Friday, July 10, 2015

New Program Director at RAMS Asian Family Institute

It is with great pleasure that we announce the new appointment of Mary Poon, PsyD, as the RAMS Director of Asian Family Institute.  

Dr. Mary Poon is a licensed clinical psychologist and is bilingual in Cantonese and English.  She comes to this role with supervisory & management, teaching, and extensive clinical experience in providing culturally competent services in the community behavioral health and human services sector.  Dr. Poon has held various positions at RAMS, throughout the years, having initially worked as a Mental Health Counselor at the Outpatient Clinic before relocating to Macau where she was an Assistant Professor at the University of Macau, Department of Psychology and held faculty appointments at various other universities.  In addition, she continued to provide psychotherapy to children, adolescents, and adults in various agencies.  Upon Dr. Poon’s return to the San Francisco Bay Area, she reconnected with RAMS and most recently served in the role of Instructor/Coordinator of the RAMS Peer Specialist Mental Health Certificate, a collaboration between RAMS and San Francisco State University, Department of Counseling.  She also served as a Behavioral Health Consultant at the RAMS PAES Counseling & Pre-Vocational Services program.  Dr. Poon has a deep commitment and unique expertise for serving the Asian & Pacific Islander community and diverse populations, having worked in the various community settings – outpatient, residential, school-based, juvenile justice – for 20 years.

Dr. Poon received her Doctorate of Psychology from The Wright Institute.  She is a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor and also maintains her registration as a Clinical Psychologist with the Hong Kong Psychological Association in addition to her California licensure as a Psychologist.  Dr. Poon is a skilled clinician, possesses a sound understanding of the multiple systems and continuum of care, and exhibits exceptional organizational and management skills.

Please join us in welcoming and congratulating Dr. Mary Poon to her new appointment at RAMS Asian Family Institute.  You may contact Dr. Mary Poon at RAMS at (415) 668-5998 x26 or

(L-R) Mary Poon, PsyD, Director of Asian Family Institute, with Christina Shea, LMFT, RAMS Deputy Chief & Director of Clinical Services

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Peer Specialist Mental Health Certificate -- Now Accepting Applications for Fall 2015 Class

RAMS, in collaboration with SFSU, is excited to announce that the Peer Specialist Mental Health Certificate Program is currently accepting applications for the Fall 2015 Class!

Funded by the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), the Peer Specialist Mental Health Certificate Program 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 10 cohort cycles, this program has had over 130 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 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:
•    Monday, July 6th - Application Release
•    Tuesday, July 21st & Thursday, July 23rd - Optional Program Open Houses (see Flyer HERE for details)
•    Friday, August 7th @ 5:00pm - Application Deadline
•    Week of August 24th - Notification of Application Status
•    Friday, September 4th - Registration Forms Due for Accepted Applicants
•    Tuesday, September 15th - 1st Day of Class
•    Thursday, December 17th - 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 Fall 2015 class, and beginning another great cohort!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Mental Health and Wellness in May 2015

In honor of Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day and May being Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and Mental Health Awareness Month, on May 10, RAMS was pleased to partner with the Richmond District Neighborhood Center (RDNC) to hold a Family Wellness Fair focusing on fun activities and games to involve the whole family, and encourage conversation & awareness of mental health & wellness.  As this day also fell on Mother's Day this year, RAMS and RDNC staff & volunteers facilitated interactive and engaging activities focusing on togetherness, family interaction, and of course honoring and celebrating Mom on this special day.

Additionally, during the month of May, RAMS is pleased to be engaged in a series of mental health activities:
  -- RAMS Deputy Chief & Director of Clinical Services Christina Shea, LMFT, and API Mental Health Collaborative Program Coordinator Natalie T. Ah Soon, MPH, co-presented at the California Association of Social Rehabilitation Agencies (CASRA) Spring Conference on May 7 in Concord.  Their workshop was titled "Lost in Translation: How Cultures and Languages Describe their Own Health", and described how culturally competent treatment is beyond just the language, how culture explains physical and emotional pain, and how it can only be understood within the cultural context. "Globalizing mental illness" can only lead to misunderstanding, miscommunication, and mistreatment, and Asian Pacific Islander communities in San Francisco attempt to support API communities in understanding and communicating about their pain, and hopefully lead to healing. 

  -- RAMS co-sponsored the 3rd Annual Asian Pacific Islander Health Forum, Northern California’s health education forum focusing on the Asian and Pacific Islander Communities, on May 7. The goals were to inform professionals about the most relevant challenges facing the Asian/Pacific Islander population in Sonoma County, to enhance access and quality of health services for the Asian/Pacific Islander community, and to facilitate networking among healthcare and other service providers.

  -- RAMS co-sponsored the annual Richmond Community Health Festival on May 2nd.

RAMS will also be participating in the upcoming NAMIWalk event taking place in San Francisco on Saturday, May 30.  The 5k walk will be held in Lindley Meadow in Golden Gate Park.  Check-in starts at 8:30am; Walk time starts at 10:00am.  Please click HERE to register, donate, or join & raise funds, or see more details about the event.  We hope you join us at the Walk!

