Skip to main content Skip to site navigation

Mental Health Month

Post

Hosted by The Office of Diversity and Equity

May Mental Health Month 

Each year, San Mateo County joins our state and country in celebrating Mental Health Month (MHM) in May. MHM is one of the best times of the year to increase awareness and inspire action to reduce stigma against those with mental health and substance use conditions. Each year we partnered with local agencies and community members to promote events free and open to the public throughout the county. All events this year will be virtual. 

Interested to join the 2021 Mental Health Month Planning Committee? You may find our meeting schedule here

#HopeForChange

This year’s theme, aligned with the statewide theme, is #HopeForChange. The past year has undoubtedly brought unanticipated changes for us as individuals, families, and communities–leaving us to face these challenges and transform. Change is not always planned. Growth can be powerful and empowering. It can also be uncomfortable. #HopeForChange reminds us to spread and rely on the hope that carried us through a year of change. 

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

2021 MHM Virtual Events

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

Whether you are attending one of these events or are celebrating elsewhere, use #BeTheOneSMC and #HopeForChange on social media 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 Kristie Lui (kflui@smcgov.org).

Note: All events are in Pacific Standard Time. 

Sat, 5/1- 10am-11am | 2021 Mental Health Month Livestream Kick-Off 
Location: Facebook.com/SMCHealth or Facebook.com/CountyofSanMateo
Details: Join San Mateo County on May 1st to kick off 2021 Mental Health Month. Learn how to make limegreen cookies, join us for a mindful meditation, and hear about how you can participate in Mental Health Month throughout the month of May. 
Language: English with Spanish Interpretation
Contact: Kristie Lui | KFLui@smcgov.org

Sat, 5/1- 11am-12pm | Music for Mental Health: Mardi Morillo
Location: Virtual Link TBA
Details: TBA
Language: English
Contact: John Weaver | jnweaver@menlopark.org

Mon, 5/3- 6:30pm-7:45pm | Mental Health Month Open Mic
Location: Virtual Link TBA
Details: For the 3rd year, San Mateo County Poet Laureate Aileen Casinetto will emcee the event.
Language: English
Contact: John Weaver | jnweaver@menlopark.org

Tues, 5/4- 12pm-1pm | Eddy Zheng on Hate and Violence Affecting Asian Pacific Islanders
Location: Virtual (Zoom Registration)
Details: Hate incidents against Asian American Pacific Islander communities have risen during the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, this is not new: there is a long history of violence affecting AAPI communities in the United States. Eddy Zheng, President of the New Breath Foundation and co-founder of the first-ever ethnic studies program in San Quentin State Prison, will speak about how the U.S. immigration and criminal justice systems harm AAPI communities and how recent violence fits into the larger context of AAPI history. Join us in kicking off Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month by elevating our history and celebrating our resilience. 
Language: English
Contact: Tammy Vuong | (650) 372-6235 | qvuong@smcgov.org

Tues, 5/4- 6pm-8pm | Angst Film Screening 
Location: Virtual (Eventbrite Registration Link)
Details: Documentary film in which mental health experts discuss the causes of anxiety, its sociological effects and what can be done about it.
Language: English & Spanish
Contact: Charlene Margot | cmargot@parentventure.org and Sheléne Peterson | SPeterson@smcoe.org.

Wed, 5/5- 1pm-2pm | Supporting Perinatal Mental Health 
Location: Virtual (Registration info in flyer)
Details: In honor of World Maternal Mental Health Day, the Prenatal to Three Initiative will be addressing perinatal mental health needs to support first time mothers. Mothers will also learn infant massage techniques for their babies.
Language: English
Contact: Hedwig De Ocampo | HDeOcampo@smcgov.org

Wed, 5/5- 2pm -3pm | Supporting Perinatal Mental Health 
Location: Virtual (Registration info in flyer)
Details: In honor of World Maternal Mental Health Day, the Prenatal to Three Initiative will be addressing perinatal mental health needs to support first time mothers. Mothers will also learn infant massage techniques for their babies.
Language: Spanish
Contact: Hedwig De Ocampo | HDeOcampo@smcgov.org

