County of Marin Health and Human Services

Mental Health


About the Marin County Cultural Competence Advisory Board

The purpose of the Cultural Competence Advisory Board (CCAB) is to serve as advisors to Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (BHRS) administrators, managers, and direct service staff. The charge of the Board is to examine, analyze, and make recommendations about promising and current behavioral health services and practices that are culturally sensitive, appropriate, and responsive to our diverse consumer community. Additionally, the Board identifies barriers and challenges within BHRS’ system that prevents consumers from adequately accessing needed mental health and substance use services. Barriers may include, but are not limited to, stigma and discrimination, language, and/or lack of cultural awareness. Lastly, the board shall advocate for the rights of consumers and/or family members, when needed and appropriate, to ensure that consumers’ civil rights are respected and protected.

Behavioral Health and Recovery Services Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Vision, Mission, and Values

Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (BHRS) is a Division of the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). BHRS offers prevention and early intervention, suicide prevention, and crisis services to all residents of Marin County. BHRS also provides outpatient, residential, and hospital care addressing specialty mental health and substance use service needs of Marin Medi-Cal beneficiaries and uninsured residents. The priorities and goals of BHRS strive to establish a comprehensive, integrated and recovery-oriented continuum of evidence-based services that are responsive to community needs, engage multiple systems and stakeholders, encourage community participation, promote system integration, and embrace a comprehensive approach to service delivery.

Our Vision:

BHRS envisions a safer community for all where individuals may realize a meaningful life and the challenges of mental health and/or substance use are addressed in a respectful, compassionate, holistic and effective manner. Inclusion and equity are valued and central to our work. Our diverse communities are honored and strengthened because of our differences.

Our Mission:

BHRS provides prevention, treatment, and recovery services to inspire hope, resiliency, and connection with others to enhance the lives of those affected by mental health and/or substance use challenges. We are dedicated to advancing the health and social equity for all people in Marin County and for all communities. We are committed to being an organization that values inclusion and equity for all.

Our Values:

  • We promote culturally responsive person-and-family centered recovery.
  • We are inspired by the individuals and families we serve, their achievements, and potential for wellness and recovery
  • The people, families, the communities we serve, and the members of our workforce guide the care we provide and shape policies and practices.
  • We can achieve our mission and progress towards our vision only through mutual and respectful partnerships that enhance our capabilities and build our capacity.
  • We use proven practices, opportunities, and technologies to prevent and/or reduce the impacts of mental illness and/or substance use, and to promote the health of the individuals, families, and communities we serve.

Every day doctors see patients who are at risk for behavioral health concerns, including suicide. People with diabetes are twice as likely to have depression as those without diabetes; those with asthma are 2.3 times more likely; and those with a cardiovascular disease are 1.43 times more likely to have an anxiety disorder. Untreated mental health issues increase the likelihood of suicidality.

While the signs of suicide may not always be obvious, there are warning signs that can be identified in primary care settings.

  •  Forty-five percent of those who die by suicide were in contact with their primary care provider in the month before they died. That rate is even higher for older adults.
  • People with chronic diseases are at higher risk for depression and other mental health concerns. They can be screened with simple tools for depression, anxiety, substance use, and suicidality.
  • Increased drug or alcohol use, reckless behavior, changes in sleep, sudden mood changes and other signs may be revealed during a visit to the doctor.
  • Having attempted suicide in the past or knowing somebody closely who died by suicide increases a person’s risk of suicide.
  • For youth, bullying or being bullied is associated with increased risk of suicide and other mental health concerns.

Directly addressing concerns, such as asking if a person, “Are you thinking about suicide?” does not increase their risk – it opens the door to getting help. In addition to possibly saving a life, addressing behavioral health concerns in primary care settings can improve patients’ physical health, as well as reduce the time and resources needed to effectively serve patients.

For more information about suicide prevention in Marin County contact: AMY/MELISA??.

For more information about providing behavioral health services in primary care settings, contact Kristen Gardner (

AMY/MELISA  - insert plug for Kevin H event