Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental Health Awareness Month, opens a new window (MHAM) is happening all throughout May in San Mateo County! MHAM is one of the best times of the year where we can increase awareness and inspire action to reduce stigma against those with mental health and substance use conditions.

This year, San Mateo County Libraries and Peninsula Library System, opens a new window partnered with the Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, opens a new window (BHRS) department along with other local agencies, community colleges, and support organizations. Together, we are hosting over 40 MHAM events, opens a new window, including informational workshops, wellness activities, film screenings, speaker panels, artistic performances, open mics, and more.

This partnership was formed to bring a national and statewide mental health movement to a local and familiar community space – public libraries. Given this partnership, this year’s MHAM theme is “Words of Wellness” in which we will spread the messages of hope, resiliency, and inclusion in our libraries and elsewhere in the community.

Events at San Mateo County Libraries

MHAM events are happening all over the County – north, south, central and coastside! Events are taking place at various community libraries as well as at other county departments and nonprofits. Make sure to check out the online calendar, opens a new window or download this handy PDF Calendar, opens a new window and put it on your refrigerator! You can also see all events at San Mateo County Libraries on our events page. Below are just a few featured ones.

Introduction to Mental Health With NAMI

NAMI San Mateo, opens a new window will present a mental health program discussing mental illness, as well as the services and programs that NAMI offers. Following this discussion, a person living well with their mental health diagnosis will be sharing their story.

Gender and Sexuality Workshop

Join the San Mateo County Pride Center, opens a new window for a Gender and Sexuality 101 Workshop! In this workshop you will learn the fundamentals about SOGIE (Sexual Orientation, gender identity, and expression), their relationship to mental health and how we can build supportive and affirming environments for us all to thrive.

Mental Health Self-Care With StarVista

Learn techniques for self-care with StarVista, opens a new window! Each participant will create their own self-care kit to take home.

The S Word Movie Screening and Panel

Screening of the S-Word Film, opens a new window “It is not the word suicide that is the problem; it is the silence that so often follows.” This film follows people who are surviving and thriving. Q and A to follow.

Youth Mental Health: Assessing Resources for Yourself and Others

Join us for a presentation on youth mental health and accessing mental health resources in Half Moon Bay. Later, workshop attendees will hear about a bill that will bring youth mental health resources to Half Moon Bay and have a chance to share their input.

Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) Training

Training on how to get help for yourself, learn about preventing suicide, the common causes of suicidal behavior, warning signs of suicide, and how to get help for someone in crisis.

Digital Detox Week at San Mateo County Libraries

San Mateo County Libraries will be celebrating Digital Detox Week from April 29 to May 5. This is your chance to put away your mobile phone, laptop, tablet, or gaming device and take a break from the digital world. Check out our events calendar and pick up your very own Digital Detox log.

MHAM Resources at the Library

Stop in at any of the San Mateo County Libraries or Peninsula Libraries in May to pick up a Mental Health Awareness bookmark or view our full book list and resource guide, opens a new window. Here are a few books, eBooks, eAudiobooks, and streaming videos you can check out today.

Books (eBooks and eAudiobooks included)

Darius the Great Is Not Okay

Little & Lion

Everything Is Horrible and Wonderful

Reasons to Stay Alive

An Unquiet Mind

The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide

The Collected Schizophrenias

Parenting Children With Mental Health Challenges


Fictional Movies (DVD and Streaming)

These movies are recommended by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, opens a new window (NAMI).

A Beautiful Mind

Matchstick Men

It's Kind of A Funny Story

Silver Linings Playbook [videorecording]

Welcome to Me

Inside Out


Documentaries on Mental Health (DVD)

Served Like A Girl

Mindfulness Goes Mainstream


Streaming Documentaries on Mental Health (Kanopy)

Room to Breathe: Mindfulness in the Classroom

Going Sane

Be sure to share San Mateo County Mental Health Awareness Month events and resources with your friends, neighbors, and family with the hashtags #BeTheOneSMC and #WordsofWellness.