MHA presented a day-long symposium presented by Mental Health Association of San Mateo County to help mental health consumers, family members and practitioners better access the services available during a mental health crisis on June 9, 2017. Topics included:
Featured lunch speaker Dr. Anna Lembke, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences specializing in co-occurring addiction. Dr. Lembke is the author of "Drug Dealer, MD: How Doctors Got Duped, Patients Got Hooked, and Why It's So Hard to Stop".
John became homeless after losing his job during the recession of 2007. John explains feeling both emotionally and physically unstable during this period of his life. Due to his bad back John found it hard to find and keep work in his field of horticulture and gardening. He found himself in a continuously anxious state, on top of other symptoms secondary to his bipolar disorder such as frequent depression and mania. One of his greatest challenges was the constant fear and worry he had regarding the safety and security of belongings. He was homeless for seven years before arriving at MHA’s Spring Street Shelter, eventually moving into the transitional program and, ultimately, lucky enough to secure a unit at MHA’s Belmont Apartment complex. Although, no longer homeless, John was overweight, which made his arthritis more painful. His blood pressure was high and he was suffering from unpleasant side effects of poor eating habits, and his cholesterol levels were dangerously high.
In 2015 John began participating in MHA’s wellness program and has experienced dramatic improvements in his health and well-being. Nutritional counseling taught John how to analyze food labels and utilize portion control. He enjoys the cooking classes that are offered because it gives him the opportunity to socialize with his peers which always improves his mood. By improving his diet, John has lowered his cholesterol and has achieved a sixty pound weight loss which results in reduced pain from arthritis. Wellness education has also helped John learn techniques to lower his blood pressure. John participates in medication management where he has learned skills such as recognizing and managing side effects. John has switched several medications and reports that he enjoys the monitoring the wellness program provides him. Having his vital signs checked on a regular basis puts him at ease by keeping a close eye on his blood pressure. John was recently in need of a new primary care doctor. Through the wellness programs help, John was able to find a new doctor and was linked to several other appointments such as ophthalmology screening, and a dental examination.
John engages in groups targeted to promote mental health awareness, and reports that he appreciates the promotion of mental health wellness. John explains he is extremely grateful for the wellness program. During the last visit with the wellness nurse John stated “I am a happier and healthier person all around thanks to the help of the wellness program and I am forever grateful and thankful for MHA as a whole”.
MHA’s Wellness program is funded through contributions from Sequoia Healthcare District and donations from Community Members. Having a nurse available has not only improved the quality of life for so many of our clients, it has literally has saved lives and has allowed a number of our clients to continue living independently through the end of life. Your support has allowed us to develop this program to best meet the needs of the individuals we serve.
On Friday, December 16, 2016 United Church of Christ was the host for MHA’s 41st Holiday Party for our clients. The event was attended by more than 200 individuals from throughout San Mateo County. In addition to Santa and Mrs. Claus, a traditional holiday meal and presents for everyone, we were joined by the lovely and talented members of “Swing Set”, which provided A Capella singing and led the group in a holiday singalong. Swing Set members Liz Buljan, Christine Krolik, Teresa Quigley and Michele Gutierrez commented that “this event is the true meaning of Christmas.”
Operation Reindeer contributions and other support from our community and volunteers made this a wonderful event for all who attended, and thanks to you we were able to provide special gifts to the residents of Spring Street Shelter and Transitional Housing, reminding them that they are cared about. Thank you all.
Leslie Moroni is the newest member of the MHA Board of Directors. Mrs. Moroni is a lifelong resident of San Mateo County. She has worked with CPP, Inc. since 2000 and served as Manager and now Director of Customer Support Services.
"I have always been interested in helping people. All of the careers I have had throughout my life have been about helping people in one way or another. I have lived in San Mateo County for the majority of my life and watched the homelessness issue rise and more so in the Mental Health area. I'd like to be a part of an organization that is doing something to help people that need either counseling/career support or housing. And fortunately, I have already had the pleasure of witnessing some of the Mental Health Association’s building/housing accomplishments. I am honored to be approved to be a part of this board."
We are all pleased to have her join us.
Belmont Apartment residents received dental exams and cleanings in the comfort of their own community room. Apple Tree Dental transformed Belmont’s community room into a dental treatment area that included a mobile x-ray machine and full-sized dental equipment. Apple Tree put great effort into making each client feel comfortable.