Thurs, 5/6- 11:30am-12:30pm | Gentle Chair Yoga
Location: Virtual (Registration Form
Details: Chair yoga uses the chair as a prop for support (standing or seated). These classes will begin with centering, followed by yoga warm-ups, yoga postures, concentration & breathing exercises, guided relaxation, and meditation. Chair yoga is accessible to any level of health or mobility. As you practice, you’ll receive the benefits of increased flexibility, physical and mental strength, energy, clarity, overall health and peace.
Language: English
Contact: Darren Heiber | heiber@smcl.org

Thurs, 5/6- Time TBA | NAMI In Your Voices with Menlo Park Library
Location: Virtual Link TBA
Details: TBA
Language: English
Contact: TBA

Thurs, 5/6- 7pm to 8pm | SafeSpace: screening QuaranTEEN Diaries
Location: Zoom Link
Details: SafeSpace es una organización dirigida por jóvenes y centrada en la salud mental que permite a los jóvenes participar abiertamente en sus escuelas y comunidades. Crean e implementan iniciativas para cambiar la conversación sobre la salud mental educando y animando a sus compañeros a hablar, apoyar a otros y buscar ayuda cuando sea necesario. Produjeron un cortometraje llamado QuaranTEEN Diaries. Su mensaje y experiencia no están escritos; todo lo que comparten es su propia verdad en sus propias palabras. QuaranTEEN Diaries captura COVID-19 y la experiencia de la pandemia directamente desde la perspectiva de la juventud. Comparten sus desafíos, pero igualmente destacan su fuerza interior, la importancia de la comunidad y el mensaje de “separados, pero nunca solos.” perspective w/ Q&A teen panel
Language: Spanish
Contact: Annie Kim | Annie@safespace.org

Thurs, 5/6- 8pm-9pm | SafeSpace: screening QuaranTEEN Diaries
Location: Zoom Link
Details: SafeSpace is a youth-led, mental health-focused organization that empowers young people to engage openly with their local schools and communities. SafeSpace presents the QuaranTEEN Diaries. Their message and experience is not scripted; everything they share is their own truth in their own words. The QuaranTEEN Diaries captures COVID-19 and the pandemic experience directly from the lens of youth. They share their challenges, but equally highlight their inner strength, importance of community and the message of “apart, but never alone.”
Language: English
Contact: Annie Kim | Annie@safespace.org

Friday, 5/7- 6pm-7:30pm | 1st Annual The Amazing Souls of Black Folks: African Americans Expressions of Wellness and Resiliency through Poetry
Location: Zoom (Registration Link
Details: Astute historic and personal poetry readings that express the desire for the wellness and the resilience of African Americans. The audience will have an opportunity for insightful reflections on the poetry. A creative community open-mike will be offered to share black & ally poetry by participants. Gift certificates will be given to 3 poets from the open mike segment.
Language: English
Contact: Pamela Ward Pious | wpam3238@gmail.com, (650) 669-5610 (text message only)

Friday, 5/7- 4pm-5pm | Music and Trivia for Older Adults
Location: Via Zoom (Registration Form)
Details: Music and Trivia offers plenty of variety, with a different music theme every week. The trivia themes include Broadway, television, artist retrospectives, and even a “Musical Road Trip” with state and city trivia. Our host, Ben Pernick, also mixes in fun word games on the topics including a modified version of the popular party game “Scattergories”. Ben is a board-certified music therapist with 7 years’ experience creating engaging experiences for seniors.
Language: English
Contact: Chris Lu | luc@smcl.org

Tues, 5/11- Time TBA | Reinvent Your Wardrobe
Location: Virtual Link TBA
Details: Learn how to deconstruct existing clothing pieces to create something totally new. A small step for mental wellnes while also performing a climate change action to reduce fabric waste. A win for you, a win for the earth!
Language: English
Contact: TBA

Wed, 5/12- 1pm-2:30pm | Photovoice Panel Presentation by LEEW & Co
Location: Virtual Link TBA
Details: The Photovoice ‘Hope for Change’ project theme will encourage participants to frame their Photovoice stories around Hope, Resilience, Community Inclusion and mental health wellness. Their stories will share recovery and wellness journeys and processes in ways that will be clear, concise and connecting journals of human experience that will touch and engage members of the public.
Language: English
Contact: Jairo Wilches | JWilches@smcgov.org or Lee Harrison | LEHarrison@smcgov.org 

