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Mayor Giselle Hale's mental health initiative receives $250K investment

The nonprofits that will be receiving the funding are Star Vista, Daly City Youth Health Center and the Una Vida program through OneLife Counseling.
Redwood City Mayor Giselle Hale speaks to attendees of a grand opening celebration at Arroyo Green in Redwood City on May 25, 2022.

The San Mateo County Mayors Mental Health Initiative, launched in January 2022 by Redwood City Mayor Giselle Hale and San Carlos Mayor Sara McDowell, announced on Wednesday that it had received a $250,000 investment from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative — an advised fund of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation — to support increased access to mental health resources across the County.
The funding will go towards supporting three nonprofit organizations that offer mental health services, including Star Vista, Daly City Youth Health Center and the Una Vida program through OneLife Counseling.   
The funds for these nonprofits will be allocated to improving staff recruitment and retention, expanding access to free and reduced rate services, allowing for services to be delivered in Spanish, as well as making sure mental health workers can have “mental health days” to prevent burnout.
The funds will also go towards supporting improved access to mental health services for thousands of residents in San Mateo County.
“We have seen a tremendous rise in mental health needs in our community over the past two years and an ever-growing gap in access to much needed care,” said Annya Shapiro, executive director of the Daly City Youth Health Center. “With these funds we will be able to provide over 600 free individual and family therapy sessions and 100 hours of group therapy to our community members.” 
The goals of the initiative include raising awareness for mental health issues by engaging the communities in a dialogue about mental health challenges and the resources that are available to them, as well as addressing access issues by increasing therapy services.

In her first public statement as Redwood City mayor in December, Hale announced the new San Mateo County Mayors Mental Health Initiative while talking about how she and her family have struggled with anxiety and depression during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"Not being able to help my child in her time of need was one of the most difficult challenges I have had to face, and it led me to personal struggles with anxiety and depression, Hale said. "When I realized I needed help, help was not easy to find."

The experience, she said at the time, "has given me a deep motivation to help our community heal."

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