For several months this Spring, MHA Case Manager Myriam Beltran spearheaded a Fitness and Wellness program for MHA clients that culminated in the creation of the MHA Lightning Bolts team of walkers. They walked in the 11th Annual NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Walk in Golden Gate Park on June 1. Sixteen of MHA’s clients trained for the walk over eight weeks, building stamina and endurance, and joined more than two thousand other participants in the 3.1 mile walk. MHA Nurse Ryan Anson supported the training, consulting one-on-one with walkers regarding blood pressure, heart rates, weight, and other aspects of health and fitness.
The MHA Lightning Bolts raised more than $500 in support of the San Mateo County Chapter of NAMI, which raises awareness of mental illness. Thanks to a sponsorship donation by the local accounting firm of Robert R. Redwitz & Company, the participants enjoyed a barbecue celebration after four weeks of training and a final meal at the Old Spaghetti Factory one week following the race. Our thanks to all who supported our efforts and helped to sponsor the participants.
Genentech granted MHA $2500 to support our Wellness Program, which provides education and individual support to help our clientele find health in body, mind, and spirit. With this grant, MHA will:
- assess individual client on specific medical conditions.
- provide nutrition classes concerning, food preparation, and food resources.
- lead health literacy workshops focusing on exercise and stress reduction.
- identify clients with acute and chronic conditions and advocate for them in the health care system.
- collaborate among MHA’s treatment team comprising the public health nurse, licensed clinical social worker, occupational therapist, and case manager to provide comprehensive services.
Thank you to Genentech for supporting MHA’s efforts to promote health and wellness.
MHA serves nine individuals who lost their housing when their apartment building was destroyed by fire on Sunday, July 7th. Our staff is working closely with each individual to secure their basic necessities and to help them relocate to safe, decent housing. As you can imagine, all of these individuals were traumatized by the event, and most have lost everything they owned. As we move forward to help them rebuild, we will be asking for your help with donations. We are not able to accept furniture or other items at present as we have no place for storage. If you have donations to make right now, you can contact the Redwood City Salvation Army or St. Vincent de Paul in Redwood City which are accepting donations for all of the displaced residents.
If you would like to make a contribution to help our residents you can make a donation through the Donate Now button on our website or send a check to MHA at 2686 Spring Street, Redwood City, CA 94063. All donations received through Donate Now through July will be directed to these efforts.
Evelyn F. Stanton, Executive Director of the Mental Health Association of San Mateo County from 1979-2003, passed away at the end of December, 2012. Evelyn was instrumental in the development and growth of the organization that exists today. Her leadership, vision and courage allowed us to tackle issues of serious mental illness, homelessness, and HIV/AIDS in cutting-edge ways long before national solutions were being sought. Our entire community benefited from Evelyn's efforts and commitment to the organization, our programs and the people we serve. On behalf of MHA Board and staff, Evelyn's colleagues and admirers, we extend our deepest sympathies to Evelyn's family and celebrate her legacy through the programs she was so influential in establishing.
Mental Health Association of San Mateo County and Cedar Street Apartments, Inc.
invite you to purchase an engraved tile to support the residents of Cedar Street
Apartments and other MHA clients through your contribution.
More than two hundred people gathered to celebrate the grand opening of Cedar Street Apartments on May 10. Tom Harshman, President of Cedar Street Apartments, Inc., Board and Elise Clowës, President of MHA's Board, officiated the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Two residents, Veronica Stevens and Bridgette Ohms, shared their deep gratitude for the opportunity to live at Cedar Street. Speakers included Jeff Gee, Vice Mayor of Redwood City; Duane Bay, Director of the San Mateo County Housing Department; Laurence Fergison, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Development Director for Section 202/811 Programs; Julie Hoffman for Representative Jackie Speier; Nanette Guevarra, California Housing Finance Agency; and Steve Kaplan, Director, San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services.
Duane Bay highlighted the Cedar Street Apartments as emblematic of the vision of developing the Grand Boulevard along El Camino Real. Laurence Fergison of HUD described Cedar Street as an example of HUD's commitment to quality housing, including double-paned windows, recycled materials, and energy star appliances. MHA staff gave executive director Melissa Platte a dozen roses in recognition of her six years of effort to bring Cedar Street Apartments to fruition. The ceremony closed with Board of Supervisors Chair Carol Groom cutting the ribbon to mark the opening of Cedar Street Apartments.