A few residents had not received a dental exam for years. The convenience of the location, combined with the support of MHA staff, helped the residents to feel less anxious. For residents who required further dental treatment, Apple Tree provided treatment plans and gave the option to receive treatment at the next mobile visit, or to visit their dental office in San Mateo. MHA is looking forward to collaborating with Apple Tree Dental for future mobile dental services.
Thanks to the Sequoia Healthcare District for supporting this collaboration.
Mental Health Association is looking for up to three new and enthusiastic Board members who either live or work in San Mateo County and have a passion for the work we do which focuses on individuals living with serious mental illness, individuals who are homeless, and people with HIV/AIDS. In our 60 (+) years of operation we have grown from a volunteer agency focused on prevention, to a strong organization which is known for providing cutting edge direct services to some of the most vulnerable members of our community. Our Board of Directors provides policy and program direction, linkages to the broader community, and support to raise funds to develop and support critical services. We are currently looking for individuals who have experience in marketing, technology and finance. Board members are elected initially for a three-year term of office, with potential for a second term. Full Board meetings are held monthly, on the second Tuesday from 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. in Redwood City. Executive, Finance, Nominating, and Community Relations Committees meet throughout the year, as needed. If you would like to be considered to serve, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Peninsula Health Care District (PHCD) generously granted $25,000 to MHA to support the Public Health Nurse's (PHN) health and wellness services at the St. Matthew Hotel in San Mateo.
MHA's Public Health Nurse will lead wellness activities, provide medical case management, and offer direct services to St. Matthew residents. The PHN will lead workshops on exercise, stress reduction, and chronic conditions and many other wellness topics. The PHN will also educate residents concerning nutrition, food preparation, and food resource, which take on special importance since residents are only allowed a microwave in their rooms, making the preparation of nutritious meals challenging. The PHN will also arrange for dental screenings, cleanings, and treatment. The PHN will also advocate for clients with other health providers and provide direct care as appropriate.
The St. Matthew Hotel is owned and operated by MidPen Housing. MHA provides case management, occupational therapy, and health and wellness services to many of the mental health clients who live there.
Since 1996, the Peninsula Health Care District has invested over $25 million in local organizations. Every year, PHCD awards grants to local organizations that address local health priorities and help carry out the vision of the District: that all residents enjoy optimal health through education, prevention, and access to needed health care services.
The Sequoia Healthcare District continued its support of MHA's wellness program through a generous grant of $48,000. Sequoia supports MHA's public health nurse, who leads health workshops, provides direct care, and advocates for our clients with healthcare providers. MHA's wellness program furthers the Sequoia Healthcare District's priorities of active and healthy living, preventive healthcare, and treatment of priority health conditions. For the last nine years, MHA has supported a public health nurse to promote wellness among our clients. MHA is deeply grateful to the Sequoia Healthcare District for its generous support.
The Kaiser Permanente Northern California Community Benefits Program awarded $15,000 to support MHA's work helping Spring Street Emergency Shelter residents obtain appropriate mental health care and housing. Spring Street Shelter is the only year-round emergency shelter operated specifically for individuals with serious mental illness. MHA's Case Manager connects residents to needed services, navigate entitlement programs, and move Shelter residents into appropriate, long-term housing. MHA greatly appreciates Kaiser's support.
The San Mateo County Mental Health & Substance Abuse Recovery Commission annually awards the Tony Hoffman Community Mental Health Services Award, recognizing individuals, professionals, businesses, and media who have made an extraordinary difference in the lives of people with mental illness and the communities they live in. One of the recipients this year was MHA Executive Director Melissa Platte, who received the award from San Mateo County Supervisor Dave Pine and Behavioral Health and Recovery Services Director Stephen Kaplan.
Mental Health Association of San Mateo County
enriches the quality of life, reduces homelessness,
and strengthens hope for our clients
to have a better quality of life.
On Behalf of Mental Health Association of San Mateo County, we would like to thank all the neighbors from MHA's new property on Waverly Ave who attended the May 1st community meeting regarding that new project. We pride ourselves on good relationships with all our neighbors for all our properties countywide and look forward to strengthening the new friendships we've started recently. Below are the presentations and documents we displayed on that night as well as the information referenced at the meeting.
San Mateo County supervisors committed $8 million for six affordable housing developments including units for seniors and mentally ill using money freed up by liquidating the former redevelopment agencies.
The community will see construction on these developments happening over the next one to three years, said Department of Housing Director William Lowell who added that, without the money, they would have required years of time and heavy fundraising. Read More