May is Mental Health Month, an opportunity to engage with our mental health needs and reduce the isolation and stigma of mental illness. The statewide theme for Mental Health Month this year is #Share4MH asking Californians to be vocal in their pursuit of mental wellness, their mental health journey and struggles, and how they found the help they needed. San Mateo County Libraries shares a range of valuable programs and resources allowing you to find the best outlet for your mental health, this month and beyond.
In-Person and Online Programs
Creative expression allows all your mental energy to focus on a single task and stimulates happiness while reducing stress. All month long, we’ll be providing coloring books and pens at most of our libraries. When you stop by the library to pick up your holds or to check out a program, take a 10-minute break to sit down and color. Your mind will thank you later!
Journaling is another way people practice self-care for their mental health. Join us for Creative Journaling where Nicole Momberg will teach you to create beautiful illustrations to go along with writing prompts for your stress management toolkit. If writing or drawing isn’t for you, our online resource, Creativebug can help you get your creative juices flowing with a wide variety of workshops using different mediums.
In an hour-long virtual workshop, local author, instructor and certified hypnotherapist Jenny Bitner will offer tools and techniques for soothing stress and tension. You will be invited to cultivate a quiet space within. After a guided meditation, you will have a chance to write freely (a journal entry, a poem, whatever!) from a relaxed place.
If you’re interested in meditation, but struggled with the practice, you might try our Sound Healing workshops where Tibetan singing bowls are placed on your body to feel and hear the vibrations. You can access the Calm app for free through the library to help get you started on your meditation journey. We also have ongoing Tai Chi and yoga workshops both in-person and online.
Youth and Teens
Join Beyond Measure: A Wellness Collaborative for our upcoming workshops for youth and families. We’ll learn about intuitive eating and nutrition as well as how to manage your emotions with self-regulation techniques and other coping skills.
We are also excited to welcome Joanna Ho for a virtual author talk to hear more about the mental health struggles many young adults face, and how literature can help us raise our voices and realize we are not alone. Ho’s book The Silence That Binds Us is a hopeful and heart-rending young adult novel about healing, poetry and speaking truth to power.
The County of San Mateo is also acknowledging Mental Health Month with activities and resources for the public. For a full list of the County’s free and public events, ways to get involved and mental health resources, visit smchealth.org/MHM.
As always, our collection is full of materials on any subject and mental health resources are no exception. Here are few to check out...