2019 Marks 70 Years
For Immediate Release
May 2, 2019
Contact: Joy Alexiou
Public Information Officer
408-885-4164 office or 408-595-2936 cell
- Recognizing community members who make a difference in the lives of people with behavioral health challenges.
- First Community Hero award presented to a member of the news media.
- Many Mental Health Month activities are free and open to the public.
Santa Clara County, CA, May 2, 2019. The County of Santa Clara Behavioral Health Services Department kicked off mental health month by recognizing community members who have made an extraordinary difference in the lives of people with behavioral health challenges.
For the first time a Media Community Hero was awarded. It went to Ed Clendaniel, San Jose Mercury News Editor, who followed the Recommendations on Safe Reporting on Suicides in his powerful editorial following the 2018 celebrity suicides. Mr. Clendaniel wrote an opinion piece about his own brother’s suicide, which included important information that the safe reporting guidelines recommend. Recommendations that were followed included providing hot line resource numbers so people can get help, addressing the issue of stigma around talking about suicide and tackling the complexity of suicides. View Recommendations for Reporting on Suicide.
Another 9 Community Hero Awards were presented and 10 law enforcement officers (see below) were recognized for their work as Crisis Intervention Team members. Crisis Intervention Teams are trained to recognize and address the needs of people with mental illness in the field.
Other May is Mental Health Month activities include:
- May 4, 10am to 2pm: Mental Health Resource Fair, Gilroy Library, 350 West 6th Street, Gilroy.
- May 7, 6pm to 7pm: Asian American and Pacific Islander Educators Network, SCC Office of Education, 1290 Ridder Park, San Jose.
- May 7, 6pm to 7pm: West Valley Community Services Health & Housing Fair, Moreland School District Office, 4711 West Campbell Avenue, San Jose.
- May 13 to 17, 10am to 5pm: Suicide Prevention Resources & Information, SCC Government Building, 70 West Hedding Street, San Jose.
- May 19, 12noon to 3pm: You are Collective: Artist Pop-Up, Eastridge Mall, 2200 Eastridge Loop #2062, San Jose.
- May 23, 8am to 6 pm: Youth Mental Health First Aid class, Rinconada Library, Palo Alto. To register: https://forms.gle/LgytzSdXkd3akGyV9
- May 31, 8:30am to 1pm: Suicide Prevention Conference, SCC Office of Education, 1290 Ridder Park, San Jose. To register: http://ow.ly/yCj030ojGtm
May is Mental Health Month was started 70 years ago by the national organization, Mental Health America, to raise awareness about mental health conditions and the importance of good mental health for everyone.
Key mental health statistics include:
- 1 in 5 adults in the United States lives with a mental health condition.
- 1 in 25 (10 million) adults in the United States lives with a serious mental illness.
- 60 million people in the United States face the day-to-day reality of living with a mental illness.
- Half of all lifetime mental health conditions begin by age 14 and 75 percent by age 24, but early intervention programs can help.
- Additional facts and citations are available at Mental Health by the Numbers.
For more information on May is Mental Health Month visit MHA’s website at www.mentalhealthamerica.net/may.
2019 Community Behavioral Health Heroes
Agency Community Hero: Central Wellness & Benefit Center provides outpatient mental health services to improve the quality of life for clients and consumers.
Consumer/Client Community Hero: Karen Fink went from dealing with her own mental health issues to teaching a Peer-to-Peer Recovery class and facilitating the NAMI Connection Recovery Support Group.
Educator Community Hero: Barry Goldman-Hall, LCSW is a clinical professor at the School of Social Work, San Jose State University, and a mental health consultant to student health services at West Valley College.
Family Member Community Hero: Nancy Boyle started the Parent & Loved Ones of Individuals Suffering from Eating Disorders Support Group.
Family Member Community Hero: Kathy Burden volunteers with NAMI.
Family Member Community Hero: Carol DeCarvalho a NAMI volunteer who provides support and resources in the Jail/Court Support Group for Family Members.
Media Community Hero: Ed Clendaniel, San Jose Mercury News, followed the Recommendations on Safe Reporting on Suicides in his powerful editorial following the 2018 celebrity suicides.
Mover and Shaker Community Hero: Adrienne Keel who oversees the LGBTQ Youth Space (drop-in and counseling program) and LGBTQ Wellness, a mental health and advocacy program.
Program Community Hero: Community Integrated Work Program serves developmentally disabled and mentally ill residents.
Volunteer Community Hero: Bill Fritz founded a nonprofit corporation to increase awareness and understanding of addiction and recovery. Bill and his nonprofit also provide food to homeless shelters and hold weekly classes on addiction at two locations.
The following law enforcement officers were recognized for their work as Crisis Intervention Team members. Crisis Intervention Teams are trained to recognize and address the needs of people with mental illness in the field.
Officer Mohammed Ali, Milpitas Police Department
Officer Wayne Boom, Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Department
Sargent Martin Contreras, California Highway Patrol
Officer Daniel Cuevas, Palo Alto Police Department
Officer Kelli Janda, Los Altos Police Department
Officer Kirk Kim, Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety
Officer Mason Montomura, Mountain View Police Department
Sargent Brad Rice, Campbell Police Department
Officer Kevin Vitorelo, Los Alto Police Department
Officer Adam Wilson, Santa Clara Police Department