May Mental Health Challenge Day Debrief
May is Mental Health Month and Marin County will be hosting multiple events to increase awareness about behavioral health issues. OTW partnered with Marin County Department of Health and Human Services’ Behavioral Health and Recovery Services Division to challenge local political and civic leaders to walk a day in the shoes of someone who accesses Marin County's behavioral health service system.
OTW will host a moderated panel discussion during which leaders will speak about their Challenge Day experiences. The evening will also include a short OTW documentary highlighting the challenges some local transitional age youth (16-25) experience and a performance by the Surviving the Odds Project (STOP).
Please join us for this FREE public event. If people wish to make a donation at the door, proceeds will go towards OTW youth programming. No cost appetizers and non-alcoholic beverages will be served. There will also be a no-host bar.
WHEN: Wednesday, May 23rd, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
WHERE: First Presbyterian Church, 1510 Fifth Avenue, San Rafael, CA
REGISTER: To guarantee your spot, please REGISTER HERE in advance. Seats are limited and turn out is expected to be high.
Challenge Day Participants
• Ralph Pata, Police Lieutenant – San Rafael Police Department
• Mike Daly, Probation Chief – Marin County Probation Department
• Mary Jane Burke, Superintendent – Marin Office of Education (7-12; 5-7)
• Katie Rice, Supervisor – Marin County Board of Supervisors
• Grant Colfax, Director – Health and Human Services Department
• Jei Africa, Director – Behavioral Health and Recovery Services Division
• Kate Colin, Councilwoman – City of San Rafael
• Anne Pletcher, Candidate – District Attorney
• Shelly Scott, Board Member – Novato Unified School District
• Lori Frugoli, Candidate – District Attorney
OTW participants, alumni, and leaders had multiple opportunities to bond and learn from others during the following events:
OTW was honored to be invited to WE Day in Los Angeles. WE Day is a global event held in 17 cities designed to celebrate young people who volunteer locally, nationally and globally, or who raise money for important causes. Celebrities like Morgan Freeman, Jennifer Aniston, Will Ferrell, Martin Sheen, YouTubers, and musicians all gathered to say a big thank you to the selected youth groups for making a difference in the world.
OTW hosted a FREE Career Exploration Day for Marin County youth with special guest speaker, Congressman Jared Huffman, and professionals from Health & Social Services, Law Enforcement, Small Business, Technology, Trades, and Arts & Entertainment fields who shared how they chose their careers and why.
OTW prepared, served and shared a meal with local homeless through the REST program. The REST program is an alternating shelter service for the homeless provided by local Marin County churches from late fall through to spring. We were humbled and fortunate to be able to spend our time helping with such an important need in our community.
OTW participants and community volunteers joined together and spent three days prepping, painting and then touching up Senior Access' Adult Day Center in San Rafael.
OTW participants spent the month gift wrapping at Barnes & Noble and Copperfield's to raise money for our annual trip. OTW was proudly selected to be one of two organizations to benefit from Barnes & Noble's book drive this year which allowed us to make donations to other needy organizations within the Bay Area.
A small group of us assisted Marin County Juvenile Probation by delivering turkeys to people in our community.
OTW alumni participated on two panels on Intervention & Prevention where they discussed what led them down the path to resiliency. One panel was for community members and the other for law enforcement at the Corte Madera police department.
We traveled to Nepal where we trekked through the Himalayas and stayed in a remote village that had been devastated by the earthquake in 2015. OTW stayed with the Chepang people, donated paint and school supplies, primed and painted their school and the window frames of the villagers' homes. We also visited several orphanages, the Nepal Disabled Association, Clinic Nepal, and primed, sanded, and painted the perimeter wall around another school. In India, we learned so much as we visited Varanasi, the Taj Mahal, the Red Fort, and many other of the country's beautiful sites.
OTW donated beverages, helped set up, manned the registration booth, and participated in the Marin Crop Hunger Walk. It was a great event with over 125 participants.
OTW volunteered with Rafael Evening Rotary to help Extrafood.org distribute food to nonprofits serving children, adults, and families in need after the Farmer's Market at the Marin Civic Center.