peer support center!
Community Celebration & Farewell
Cardum Harmon Penn
Honoring the Power of Peer Leadership at
Heart and Soul
Wednesday, May 26, 2021
at 1:00 - 2:30 pm PDT
Please join us!
advance Registration is required:
A Message From the Heart and Soul Board of Directors
On behalf of the Board and Staff of Heart and Soul, Inc. we would like to share that our CEO, Cardum Harmon Penn, will be transitioning out of her role this month of April. Today we celebrate the contributions of a courageous and compassionate leader in the field of peer-driven mental health recovery. Through her strength-based leadership, Cardum has helped Heart and Soul to grow as an agency and a community. During her tenure, she has encouraged staff, board, and the peer community to look beyond what is familiar and expected, towards what is innovative and expansive. She has encouraged staff to increase their capacity to learn and grow by promoting from within.
Cardum also knew the power of partnership. Through initiating the Peer Recovery Collaborative, comprised of Heart and Soul, California Clubhouse, and Voices of Recovery, she shepherded in a new way of defining the peer voice within San Mateo County. Through educational movie screenings, alternative approaches to mental health, advocacy trainings, and the Peer and Family Action Planning Summit, Cardum worked with San Mateo County Peer leadership, San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, and community partners to amplify the voice of peers and family members. Through the HOPE (Helping Our Peers Emerge) program, she encouraged collaboration between peer and family support agencies to work collectively to address the needs of BHRS clients and individuals struggling and striving towards defining what their recovery looks like.
In 2020, Cardum joined forces with the California Clubhouse, Putnam Clubhouse, One East Palo Alto and the Office of Consumer and Family Affairs under the auspices of the Peer Task Force to address the dual pandemics of COVID and racism. Collectively they supported peer staff in bringing all services virtual, distributing technology to the community, and launching courageous community conversations on racial justice.
She supported Heart and Soul in joining forces with the California Association of Mental Health Peer Run Organizations, and hosted the San Francisco Bay Area Regional Policy Forum on Peer Support in collaboration with California Clubhouse and San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services. She often collaborated with other peer-driven organizations like the Mental Health Association of San Francisco, and programs like Alameda County Behavioral Health Office of Consumer Empowerment's Pool of Consumer Champions and the Alameda County Network of Mental Health Clients.
Cardum's advocacy on local, state, and national levels was aimed at helping to reduce mental health stigma. Through her many keynote addresses and webinar presentations, she highlighted the intersectionality between peer support, racism, and mental health. She taught that for BIPOC, Community is Immunity against the impacts of oppression, economic hardship, health disparities, and isolation. Cardum was proud of her lived experience and was not afraid to speak out publicly on the topics of suicide and mental health in the African American community.
During her 6+ year tenure, she highlighted alternative approaches to supporting mental wellness, encouraging art, mindfulness, and hearing voices support groups. She also brought in innovative training for peer support staff like Intentional Peer Support, and created advocacy campaigns such as "Disrupt Your Diagnosis, Define Your Wellness" and mottos such as "Changing the Conversation from Diagnosis to Dialogue and Mental Illness to Mental Resilience" and "Putting the We in Wellness."
Under Cardum's leadership, Heart and Soul went from surviving to thriving. Our next growth spurt, brought on by new leadership, will undoubtedly catapult us to the next summit. We as staff and board are excited for this next phase of growth! We will engage in a thoughtful and stakeholder-involved process for identifying our next Heart and Soul leader. We will leverage services of a reputed executive search firm with a track record of making placements in San Mateo County.
For today, we wish Cardum well in taking time to focus on her self-care, restoring, traveling, spending time with family, and honeymooning as a newlywed.
May 2021 is Mental Health Month. This year’s theme is #HopeForChange. During a year of unprecedented challenges for our Peers, our families, our agency, and our community, we have moved forward in hope, we adapted, and we cultivated our resilience. It was a time of unexpected adversity and change, but it was also a time of learning, recovery, and opportunities for growth. In this spirit, we are buoyed by the hope that has carried us through hard times. We have faith that same hope will inspire us to embrace the possibilities inherent in change, and to expand our future horizons.
Please join us in our upcoming farewell celebration to thank Cardum and share our plans for the next steps.
President, Heart and Soul Board of Directors
Heart & Soul will host 2 special Mental Health Month Virtual Events.
San Mateo County BHRS is presenting virtual events
all month long!
Click the buttons below to join our Events via Zoom,
or to view the BHRS Schedule of Mental Health Month Virtual Events:
Please join us to participate in
Online Check-in and
Our activities are free of charge
and are open to all residents
of San Mateo County.
Click the button on the calendar date
to join your Total Wellness Club
Mindful Movement with Dr. Marcus Penn
Thursdays at 2:00 pm
Streaming on Facebook Live
COVID Vaccination Information
For COVID-19 information and resources specific to San Mateo County, click here:
San Mateo County
San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services has created a comprehensive guide to COVID-19 resources in our County,
with links to resource sites.
Click on the button below to view the Resource Guide.
Interested in helping others on their journey
towards mental wellness?
Donations BIG and small are welcome!