Thursday, January 14, 2016

Peer Specialist Mental Health Certificate -- Now Accepting Applications for Spring 2016 Peer Specialist Mental Health Certificate Entry Course

RAMS, in collaboration with San Francisco State University (SFSU) Department of Counseling, is excited to announce that the Peer Specialist Mental Health Certificate Program is currently accepting applications for the Spring 2016 Peer Specialist Mental Health Certificate Entry Course!

Funded by the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), the Peer Specialist Mental Health Certificate Entry Course provides a 12-week long training for consumers of behavioral health services or their family members who are interested in becoming peer counselors/peer specialists in the field of community behavioral health. Having already successfully completed 11 cohort cycles, this course has had 150 graduates, the majority of whom are actively engaging in work, volunteer, and educational opportunities as a direct result of taking the course. This program is free of cost for the attendee, with books and materials included, and a modest stipend is provided upon completion of the course.

We are looking for individuals who:
• are at least 18 years old residents of San Francisco
• have completed at least a high school level education or GED
• are current or past consumers of behavioral health services and/or family members of consumers
• are interested in helping others in the community behavioral health setting

Application and course timeline is as follows:
• Thursday, January 14th - Application Release (click HERE for the application)
• Wednesday, January 27th & Monday, February 1st 10am-12pm - Optional Informational Open Houses (see FLYER HERE for details)
Friday, February 19th @ 5:00pm - Application Deadline 
• Week of March 1st - Notification of Application Status
• Friday, March 11th - Registration Forms Due for Accepted Applicants
• Tuesday, March 22nd – First Day of Class
• Thursday, June 9th - Graduation Ceremony

Please feel free to contact us at (415) 579-3021 x102 or should you have any questions. Materials are also available for download at:

We look forward to receiving applications for the Spring 2016 class, and beginning another great cohort!

To view the flyers below, right-click and select any option to "Open".

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

New Director at RAMS Hire-Ability Vocational Services

It is with great pleasure that we announce the appointment of Calleene Egan, MA, as the Director of Vocational Services at the RAMS Hire-Ability program.

Ms. Egan brings years of experience and knowledge in vocational services. Prior to RAMS, Ms. Egan served as the Regional Director of Caminar Butte County; in this role, she oversaw programming which included a day program, social recreation program, and vocational training comprising of two social enterprises - employment services and supportive permanent housing. She brings experience in effectively managing city, county & state contracts, successfully supporting efforts for Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) re-accreditation, and identifying & developing strategic partnerships that further support programs to flourish. Ms. Egan has also worked for a UK-based NGO which included traveling to their off-site location in Nicaragua as well as working on-site with their financially sustainable high school to identify areas of improvement in their operations and finance departments.

Calleene Egan, MA, Director at Hire-Ability Vocational Services
Throughout her career, Ms. Egan has worked hands-on in employment services and firmly believes that empowerment is derived from employment. She is passionate about ensuring the best service delivery and assures that the consumer is always put first. Ms. Egan received her Master’s degree from Pepperdine University, with a focus on social enterprise. Her experience also involves businesses that address social issues, providing individuals with opportunities to improve the community through the sale of services/items in which the profit is reinvested back into the business.

Ms. Egan clearly demonstrates effective leadership skills and expertise in social enterprise and vocational employment programming. Please join us in welcoming Ms. Calleene Egan to her appointment at RAMS. You may contact her at or at (415) 282-9675.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

How to Raise Independent Children with Great Social Emotional Skills

Today's guest post is from Yi Zhao, LMFT, who serves as Mental Health Consultant at the RAMS Fu Yau Project which provides prevention and early intervention mental health services to the family resource centers and childcare community that cares for children, ages 0-5 years old.

The book “How to Raise Independent Children with Great Social Emotional Skills” was born on SF MUNI. I was approached by a publisher in China to write a parenting book to address the concerns by Chinese parents— young children nowadays are very dependent and have poor social skills. Over the past four-years at RAMS Fu Yau Project, I have been working with young children in Chinatown and having weekly conversation with my mentor, Christina Shea, LMFT (RAMS Deputy Chief and Director of Clinical Services) about parenting, early childhood education, immigration and acculturation.

