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Spirituality Initiative


Spirituality Initiative

Hosted by The Office of Diversity and Equity

Interfaith Day of Prayer for Faith, Hope, and Life on September 5th

Come join us on Thursday, September 5th for our annual Interfaith Day of Prayer at County Center Courtyard in Redwood City. In honor of Suicide Prevention month, faith and secular leaders will join together to share their faith perspective on mental health and suicide prevention. 

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of the death in the United States. Suicidal thoughts and behaviors affect people of every race, ethnicity, age, culture, and faith.

Community members, consumers, family members, faith community and behavioral health providers are welcome!


Participate In These National Events 

September 6-8 is the National Weekend for Faith
Hope and Life.
September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day.

Spirituality Initiative

The Spirituality Initiative works to build opportunities for clients/consumers, family members, providers and community members to collaboratively explore, increase awareness of, and support spirituality and its relationship to health and well-being, especially for those with or at risk of co-occurring alcohol/drug addiction and mental health challenges.

Are you looking for faith based organizations in San Mateo County that are inclusive of mental health? Visit for our list of welcoming resources. 

Vision and Values

The Health System fully embraces and integrates spirituality when working with individuals, families and communities to facilitate wellness and recovery.

  • Hope – We recognize that hope is the simplest yet most powerful tool in fostering healing
  • Inclusiveness – We recognize that spirituality is a personal journey and individuals should not be excluded based on their spiritual beliefs and practices
  • Cultural humility – We recognize that an attitude of respect and openness is necessary to create a welcoming and inclusive space for everyone

Faith Based Brochure  and Providers Brochure

General information

Supporting Surveys and Data

Below are the survey responses that demonstrate how for an overwhelming majority of behavioral health clients spirituality is a tool for recovery and wellness. Two of the surveys were conducted by the California Mental Health and Spirituality Initiative and two by the San Mateo County BHRS Spirituality Initiative in 2009 and 2011 respectively.

General information

Spirituality Assessments

Being able to assess the spiritual concerns and strengths of people seeking and receiving behavioral health services is extremely important for those providing the services. An assessment can open the conversation about values and beliefs, uncover strengths, coping mechanisms and support systems.

Below is information on assessment tools available to providers, and includes the Spirituality Postcard, created by the San Mateo County Spirituality Initiative.

General information

Mindfulness and Meditation

The benefits of mindfulness practices have been well documented by extensive research. Here you will find a few documents on this topic, including the presentation “Integrating Mindfulness into Clinical Work” by Dr. Paul Yang from the Spirituality Initiative.

Introduction to Meditation – U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Instructions for Sitting Meditation – Gil Fronsdal, Insight Meditation Center
Instructions for Compassion Meditation
Mindfulness in Practice – presentation by Paul Yang, MD.

General information

For Faith Leaders

The “Mental Illness & Families of Faith” is a resource/study guide for clergy and communities of faith, written by Rev. Susan Gregg-Schroeder.

General information

Suicide Prevention Resources


Suicide prevention, intervention and response video series for clergy, pastors, ministers, rabbis and other faith community leaders

This series of five videos for clergy discusses Warning signs and risk factors; How to tell if a person is considering suicide; Responding to a suicidal person; Responding to family members after a suicide; and Designing a service for a person who has died by suicide. Visit website.