Monday, January 12, 2015

Peer Specialist Mental Health Certificate -- Now Accepting Applications for Spring 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 Spring 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 family members who are interested in becoming peer counselors/peer specialists in the field of community behavioral health.  Already in its 5th year of operation, this program has had around 120 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.

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 
  • are interested in helping others in the community behavioral health setting

  • Application and course timeline is as follows:
  • Wednesday, January 7th - Application Release 
  • Tuesday, January 20th & Thursday, January 22nd - Optional Program Open Houses (see Flyer HERE for details) 
  • Friday, February 13th @ 5:00pm - Application Deadline 
  • Week of March 9th - Notification of Application Status 
  • Friday, March 27th - Registration Forms Due for Accepted Applicants 
  • Tuesday, April 7th - 1st Day of Class 
  • Tuesday, June 30th - Graduation Ceremony 

  • Click HERE for the program brochure

    Click HERE for the application form

    Please feel free to contact us at (415) 668-5955 x386 or should you have any questions. Materials are also available for download at:

    We look forward to receiving applications for the Spring 2015 class, and beginning another great cohort!

    Photo credit: The Sanguine Bee on Flickr

    Monday, December 1, 2014

    The Wellness Initiative 2013-2014 Profile

    The San Francisco Wellness Initiative, a program dedicated to improving the health, well-being and academic success of the city’s 16,000 public high school students at 19 campuses, released their 2013-2014 profile which highlights the program's achievements and notable accomplishments this past year.

    The Wellness Initiative and the school-based Wellness Centers is a collaboration with leadership from the SF Department of Children, Youth and Their Families (DCYF), Department of Public Health (DPH), San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD), and RAMS. Confidential student services are provided on-site at Wellness Centers located in SFUSD high schools, at which RAMS provides the integrated behavioral health services component (mental health & substance abuse). This includes confidential on-site Mental Health and Substance Abuse Assessments, Individual and Group Psychotherapy, Crisis Intervention/Consultation, Grief & Loss/Trauma Counseling, Referrals to community resources, and Consultation to school staff and community.

    Here's an excerpt of the 2013-2014 Profile which provides an infographic on the services, as well as a feature profile of Dr. David Shephard, RAMS Behavioral Health Counselor at the Wellness Centers program.   View the document by clicking on the images below to enlarge (right-click and select any options to "Open").

    The full 2013-2014 Profile can be viewed by clicking HERE.  More information on the results and impact of this program can be found HERE.

    Monday, November 17, 2014

    A Day with Dr. Janet Helms

    RAMS is pleased to present the Ninth Annual Evelyn Lee Diversity and Cultural Competency Training!

    A Day with Dr. Janet Helms 
    Using Racial Identity in Everyday Life 

    WHEN: December 5, 2014 9:00 am to 4:00 pm (Registration at 8:30am)
    WHERE: West Bay Conference Center, Grand Ballroom 1290 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA 94115


    Course Description: People in the United States are afraid to talk about race and racism. As a result when racial tragedies, such as the Ferguson police riots or the George Zimmerman trial occur, there is no common language for coming to a shared understanding of the significance of the events across racial groups. Without empathy toward “the other,” there can be no peaceful resolution of societal racial problems. In this interactive workshop, participants will learn to use racial identity theory to understand their own and others’ within-group and between-group perceptions and reactions to race-related events.

    Course Objectives: • To learn to differentiate race from culture • To learn to recognize the dimensions of White racial identity • To learn to recognize the dimensions of People of Color identity • To use social interaction theory to understand how people do or do not talk about race

    Featured Speaker: Janet E. Helms, PhD is the Augustus Long Professor in the Department of Counseling, Developmental, and Educational Psychology and Director of the Institute for the Study and Promotion of Race and Culture at Boston College. She is the past president of the Society of Counseling Psychology (Division 17 of the American Psychological Association [APA]). She has written over sixty empirical and theoretical articles and four books on the topics of racial identity and cultural influences on assessment and counseling practice. Dr. Helms' work has been acknowledged with numerous awards that include "Distinguished Career Contributions to Research" award from the Society for the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues, awarded at the APA convention, among many others.