Thanks to these inspiring conversation and the precious experiences of working with young children and their families provided by Fu Yau Project, I actually have a lot to think, process, talk about and write about. Somehow, I am very productive when I am in movement, maybe because of my educational background in Somatic Psychology, so writing on the go- on MUNI- became my hobby. What I wrote, I believe many of my RAMS colleagues know very well, so in a sense, I am writing down the collective wisdom of Fu Yau Project. I also integrated Drama therapy, Play therapy, Somatic Psychotherapy, Expressive Art therapy, and Mindfulness practice into my writing. To me, the process of writing this book, is an embodied process. This book is written in simplified Chinese. I welcome critiques and reviews. You can feel free to purchase the book and/or share your comments on and Thank you!

-Yi Zhao, MA, LMFT 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Peer Specialist Mental Health Certificate ADVANCED COURSE -- Now Accepting Applications for the Winter 2015-2016 Cohort

RAMS is excited to announce that the Peer Specialist Mental Health Certificate Program is now accepting applications for its NEW 8-week Peer Specialist Mental Health Certificate Advanced Course, with classes set to begin on Tuesday, January 26th, 2016!

Funded by the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), the Peer Specialist Mental Health Certificate Program (part of the Division of Peer-Based Services at RAMS) provides training for consumers of behavioral health services or their family members who are interested in becoming peer counselors/peer specialists in the field of community behavioral health. In addition to the Peer Specialist Mental Health Certificate Entry Level Course that is currently offered, RAMS has designed its Advanced Course to support and educate individuals who are providing, or have recently provided peer-based services to clients in the community (or possess relevant training, volunteer and/or educational experience), and would like to obtain more specialized peer counseling training and professional development opportunities.

We are looking for individuals who: 

  • Are at least 18 years of age and a resident of San Francisco, 
  • Have successfully completed at least a High School education or GED, and 
  • Are able to attend 8 weeks of classes, which will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays (3PM-6PM). 
  • This program is funded by MHSA through San Francisco Behavioral Health Services. As such, the course is targeted to individuals with personal experience with the Community Behavioral Health System of Care and family members. 
  • Individuals with current or past work experience, education, and/or training (including volunteer and advocacy work) in the peer counseling field are highly encouraged to apply 

 Application and Course Timeline: 

  • Friday, November 13th: Application Release 
  • Thursday, November 19th & Tuesday, December 1st: Optional Program Open Houses 
  • Wednesday, December 16th @ 5PM: Application Submission Deadline 
  • Week of January 4th, 2016: Notification of Application Status 
  • Friday, January 15th, 2016: Registration Forms Due for Accepted Applicants 
  • Tuesday, January 26th, 2016: First Day of Class 
  • Thursday, March 17th, 2016: Last Day of Class & Graduation 

Materials are available for download at:

Please feel free to contact Program Coordinator, Kristin Snell, at (415) 579-3021 x102, or via email at should you have any questions or would like any additional information.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Community Voices: Stories From The Frontline

All RAMS staff, interns, and trainees are invited to this presentation & discussion at the 10th Annual Evelyn Lee Diversity and Cultural Competency Training:

Community Voices: Stories from the Frontline 
Friday, November 13th, 9am – 12pm 
State Building, Milton Marks Auditorium, 455 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco

This presentation will describe grassroots efforts for community and capacity building, strategies for advocacy and community empowerment, and engagement with leaders and legislative groups.

PRESENTERS:  Gordon Chin, MSW, and Robert L. Okin, MD

Robert Okin, MD was chief of service at SFGH Department of Psychiatry; professor of clinical psychiatry at UCSF; and vice chair of the UCSF, School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry, where he oversaw the development of crucial services for San Francisco’s most acute & chronic patients with mental health conditions, including the SFGH Department of Psychiatry’s culturally focused inpatient units and Emergency Department Case Management Program (which received the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems’ Safety Net Award in 1999). He has been quoted numerous times in the New York Times, was featured on ABC’s 20/20, and in 2009, he received the American Psychiatric Association’s prestigious Human Rights Award.

