San Mateo County cities to provide mental health first aid training to residents

Mental health training to be provided to residents countywide in initiative inspired by Redwood City Mayor Giselle Hale

in Community

Sixteen San Mateo County cities are launching a program that will provide residents with mental health first aid training that can be used to help others who may be experiencing a mental health crisis.

It’s part of the San Mateo County Mayors Mental Health Initiative, which came to be when Redwood City Mayor Giselle Hale and San Carlos Mayor Sara McDowell brought together mayors from cities across the county to focus on the growing need for mental health services.

“The mayors recognize that our county’s mental health challenges cut across race, gender, ethnic and economic differences, and these issues cannot be addressed by one city alone,” Hale said.

McDowell added, “Every mayor we spoke with not only shared a personal story, but they also noted a great need in their community for mental health resources and outreach.”

The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors provided $200,000 to help fund the mental health first aid trainings, with funding coming from the federal American Rescue Plan Act, which aims to support COVID-19 pandemic relief efforts.

“Mental Health First Aid Training will be offered throughout the year and beyond,” the County said. “Schedules will be announced soon.”

The San Mateo County Mayors Mental Health Initiative includes Atherton, Belmont, Brisbane, Daly City, Foster City, Half Moon Bay, Hillsborough, Menlo Park, Millbrae, Pacifica, Portola Valley, Redwood City, San Bruno, San Carlos, San Mateo, and South San Francisco.

During May, which is Mental Health Month, the County and cities are expected to support proclamations to raise awareness. Public buildings will be alight in green, the national color for mental health, and public events will be held to help raise awareness and spark conversations.

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