    Seminar Rates: 
    - $50/General
    - $35/Former RAMS Staff/Intern/Trainee
    - $20/Student
    * Meal: Additional $12
    * Continuing Education: Additional $20
    * On-site Registration: Additional $10

    Continuing Education Credit: Richmond Area Multi-Services, Inc. (RAMS) is approved by the California Psychological Association (RIC121) and California Board of Behavioral Sciences (PCE4601) to provide continuing education for Psychologists, MFTs, LCSWs, and LPCCs. RAMS maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Course meets the qualifications for 6 hours of continuing education credits. Those arriving more than 15 minutes after the start time or leaving before the workshop is completed will not receive CE credit.

    CANCELLATIONS are subject to a $20.00 processing fee and must be received 5 days prior to be eligible for a refund.

    For any questions, you may contact Ocean Sun at and/or (415) 800-0699 ext. 209

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

    Wednesday, November 5, 2014

    Reflective Spaces, Material Places

    RAMS is excited about the upcoming presentation for the Reflective Spaces / Material Places event this Saturday! As described on the NCSPP website:
    In community mental health (CMH) work, clients will often receive long-term therapy through a multitude of clinicians. This practice involves practicum trainees, interns, and staff clinicians alike. Building rapport and establishing a therapeutic alliance becomes all the more difficult when needing to process crucial aspects of the end of the previous treatment. This dynamic is common to many public clinics, yet it can be under examined or dismissed as just part of the reality of CMH work. Clinicians in CMH settings encounter a shifting array of clinical and cultural dynamics and navigating both can be overwhelming, particularly when acting as a replacement therapist.

    Peggy Kim, a counselor at RAMS, will discuss a case focused on an adolescent with shifting identities, whose sense of belonging is compromised, and reality and fantasy mix together. Peggy will discuss her experience of being the “replacement therapist” and will be joined, in this presentation, by Yuka Hachiuma, director of Child, Youth & Family Outpatient Services at RAMS, who is Peggy’s supervisor. Yuka and Peggy have the added experience of transferring long-term clients to each other. Together, they will invite us all to think about how our cultural worlds and clinical sensibilities combine, intersect, and diverge when seeing transfer clients. As is the norm for RSMP events, all participants will share in a lively group discussion. 
    DATE: Saturday, November 8, 2014
    TIME: 2:00 - 4:00 pm
    PLACE: A Better Way, 1663 Mission Street Suite 460 San Francisco, CA 94110

    Attendance is free but registration is required (click HERE to register)

    Northern California Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology, together with the Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California (PINC) and Access Institute for Psychological Services, are co-presenting this event.

    Photo credit -  Rachel James on Flickr
    This presentation is part of the Reflective Spaces / Material Places event series, collaboratively created by the three organizations listed above as a way to "to bring community-based work together with psychoanalytic thinking" in response to "an even greater need to carve out spaces, both within our minds as clinicians and within our places of practice, to reflect on our work and connect with one another."
    Dr. David Cushman, clinical staff at RAMS, is chair of the organizing committee.

    This event is open to all community mental health providers, licensed mental health professionals, graduate students in training, as well as members of the lay public who have an interest in psychoanalytic psychology.

    Monday, October 13, 2014

    Free Showing of an award-winning movie that pries the lid off a cultural taboo

    An Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) family trying to make the best of their circumstances. A wife haunted by traumatic memories of her past. A husband battling his own issues while having to keep his job, his sanity and his marriage together. A very realistic but truly sympathetic portrayal of mental illness that affects many Filipino households.

    Mga Anino ng Kahapon (Shadows of the Past) starring Agot Isidro and TJ Trinidad is an acclaimed landmark film about a family's heart-wrenching journey through mental illness juxtaposed against the lingering traumas of martial law and the challenges of OFWs.

    The movie directed by Alvin B. Yapan earned the Special Jury Prize at the Metro Manila Film Festival New Wave Division and won Agot Isidro the Best Actress award for the same division.

    Mga Anino ng Kahapon will be shown for the first time in the Bay Area for FREE.
    Date: Saturday, October 25, 2014 
    Time: 4:30pm-7:00pm 
    Location: Skyline College (Building 4, Room 4148) 3300 College Drive, San Bruno, CA 94066
    The movie is in Tagalog with English subtitles.

    Sponsored by Positively Filipino, the Filipino Mental Health Initiative of San Mateo (FMHISMC) and RAMS Inc., a nonprofit mental health agency serving Asian Americans, the film screening will be followed by a Q&A led by Dr. Jei Africa of FMHISMC with the special participation of Manila-based journalist and mental health advocate Cathy Sanchez-Babao, who was instrumental in the making of this movie.