Gordon Chin, MSW is the founding Executive Director of San Francisco’s Chinatown Community Development Center, serving in this position until his retirement in October 2011. He has been active in San Francisco’s Chinatown community for over four decades, and has served on many community and civic boards including the national boards of the Center for Community Change, the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development, and the SF Public Utilities Commission. Mr. Chin was selected as one of six inaugural fellows for the Fannie Mae Foundation’s James A. Johnson Community Fellows Award, and was one of the community development leaders honored at the Local Initiatives Support Corporation’s Silver Anniversary with a Mike Sviridoff Leadership Award.

If you have any questions about this training, please feel free to contact Angela Tang at or (415) 800-0699.

To view the flyer below, right-click and select any option to "Open".

Friday, October 16, 2015

Hire-Ability: A Light Of The Village

The Mental Health Services Act - San Francisco held its 5th Annual Award Ceremony at the Scottish Rite Masonic Auditorium on October 15, 2015. It was a thoughtfully coordinated event that included stories and poetry from those mental health consumers with lived experience, as well as delightful musical entertainment from pianist, Mr. Walter Earl, and beatbox vocalist, Mr. Carlos Aguirre. With the tagline “It Takes a Village to Recover,” the event celebrated the recovery of over 100 consumers, each of whom received an Achievement in Recovery Award.

It was a big year for RAMS Hire-Ability Vocational Services, which saw its i-Ability Vocational IT Training program receive two distinctions. A graduate of i-Ability, was honored with the MHSA Consumer of the Year Award. His inspiring speech echoed the award ceremony’s sentiment, as he thanked those who were key to his recovery, including RAMS, AA, and his community behavioral health providers.

The i-Ability Vocational IT Training program also received the MHSA Team of the Year Award. The program’s entire staff was welcomed onstage to accept this award, including IT trainers, counselors, peer staff members, and management. RAMS i-Ability provides on-the-job vocational IT training to consumers through its partnership with SF Dept. of Public Health - Behavioral Health Services (BHS), where i-Ability serves as a critical component of the IT operations at BHS.

The i-Ability program will begin recruiting in January 2016 
for IT training cohorts that will begin in April 2016.  
For more information, please contact Nancy Gobaleza, Intake Coordinator
at 415-282-9675 Ext. 207 or

Friday, October 2, 2015

New Director at RAMS CAAP Counseling & Pre-Vocational Services

We are extremely pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Anjuli T. Clopper, LPC, NCC as the new Director of RAMS CAAP Counseling and Pre-Vocational Services (CCS).

Ms. Clopper has most recently been (since June 2015) the Program Coordinator with CCS Workforce Development Department (WDD). She worked directly with staff to develop and implement the Jobs Plus and On the Job Assessment programs. She also serves as a liaison between RAMS and the Personal Assistance to Employment Services (PAES) at the Human Services Agency. Although it has been just a few months, Ms. Clopper has already established a strong connection with PAES and WDD management and staff members as well as the clients. She has also developed a great understanding and appreciation of the CAAP system and how it supports the population most in need of services in San Francisco.

Ms. Clopper is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Washington, DC and has experience working with consumers with serious mental health conditions at the largest non-profit agency in Washington, DC before relocating to San Francisco and working at RAMS. Ms. Clopper holds a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling and a Certificate in Secondary School Counseling. Her clinical passion and experience lies within the field of substance abuse and trauma informed care. She has led several trainings and has been a group facilitator with the group module, Trauma Recovery Empowerment Module (TREM). She is invested in supporting and empowering those who suffer from mental health issues to fulfill their personal goals as it best suites their lives. Ms. Clopper is taking the Director position effective October 1, 2015 and Dr. Shyam Kotagal is transitioning out of this position, while we’re actively recruiting for the open Coordinator positions. We are truly grateful for Dr. Kotagal’s years of devoted service to RAMS and our community.

Please join us in welcoming and congratulating Ms. Anjuli T. Clopper to her new leadership appointment as the Director of CAAP Counseling & Pre-Vocational Services.

You may contact Anjuli T. Clopper, LPC, NCC at RAMS by telephone at 415-558-1391 and/or email by email at or