Thurs, 5/13- 11:30am-12:30pm | Vinyasa Yoga
Location: Virtual (Registration Form
Details: The vinyasa flow workshops involve more physically demanding work and options will be offered to make them accessible for all. Classes typically begin with grounding breathing techniques to tap into your parasympathetic (rest & digest) response. From there, you’ll enjoy a gentle warm up before getting into a moving meditation as you flow from one pose to another with your breath. Sessions will focus on relieving stress and rejuvenating your body.
Language: English
Contact: Darren Heiber | heiber@smcl.org

Thurs, 5/13- 6:30pm-7:45pm | Gaby Castro: Live and Aloud
Location: Virtual Link TBA
Details: TBA
Language: TBA
Contact: Roz Kutler | rkutler@redwoodcity.org

Thurs, 5/13- 7pm-8pm | SafeSpace: screening Many Generations, One Conversation 
Location: Zoom Link
Details: Has batallado para conversar con tu familia sobre la salud mental? Te preguntas si esto SOLO te esta sucediendo a ti? Tu NO estas solo(a). En SafeSpace te invitamos a unirte a nosotros en una discusión sobre la salud mental y los adolescentes, algunas percepciones erróneas al respecto, y ver un video que resaltara la reducción de la brecha generacional y cultura mientras aborda los desafíos en torno al estigma. SafeSpace es una organización dirigida por jóvenes y centrada en la salud mental que permite a los jóvenes participar abiertamente en sus escuelas y comunidades. Crean e implementan iniciativas para cambiar la conversación sobre la salud mental educando y animando a sus compañeros a hablar, apoyar a otros y buscar ayuda cuando sea necesario.  
Language: Spanish
Contact: Annie Kim | Annie@safespace.org

Thurs, 5/13- 8pm-9pm | SafeSpace: screening Many Generations, One Conversation 
Location: Zoom Link
Details: Have you struggled with having conversations with your family about mental health? Do you find yourself questioning if this is ONLY happening to you? You are NOT alone. We at SafeSpace invite you to join us in a rich discussion about teen mental health, some misperceptions about it, and watch a video that will highlight bridging the generational and cultural gap while addressing the challenges around stigma. SafeSpace is a youth-led, mental health-focused organization that empowers young people to engage openly with their local schools and communities. They create and implement initiatives to change the conversation around mental health by educating and encouraging their peers to speak up, support others, and seek help when needed.   
Language: English
Contact: Annie Kim | Annie@safespace.org

Fri, 5/14- 4pm-5pm | Music for Mental Health: Kimberlye Gold
Location: Virtual Link TBA
Details: TBA
Language: English
Contact: John Weaver | jnweaver@menlopark.org

Fri, 5/14- 6pm-8pm | “This is Crazy: Criminalizing Mental Health” A Film By: Brave New Films
Location: Zoom Webinar ID: 939 9524 2833
Details: A short documentary which highlights stories of individuals with mental illnesses who have found themselves in a dysfunctional prison system rather than getting proper care. Followed by a panel discussion focusing on advocacy and the importance of decriminalizing Mental Health through lived experience.
Language: English
Flyer: Here
Contact: Greg Thompson | info@vorsmc.org

Sat, 5/15- 6pm-7pm | Meditation as an Approach to Handle Anxiety Uncertainty
Location: Via Zoom (Registration Form
Details: We’re living in a time that often feels confusing and stressful. People are more anxious and many experience a struggle to stay positive and true to our inner core. Through regular meditation, we can experience profound peace, bliss, and happiness.
Umesh Bhatia, a long-time meditator, will share the scientific research around meditation and offer a simple meditation technique you can use every day. We look forward to seeing you at this informative and centering experience.
Language: English
Contact: Jessic Ormonde | Ormonde@smcl.org

Mon, 5/17- 12pm-1pm | Mental Health & Pets
Location: Via Zoom (Registration Link)
Details: Join us for a lunchtime talk with speakers from Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA and Office of Diversity & Equity. They will share their pets on zoom and talk about their experiences. Participants are welcome to have their own pets nearby if they want to introduce them. 
Language: English
Contact: Bevin Love | belove@heartandsoulinc.org.