    The public is invited. Light refreshments will be served.

    Seats are limited to please RSVP immediately to or at

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

    Wednesday, October 8, 2014

    Mental Health First Aid training in Tagalog and English on October 26

    RAMS' Asian & Pacific Islander Mental Health Collaborative is pleased to announce that its community collaborator, San Francisco Filipino Mental Health Initiative, will be continuing and offering another Mental Health First Aid course in Tagalog and English.
    When a mental health crisis happens, people are often wondering what to do and generally unable to detect early signs of mental health issues. Mental Health First Aid training addresses these questions and offers participants with the knowledge & skills to recognize warning signs, how to assess a mental health crisis, and how to act during the crisis situation.  The course will train seniors, caregivers, and community members.  The training is FREE, sponsored by RAMS and funded by Mental Health Services Act through Community Behavioral Health Services-San Francisco Department of Public Health.

    When: Sunday, October 26, 2014, 9:00am to 5:00pm 
    Where: Bayanihan Center, 1010 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94103
    Lunch and light snacks will be provided.
    For more information, and if you are interested in this training, please contact Joyce Vives-Diloy, MSW, Filipino Cultural & Language Specialist at the San Francisco Filipino Mental Health Initiative, at:

    Space is limited, please RSVP to by October 20 to reserve your spot.

    According to the National Council on Behavioral Health:
    WHAT IS MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID?  Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour course that introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health concerns, builds understanding of their impact, and overviews common treatments. The course uses role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to assess a mental health crisis; select interventions and provide initial help; and connect persons to professional, peer and social supports as well as self-help resources. Mental Health First Aid allows for early detection and intervention by teaching participants about the signs and symptoms of specific illnesses like anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and addictions. The program offers concrete tools and answers key questions like “What can I do?” and “Where can someone find help?” Participants are introduced to local mental health resources, national organizations, support groups, and online tools for mental health and addictions treatment and support. 

    WHY MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID?  One in five Americans has a mental illness and many are reluctant to seek help or might not know where to turn for care. The symptoms of mental illness can be difficult to detect — even when friends and family of someone who appears to be developing a mental illness can tell that something is amiss, they may not know how to intervene or direct the person to proper treatment – which means that all too often, those in need of mental health services do not get them until it is too late. As a society, we largely remain ignorant about the signs and symptoms of mental illnesses, and we ignore our role as responsible community members to help people experiencing these illnesses. 
    To view the flyers below, right-click and select any option to "Open"

    Friday, September 26, 2014

    RAMS participates in NIMH and SAMHSA webinar & roundtable discussion

    RAMS participated, as a primary discussant, in the invitational roundtable discussion & webinar event on, “Practice-Based Research and Implementation: Developing a Framework for Collaboration to Reduce Mental Health Disparities” on September 25, 2014. The Office for Research on Disparities and Global Mental Health of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the Office of Behavioral Health Equity in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) were the hosts and sponsoring entities for this webinar event & discussion.

    The objective of this webinar was to enhance understanding of the development of behavioral health services collaboration approaches that accelerate the dissemination of research-based mental health treatments into communities. There was a focus on the importance of utilizing practice based data to identify trends in mental health care disparities for members of the racial and ethnic minority groups and rural populations as collaborations are developed. The event was an opportunity to learn from researchers, practitioners, community providers and leaders on how best to develop research-practice partnerships to increase access to and the availability of culturally and linguistically appropriate mental health services. The conversations was to set the stage for thinking about ways to align efforts underway in NIMH and SAMHSA to address disparities in mental health outcomes across diverse populations.

     In an effort to generate conversations that will lead to an action plan, RAMS was invited to share our experiences, ideas, and solutions on implementing mental health services & treatment that have helped to reduce mental health disparities, challenges faced in implementing mental health services & treatment to reducing mental health disparities, and ways that those challenges could become opportunities to address mental health disparities.

    RAMS is grateful for the generous invitation to present and have the opportunity to share what we have done and are working on with the wider healthcare audience & community-at-large.

    Check out SAMHSA's 2015-2018 Strategic Plan, a new strategic plan outlining six Strategic Initiatives focused on leading change to better meet the behavioral health care needs of individuals, communities, and service providers.  The document in its entirety can be downloaded HERE.