Cedar Street Apartments features fourteen studio apartments for adults living with serious mental illness (plus one unit for the on-site manager). Each fully furnished, 450 square foot studio includes a kitchen with oven and refrigerator. Residents will enjoy a community room with full kitchen, a landscaped courtyard, and laundry room. The federal subsidy provided through the HUD 811 program makes the units permanently affordable for people with mental illness whose incomes are well below the poverty line. On-site services include case management, wellness activities, nursing, occupational therapy, and medication assistance.
Cedar Street Apartments offers fourteen studio apartments to adults living with mental illness (and one unit for the on-site manager). The federal subsidy provided through the HUD 811 program makes the units permanently affordable for people with mental illness whose incomes are well below the poverty line. On-site supportive services focus on educational and vocational opportunities and activities.
Silicon Valley Community Foundation awarded $30,000 to the Mental Health Association of San Mateo County for fiscal year 2012-13 to support the Spring Street Shelter, the only emergency shelter in San Mateo County specifically designed to serve homeless adults in the mental health system. The grant will be used to provide case management to help them transition into permanent housing more quickly and successfully.
Silicon Valley Community Foundation increased funding to their Safety Net grants in December 2008 when the economic situation began to have a significant impact on some of the most vulnerable individuals in society and the nonprofit organizations that serve them. This is the fourth Safety Net grant MHA has received from Silicon Valley Community Foundation since 2008 to support the Spring Street Shelter.
The funding from Silicon Valley Community Foundation has allowed MHA to provide increased case management services to residents, which has resulted in shorter stays and more positive, long-term outcomes for residents. In addition, previous funding enabled MHA to provide meals for individuals with mental illness in the community who were struggling to get by because of the decrease in public benefits. This has made a significant difference in the lives of those we serve. We extend our thanks and appreciation to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation and County of San Mateo for their unique and critical collaboration during these difficult economic times.
The Sequoia Healthcare District awarded the Mental Health Association of San Mateo County $50,000 to support the wellness program at the Belmont Apartments and at Spring Street. This generous donation supports the expansion of the activities of MHA's public health nurse, who leads wellness activities, provides direct care, and advocates for our clients with healthcare providers.
Physical health is essential to mental health. Individuals with serious mental illness die on average 25 years earlier than the general population. The stress of coping with poor physical health exacerbates mental health problems. In response, MHA has supported for six years a public health nurse to work closely with the residents of St. Matthew Hotel, Belmont Apartments, and Spring Street.
In addition to all the activities of the public health nurse, this last year, supported by the Sequoia Healthcare District, the nonprofit Miles of Smiles began offering dental examinations and cleanings. This upcoming year the dental exams will continue, complemented by health fairs that offer cholesterol checks, body mass index, and chair massages.
MHA is deeply grateful to the Sequoia Healthcare District for their generous support. MHA is pleased to support the goals of Sequoia's five major health areas: health literacy, healthy food, preventive health, behavioral health, and chronic disease management.
Mills-Peninsula Health Services granted MHA $10,000 to continue its wellness program at the St. Matthew Hotel in downtown San Mateo. MHA has been providing case management services at St. Matthew since 1997. Since 2006 MHA has supported a public health nurse to improve all aspects of the residents' physical and mental health. The public health nurse:
- instructs residents how to follow their healthcare regimens, including use of medications. The nurse also educates residents about hygiene, diet, and exercise.
- organizes health fairs to connect residents to health resources.
- evaluates acute medical conditions, then makes referrals or provides treatment, keeping residents from unnecessary trips to the emergency room.
- provides medical case management for residents when they see their doctor or go to the hospital to make sure they get the best care possible.
We thank Mills-Peninsula Health Services for supporting MHA's work to improve the physical and mental health of the residents of St. Matthew Hotel.
MHA received a Cy Pres award in In re Apple iPod Nano Cases. As a result of the settlement of the Apple iPod Nano case, MHA has received funds totaling over $100,000. We wish to thank the Law Offices of Pearson, Simon, Warshaw & Penny, LLP and Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, LLP for recommending us for the award. The funds will support technology upgrades, public health nursing expansion, supportive housing service staff, and expanded occupational therapy.
- Technology upgrade — We will upgrade our IT system to meet current needs and establish sufficient capacity for the foreseeable future.
- Public Health Nursing program expansion — A nurse now provides assessment, evaluation, medical case management, and minor treatment at St. Matthew Residential Hotel in San Mateo and at the Belmont Apartments. This settlement will allow us to expand the services to the Spring Street Shelter.
- Occupational Therapy — We will expand our occupational therapy services to provide more of our clients individualized evaluation and customized intervention to improve their ability to perform daily activities and reach their goals.