Tues, 5/18- 12pm-1:30pm | AAPI Anti-Stigma Speaker Panel “Hope For Change”
Location: Zoom Link 
Details: A Special Seeing Through Stigma Panel Honoring
Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
Language: English
Contact: Bevin Love | belove@heartandsoulinc.org.

Wed, 5/19- 10am-11:30am | Spiritual Ideation: Mental Wellness 
Location: Zoom (Registration Link
Details: A panel will share the role of their faith and/or spiritual practices in supporting resilience, wellness and recovery. They will share how nurturing their spiritual needs leads to whole person wellness, how their faith, faith communities and spiritual practices support their wellness.
Language: English
Contact: John Butler | newhope8@aol.com & Jean Perry | jeanpv78@gmail.com

Wed, 5/19- Time TBA | Growth Mindset
Location: Virtual Link TBA
Details: Students will learn to change fixed mindsets into a growth mindset by developing a plan of action (I will, I can approaches).
Language: English
Contact: Dyan de Jager | ddejager@redwoodcity.org

Thurs, 5/20- 11:30am-12:30pm | Gentle Chair Yoga
Location: Virtual (Registration Form
Details: Chair yoga uses the chair as a prop for support (standing or seated). These classes will begin with centering, followed by yoga warm-ups, yoga postures, concentration & breathing exercises, guided relaxation, and meditation. Chair yoga is accessible to any level of health or mobility. As you practice, you’ll receive the benefits of increased flexibility, physical and mental strength, energy, clarity, overall health and peace.
Language: English
Contact: Darren Heiber | heiber@smcl.org

Thurs, 5/20- Time TBA | Meditation
Location: Virtual Link TBA
Details: TBA
Language: Spanish
Contact: Stacey Lein | lein@plsinfo.org

Thurs, 5/20- 7pm-8pm | Mental Health and Music with Gaby Castro
Location: Via Zoom (Registration Link
Details: Gaby Castro combines her experience living with depression and anxiety with powerful, poignant songwriting to bring a performance surrounding mental health and music to the Bay Area. Armed with a guitar and gentle voice, this Bay Area native hopes to use her stories to lessen the stigma around mental illness with songs that speak to living within the space between helplessness and hope. Playing original songs from her two albums, she will share the lived experience that inspired them. A question and answer session will follow the performance.
Language: English
Contact: Chris Lu | luc@smcl.org

Fri, 5/21- 1pm-2:30pm | Growth and Recovery in the Face of Challenges: Re-examining Myths About Mental Health
Location: Zoom (Registration Link
Details: A panel of older adults will share their lived experience of continuing on their recovery path despite challenges. Whether change is intentional or imposed, good or bad, we can be empowered to continue toward recovery using strengths we find from hope, purpose, family, community connections, services & support, spirituality, creativity.
Language: English
Contact: John Butler | newhope8@aol.com & Jean Perry | jeanpv78@gmail.com

Sat, 5/22- Time TBA | The Five Minute T-Shirt Makeover- Creating Your Message of Change
Location: Virtual Link TBA
Details: It has been proven that working with your hands helps reduce anxiety and the finished products enhance self esteem! Learn how to remodel a basic T shirt using only scissors, safety pins or easy hand sewing methods if you choose. Express yourself using whatever markers, paints or embellishments you have on hand to create an empowering message you can wear.
Language: English
Contact: Lanajean Vecchione@gmail.com | 650-344-6977

Sat, 5/22- 6pm-8pm | Healing Hope with Expressive Arts 
Location: Virtual Link TBA
Details: Inspiring change through artistic means of healing
Language: English
Contact: Azisa Todd | azisa.todd@sanmateopride.org

Sun, 5/23- 6:30pm-7:30pm | Cafe de Padres 
Location: Virtual Link TBA
Details: Provider Panel and Parent Discussion
Language: Spanish
Contact: Sarah Norman | sarahnorman@friendsforyouth.org

