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September 2017
Recovery and Suicide Prevention Month

Wellness Matters Newsletter

Introducing the new electronic format of Wellness Matters, an e-journal of San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services.  Now you can easily browse, search and share these articles.

Related Content

Article Stephen Kaplan, Director, Behavioral Health and Recovery Service

Thanks and So Long
From the Director's Desk

This is my last article as your Director of Behavioral Health and Recovery Services as I will be retiring at the end of September. It has been an honor and privilege to work in and for San Mateo County in service to our BHRS clients, consumers and families. During my tenure I witnessed – often first hand – extraordinary courage, perseverance and optimism in the face of daunting challenges and doing so has inspired and motivated me daily.


Voices For Recovery
Personal Stories of People in Recovery

During recovery month, we highlight the incredible journey of individuals from all walks of life who have found recovery.  They are a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and show that treatment is effective and people do recover.  We hope these stories encourage others to seek help  - and to know that recovery is always possible.

Article Lauren Mascarenhas, Communications Coordinator

Paying it Forward in the Recovery Community

The idea of giving back is ubiquitous in the recovery community. In fact, many see the act of helping others with substance use and mental health issues as an essential hallmark of the recovery process. But before a person can start contributing to the recovery of another, they must first find their way to recovery themselves.

Eduardo’s Story

For 22 year old Eduardo Tirado, this came relatively early in life. He started drinking at 13, and had been in and out of juvenile hall, jail and a treatment center by the age of 18. 

David Young

New Director of Behavioral Health and Recovery Services
Welcome David Young

We are pleased to announced that David A. Young, Ph.D., MPH has joined San Mateo County Health as Director of Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, following Stephen Kaplan’s (current Director) retirement on September 30.  

David brings more than 30 years of diverse experience in the behavioral health nonprofit and private sector arenas, including most recently as Chief Clinical Officer for Sagesurfer, a behavioral health technology company. 

Article Paula Nannizzi, Health Services Manager

New DUI Court to Increase Public Safety  
Begins September 19

Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, together with San Mateo County Superior Court, District Attorney’s Office, the Private Defender Program and Probation, are currently ramping up to implement a new Driving Under the Influence (DUI) court for second and third time misdemeanor offenders in order to decrease DUI-related traffic accidents, the frequency of repeat offenders and increase public safety. The DUI court will provide this population with a team who can link them to needed treatment and support services which previously, were not provided as a part of the DUI proce

Article Clara Boyden, Manager, Alcohol and Other Drug ServicesScott Gruendl, Assistant Director
Steve Kaplan

Farewell Steve Kaplan
BHRS Director to Retire

Steve Kaplan, Director of BHRS will retire on September 30. His time with San Mateo County have made a significant impact not only on a local level, but also on a broader level. He managed to accomplished a great deal during his twelve years at the county. 


Congratulations Angela Stocker
David Lewis Award

David Lewis was a remarkable man who transformed the recovery community, and East Palo Alto in particular, through his inspiring work with addiction and criminal justice. The San Mateo County Mental Health and Substance Abuse Recovery Commission presents the David Lewis award to individuals who have made an extraordinary difference in the lives of people with substance use disorders and the San Mateo County community. 

Article Colin T. Hart, Community Health Planner
SP Roadmap

Suicide Prevention Committee Takes Action
MHSA Program Highlight

Suicide is a public health issue that affects all San Mateo County residents. Suicide can have an effect on family members, friends and the community. These effects are often devastating and can last for long periods of time, yet suicide is preventable. With support from the Mental Health Services Act, the San Mateo County Suicide Prevention Committee provides oversight and direction to suicide prevention efforts in San Mateo County.

Article Katherine Reyes, Program Analyst

Prevention Training Academy
Community Health Promotion Unit Hosts Substance Use Training Sessions

San Mateo County Community Health Promotion is hosting the Prevention Training Academy, a program that aims to build the capacity of local organizations to conduct substance use primary prevention work. Attendees learn what they can do to prevent substance use issues in San Mateo County communities through environmental strategies.

Article Cardum Harmon, Heart & Soul

Lived Experience 2.0 Peer & Family Action Summit
October 26

The upcoming Lived Experience 2.0 Peer & Family Action Summit will help San Mateo County’s Behavioral Health & Recovery Services (BHRS) chart the path towards expanding the role of peers, consumers and family members in the design and delivery of services.

The summit will shape BHRS’s vision of recovery and wellness by providing valuable information which will be then used to create a plan with concrete recommendations to BHRS.

Article Sylvia Tang, Community Health Planner

Practicing Cultural Humility
Sharing Our Gender Pronouns

Since February 2017, Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE) staff have added gender pronouns to our e-mail signatures and started introducing ourselves in meetings with our gender pronouns.

Why is this important?

It is important for us to share our pronouns because we cannot know someone’s pronoun just by knowing their sex or the way a person looks or sounds.  And accurately using a person’s pronoun is a basic way to validate and respect one’s gender identity. 


Safe and Easy Medicine Disposal
28+ Safe Medicine Disposal Kiosks Throughout San Mateo County

San Mateo County’s Safe Medicine Disposal Program has partnered with the Medication Education & Disposal (MED) Project to provide 28 safe medicine disposal kiosks – and counting – throughout San Mateo County. This program is critical in preventing accidental exposure of medicine to children and pets, keeping our oceans and drinking water clean and curbing the nationwide opioid epidemic.


Upcoming Events

The next couple of months is jam packed with fun events and educational trainings. Check out the listings below and be sure to check the BHRS Meeting and Events Calendar  for a complete and up-to-date list of events, meetings and trainings.  

September - Recovery Month

San Mateo County will celebrate Recovery Month with a number of fun and informational events throughout September, including a candlelight vigil, a walk of hope and a picnic and resource fair.