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General Meetings

Join us at our next meeting March 26th, 2024.

*Check back here for more details*

General Meetings happen on the 4th Tuesday of every other month. 

There are no upcoming events.

Download our past General Meeting PDF Presentations for important information, links and minutes.

January 23, 2024

Ian Adamson from Mateo Lodge 

In our January General Meeting we heard from Mateo Lodge’s Executive Director, Ian Adamson. Ian Adamson spoke about the impactful work he has been doing in San Mateo County, such as the Support Team and FAST Team. He also spoke on important issues such as why critically ill patients are being released from hospitals too early and what effect that has on the individual and our county. Watch the recording to learn more about these topics and more. 


    More about Ian Adamson:
    Ian has been working in San Mateo for 46 years. He was trained as a Psych nurse in the UK and did rehab work there. He has been CEO of Mateo Lodge for about 43 years and in that time started Cassia House, The Support Team, Case Management, opened Humboldt House, opened Wally’s Place and started the FAST team and other programs. In the last tree years he has been operating his retreat center at “Small Voice Farm” in beautiful Pescadero. He is a devoted family man with his gorgeous wife, going on 46 years. He and his wife have travelled all over the US teaching and leading retreats that focus on love and healing. They are both Presbyterian elders. In addition, they also have three spectacular kids and four stunning grandchildren.
    November 28, 2023

    Enhancing Emotional Intelligence in Children and Adults

    Presented by Dr. Neil Nedley, MD


    People are being managed by their emotions in record numbers. However, the most successful and happy people understand and manage their emotions. Can emotional intelligence be taught and if so, how? During our General Meeting on November 28th, 2023 Dr. Neil Nedley explained what emotional intelligence is and how it is vital to achieving happiness, success, and fulfillment. He also discussed how emotional intelligence can be learned in adults, as well as how a children and adolescent curriculum in emotional intelligence is transforming these youth in over 30 public schools that it has been piloted in. Dr. Nedley further touched on how we can even improve our emotional intelligence over the holidays and gain insights into how improving emotional intelligence can aid in the prevention and treatment of various mental illnesses and addictions.


      More about Dr. Neil Nedley:
      Neil Nedley, MD, is founder and medical director of the community based and residential Nedley Depression and Anxiety Recovery Programs™. He is an award-winning, practicing internal medicine physician who is well known as an author, public speaker, and teacher throughout the world.
      September 26, 2023

      Latest Legal Developments in Special Needs Planning

      Presented by Ellen Cookman


      Attorney Ellen Cookman of Cookman Law in Palo Alto, CA covered the following topics about the latest legal developments in Special Needs Planning (among others):


      • What are the best ways to make gifts to special needs beneficiaries?
      • Should I have a stand-alone or testamentary special needs trust?
      • What is the difference between a first-party and third-party special needs trust?
      • When and how should I transfer assets into (i.e. “fund”) the trust?
      • What is an ABLE account and how can we use it?
      • How should the trust be drafted so that pre-tax retirement accounts can be “rolled over” into the trust?


      More about Ellen:
      Ellen Cookman is the principal of Cookman Law in Palo Alto, California. She is passionate about helping families of all shapes and sizes plan for the future and utilize available resources. Ellen is a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law from the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. She received her J.D. from UC Berkeley School of Law and her LL.M. in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate from Golden Gate University. Ellen lives in East Palo Alto with her husband, two cute and very active boys (her older son has high-functioning autism), a puppy named Rosie, and a kitty named Skittles.
      July 25, 2023

      Befriending Your Inner Critic

      Presented by Brinn Langdale, LMFT

      Brinn Langdale is a licensed psychotherapist who specializes in helping young adults and adults heal from sibling sexual abuse and other traumas. Over the last two decades, she has also served as a school-based mental health specialist and has operated a private online therapy practice. In 2015, Brinn hosted teen leadership conferences in Northern California focused on mental, physical and nutritional health. In 2020, she developed the Youth Rising Together curriculum which teaches wellness tools to middle and high school students. Brinn lives in Sacramento and enjoys yoga, going for runs and cold plunging in the American River.

      In this General Meeting Brinn Langdale shares with us the value of the inner critic and the steps we can take to befriend it. Listen to this powerful and insightful presentation done by Brinn by clicking the link below. 

      May 23, 2023

      “Doctoral Students from USF working on “The Invisible Population” Project.

      Presented by Kristin Moser, BSN, RN and Solutions for Supportive Homes.

      Solutions for Supportive Homes is a Bay Area group of committed parents & community professionals working to increase the supply and the quality of permanent, affordable, health-supporting homes where adults living with long term special mental health needs,  They are united by two searing questions:  Where will my adult child live?  And who will help them when I am gone?

      January 24, 2023

      Special Guest Speaker – Ian Adamson

      Ian Adamson was born in London and came to America in 1978 when he began working for Mateo Lodge. He started out as a counselor and became Executive Director around 1980. Ian has started several mental health programs such as Cassia House in 1986, Support Team in 1986, Humboldt House in 2000, FAST Team in 2018, Wally’s Place, and Case Management.
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      View the ZOOM video of the meeting

      September 8, 2021

      Reimagining Crisis Response for San Mateo County

      This is a joint presentation by William Elting, Board Treasurer, and representatives from San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (BHRS), and StarVista.

      For Additional Resources check out our Reimagined Crisis Response page.

        View the ZOOM video of the meeting

      May 27, 2021

      Getting to Calm, A Personal Story of Health and Healing From Depression

      Our speaker: Ingrid Peterson
      Ingrid Peterson is from Kailua, Hawaii. She earned her undergraduate degree in Psychology at Stanford, with a concentration in Developmental Psychology. Ingrid has dedicated much of her professional career to education, teaching from preschool through high school levels, first as an educator at Bing Nursery School, Laboratory Preschool of the Psychology Department at Stanford University. In recent years, she taught primarily at the middle and high school levels, working in both special education and general education classes.


        View the ZOOM video of the meeting


      February 25, 2021

      The role that family members can take to support a loved one with Mental Health Challenges

      Our panel of mental health professionals included:
      Rick Cicinelli: a psychiatrist in private practice in Redwood City. He serves as a staff psychiatrist with Bay Area Community Services and works with The Meadows of Arizona that recently opened an intensive outpatient program in Sunnyvale, and is the Medical Director of Embodied Recovery in Los Gatos.
      Dr. Jennifer Harrison: a Board Certified Licensed Clinical Psychologist and a Board Certified Art Therapist. She holds diplomate distinction at the National Center for Crisis Management and with the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress.
      Connie Swanson, MA, MFT: an associate at the Menlo Park Addictions Institute and a therapist in private practice. Connie is passionate about treatment of addiction and trauma. As a relationship builder she works with individuals, couples and families to advocate for recovery of family life.
      PANEL: Rick Cicinelli, Dr. Jennifer Harrison, Connie Swanson
      FACILITATED BY: Carrie Du Bois, NAMI SMC Board Member


        View the ZOOM video of the meeting