Mon, 5/24- 12pm | Solutions for Supportive Homes: Possibilities and Progress
Location: Virtual Link TBA
Details: Provider Panel and Parent Discussion
Language: TBA
Contact: Melinda Henning | melinda@melindahenning.com

Tues, 5/25- 6:30pm-8pm | Changing the Stigma: Youth Led Discussion
Location: Zoom (Registration link in flyer
Details: Join us for a virtual youth led panel discussion among peers to help spread awareness and education around mental health and wellness.
Language: English
Contact: Brenda Nuñez | hapy@star-vista.org | (650)477-4295

Wed, 5/26- 4pm-6pm | Felton Institute (re)MIND/BEAM Open House and Early Psychosis Informational Session
Location: Virtual Link TBA
Details: TBA
Language: English & Spanish
Contact: Sydney Hoff 

Thurs, 5/27- 10am-11am | Digital Story and Resilience Panel
Location: Zoom Link
Details: TBA
Language: English
Contact: Amaal Greenwood-Goodwin 

Thurs, 5/27- 11:30am-12:30pm | Vinyasa Yoga
Location: Virtual (Registration Form
Details: The vinyasa flow workshops involve more physically demanding work and options will be offered to make them accessible for all. Classes typically begin with grounding breathing techniques to tap into your parasympathetic (rest & digest) response. From there, you’ll enjoy a gentle warm up before getting into a moving meditation as you flow from one pose to another with your breath. Sessions will focus on relieving stress and rejuvenating your body.
Language: English
Contact: Darren Heiber | heiber@smcl.org

Fri, 5/28- 2:30pm-3:30pm | Music for Mental Health: Frances Ancheta
Location: Virtual Link TBA
Details: TBA
Language: English
Contact: John Weaver | jnweaver@menlopark.org

Fri, 5/28- 7pm-8:30pm | NAMI SMC General Meeting – Peer Speaker, “Getting to Calm, A Personal Story of Health and Healing from Depression
Location: Zoom Meeting ID: 886 7915 7741 | ONE TAP MOBILE +16699006833,,88679157741
Details: Ingrid Peterson is from Kailua, Hawaii and earned her undergraduate degree in Psychology at Stanford, with a concentration in
Developmental Psychology. Ingrid has dedicated much of her professional career to education, teaching from preschool through high school levels, first as an educator at Bing Nursery School, Laboratory Preschool of the Psychology Department at Stanford University.
Language: English & Spanish
Flyer: PDF
Contact: Sydney Hoff 

Event Coordinator Resources

This section includes resources for those who are helping coordinate or plan Mental Health Month events. 

If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact the 2021 MHM Planning Co-Chairs, Sylvia Tang at STang@smcgov.org or Kristie Lui at KFLui@smcgov.org. 

2021 MHM Planning Committee

Each year, the Office of Diversity and Equity at Behavioral Health Recovery Services partners up with local agencies, clients/consumers and family members, and community members to coordinate Mental Health Month. 

Interested to join the 2021 Mental Health Month Planning Committee? You may find our meeting schedule here

Thank you to our 2021 MHM Planning Committee for all your hard work! 

#BeTheOneSMC

Stand Up For Mental Health this May!

One in four people have a mental health condition 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.

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 health conditions.

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.

Learn more about our Be The One SMC stigma reduction campaign and visit the Be The One photo gallery and check out how community members are making a difference!

#BeTheOneSMC 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 Month events (see above).
  • 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 health conditions and don’t be afraid to ask for help for yourself or a loved one.
  • Post a personal message to our Be The One photo gallery.

Mental health conditions 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 health conditions 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 health conditions. Be aware of your mental health and see your current provider or primary care physician for a screening today.

Contact

To get involved with or find out more about Mental Health Month, please contact the 2021 MHM Planning Co-Chairs, Sylvia Tang at STang@smcgov.org or Kristie Lui at KFLui@smcgov.org. 

Related Content

Overview

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.

Overview

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 1 (800) 686-0101, TTY (for hearing impaired): dial 711.