Friday, May 8, 2015

RAMS honors May 10th Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day

In honor of Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day and May being Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and Mental Health Awareness Month, Richmond Area Multi-Services, Inc. (RAMS), on May 10, RAMS is proudly partnering with Richmond District Neighborhood Center to hold a mental health awareness event. This year, May 10 is also Mother’s Day and the event will focus on outreach efforts to families and supporting adult-child bonds. Held at Richmond District Neighborhood Center, the free community event will include interactive and engaging activities – arts & crafts, group sing along, games & activities, face painting, yoga, family photo fun, snacks, information & resources, and giveaways – all in celebration of mental wellness and maintaining balanced mental and physical health. 

May is established nationally as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and Mental Health Awareness Month. Established by the State of California, the City & County of San Francisco, and the City of Austin (TX), Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day on May 10 recognizes the importance of raising awareness about mental health and promoting mental wellness in the Asian Pacific American community. The establishment of Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day was an effort spearheaded by RAMS and overwhelmingly supported by many major associations and community coalitions. Since May is already established nationally as the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and as Mental Health Awareness Month, institution of this day in the month of May more closely aligns both awareness efforts.

Many people believe that mental disorders are rare and “happen to someone else" however one in four adults are impacted by mental illness in the United States every year. Childhood mental illness occurs in one out of five children in the United States during a given year, and two-thirds of them get little or no help according to the U.S. Surgeon General. Many factors contribute to mental health concerns such as biological, life experiences (e.g. trauma), and family history of mental health conditions. Asian & Pacific Islanders (A&PIs) specifically make up one of the fastest growing ethnic communities in the United States, yet they have the lowest rates of utilization of mental health services among ethnic populations, which may be due to the substantial stigma that exists as well as cultural & linguistic isolation of the community, family, and individual. These disparities indicate the critical need to raise awareness, de-stigmatize seeking help, and increase access to culturally competent/ relevant services for the Asian American & Pacific Islander community. It is important that each person is aware of some of the warning signs and ways to support and help.

The press release is below (right-click and select any option to "Open").

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Peace of Mind for Mom & the Whole Family

Come celebrate Mental Wellness on Mother's Day with FREE activities for the whole family!

RAMS and the Richmond District Neighborhood Center are hosting an event to promote and celebrate mental health awareness and wellness at this free family-friendly event.  This event is also in recognition of Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day, observed annually on May 10.

WHEN:  Sunday May 10, 1:00pm - 4:00pm
WHERE: Richmond District Neighborhood Center, 741 30th Avenue, San Francisco

There will be fun and activities for the whole family, as well as snacks and freebies.  Admission is free and all are welcome to drop by anytime!

For more information, contact Angela Tang at (415) 800-0699 x200.

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

Friday, April 24, 2015

Richmond Community Health Festival on Saturday, May 2nd

RAMS is proud to be a co-sponsor along with San Francisco District 1 Supervisor Eric Mar, California District 19 Assemblymember Phil Ting, Kaiser Permanente, Compassionate Community Care, and Self-Help for the Elderly for the Richmond Community Health Festival. 

View the flyer by clicking on the image below to enlarge (right-click and select any options to "Open"). 

The purpose of this free health festival is to encourage a healthy lifestyle and provide access to resources that help meet the health needs of our diverse community.

The Health Festival will feature FREE health screenings and medication review along with FREE giveaways, cooking demonstrations, health education offered by about 40 community health organizations, children’s activities and family fun.

When: Saturday, May 2, 2015, 10am-2pm

Where: George Peabody Elementary School, 251 6th Avenue, San Francisco (between California and Clement)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Announcement: Peer to Peer Programs Advisory & Focus Groups


Richmond Area Multi-Services, Inc. (RAMS) was selected to operate several Peer to Peer programs, funded by SF DPH – Behavioral Health Services (BHS).  RAMS will build upon SFDPH BHS’ strong foundation & further develop an integrative delivery system that promotes best practices, shared resources, peer advancement opportunities and quality driven peer to peer services for behavioral health consumers.

RAMS invites peer/consumer workforce, consumers; family members, community providers, and interested parties to GET INVOLVED and provide ideas in the planning of the Peer to Peer programs.   

Give your input about peer services, program structure, peer support, and more!

Advisory & Focus Group Schedule:

Peer Wellness/Drop-in Center
May 5: 2pm-4pm 
May 20: 2pm-4pm 
Location: BHS, 1380 Howard Street, Room 424 

Peer Counseling/Outreach Services
May 6: 11am-1pm 
May 27: 2pm-4pm 
Location: BHS, 1380 Howard Street, Room 424

Peer Support Internship
May 13: 10am-12pm 
May 28: 2pm-4pm 
Location: BHS, 1380 Howard Street, Room 417

RSVP Preferred but not Required.
Angela Tang: (415) 800-0699 Ext. 200 /  

* You can attend one or more meetings, of one or more topics, depending on your interest. 

** Join the mailing list to receive announcements and information about additional advisory & focus groups meetings by sending your contact information to