . 
Language: English
Contact: Kathy Reyes |
Register at

Thu, 5/24 4:30-6:30pm BHRS Coastside Clinic Open House
225 Cabrillo Hwy S, Ste, 200A, Half Moon Bay
Details: To increase awareness of mental health services in the Coastside area by letting the community know what services we provide and how to access services.
Language: English, Spanish
Download Flyer Descargar Folleto
RSVP by 5/21: Giovanna Fattorini-Ocampo | 650-573-3650 | 

Thu, 5/31 1-4pm Heart & Soul, Inc. Open House: Disrupt Your Diagnosis: Define Your Wellness 
The Source 
210 Industrial Rd, Ste 205, San Carlos
Details: Our annual Open House at our San Carlos location to promote awareness, mental wellness, reduce stigma and change the conversation.
Languages: English, Spanish
Contact: Christopher Jump |

May Mental Health Awareness Month 

Each year, San Mateo County joins our state and country in celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month (MHAM) in May. MHAM is one of the best times of the year where we can increase awareness and inspire action to reduce stigma against those with mental health and substance use conditions.

Please visit this site again for updates on Mental Health Awareness Month events in the community. 

Be The One

Stand Up For Mental Health this May

One in four people have a mental illness yet less than half are getting the help they need—many because they are afraid others will judge them.

You can be the one to help change that.

This May is Mental Health Month. San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services is raising awareness about the important role mental health plays in our lives and encouraging members of the community to learn more about their own mental health and to take action if they are experiencing symptoms of a mental illness.

Throughout the month, you can learn more about local resources as well as find hope and inspiration through personal stories and by connecting with the greater San Mateo County community to reduce stigma and ensure San Mateo County is a welcoming and safe place for everyone.

Join us at one of the many events hosted throughout San Mateo County as we stand up and work together to help everyone live a long and healthy life.

Be the One to make a difference

Half of the people with mental health conditions develop symptoms by age 14. The longer someone waits to get help, the longer their recovery process becomes.

It often takes 10 years from the first time someone has mental health concerns until he or she gets a correct diagnosis and proper treatment. Would you wait 10 years to get help if you were experiencing symptoms of cancer or diabetes?

So what can you do? You can:

  • Participate in Mental Health Awareness Month events (more details will be posted on this website soon).
  • Pledge to help stop stigma. Each of us has the power to make our community a welcoming, safe place for everyone.
  • Learn the early warning signs and symptoms of mental illness and don’t be afraid to ask for help for yourself or a loved one.

Mental illnesses are not only common, they are treatable. There is a wide variety of treatment options for mental illnesses ranging from talk therapy to medication to peer support, and it may take some time for a person to find the right treatment or combination of treatments that works best for them. But when they do, the results can be truly amazing and life changing.

It’s up to all of us to know the signs and take action so that mental illnesses can be caught early and treated, and we can live up to our full potential. We know that intervening effectively during early stages of mental illness can save lives and change the trajectories of people living with mental illnesses. Be aware of your mental health and see your current provider or primary care physician for a screening today.

Related Content


Mental Health Services

Behavioral Health and Recovery Services provides mental health services to individuals who are eligible for Medi-Cal and/or members of the Health Plan of San Mateo through outpatient clinics in Daly City, San Mateo, the Coastside, Redwood City and East Palo Alto, in school-based locations, and through a network of community agencies and independent providers who offer outpatient services, residential treatment, rehabilitation and other services for adults and children.


Substance Use Treatment Services

If you or a loved one is dealing with drug addiction, alcoholism, prescription drugs or chemical dependency, seeking help is the first step in recovery.  As the mental health and substance use plan for Medi-Cal beneficiaries residing in San Mateo County, Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (BHRS) offers free consultation, assessment, linkages, and referrals to a network of contracted community-based substance use treatment providers throughout the County.  Call our Access Call Center for assistance at (800) 686-0101, TDD (800) 943-2833.