Sunday, May 23, 2010

When Reality Looks Like Me - Hyphen Magazine

Hyphen Magazine blogger Joy Tang wrote a recap of the RAMS Changing Reality event for the online magazine.

"And as I was sitting in the back of the room, stirring the ice in my water, something started happening. I started feeling stuff. And I think it was hope? I think it was something like hope."

Click HERE to read "When Reality Looks Like Me: RAMS 35th Anniversary Gala Review".

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Changing Reality

Left to right: Senator Leland Yee, Victor Jih & Tammy Jih, Hung Huynh, Chloe Dao, Pamela Ling

The night was a success! We are grateful to the Hotel Kabuki for hosting the event, and to our event contributors DJ Pauly Paul, Echoes of the Dragon Chinese Drum Ensemble, Frank Jang Photography, Gobba Gobba Hey, Mariluz Design, and Soleil Portraits, for donating their time and services, and especially to our featured guests and all of our donors & supporters who made this event a night to remember.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Can you tell we're excited?

Here is our official press release announcing Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day:

Resolution Declaring May 10th as “Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day”

SAN FRANCISCO – Richmond Area Multi-Services, Inc. (RAMS) is pleased to be the lead in spearheading the effort to establish May 10th as “Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day”, in recognition of the importance of raising awareness about mental health in the Asian Pacific American community. The month of May is already established as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and National Mental Health Awareness Month; thus, establishing this day in May more closely aligns both awareness efforts.

Starting in the year of 2010 and each year thereafter, the City & County of San Francisco shall recognize May 10th as “Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day”, as it was introduced by San Francisco Board of Supervisor (District 1) Eric Mar and supported by the full Board. California State Senator Leland Y. Yee, Ph.D. introduced the resolution as SCR 97 at the State Senate and May 10th Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day is to be official in the State of California.

This resolution has been overwhelmingly supported by many major associations, such as American Psychological Association, National Association of Social Workers, Council of National Psychological Associations for the Advancement of Ethnic Minority Interests, California Marriage & Family Therapy Association, Northern California Psychiatric Society, National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association, and National Latina/o Psychological Association.

There is a significant need for enhancing awareness of mental illness in the Asian Pacific American community. Approximately 25% of Americans in a given year are impacted by mental health conditions regardless of gender, age, race, religion and socioeconomic status, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Through the combination of psychosocial and pharmacological treatments and support, 70% to 90% of individuals with mental health issues have significant reduction of symptoms and improved quality of life. Furthermore, Asian Pacific American (APA) communities are among the fastest growing and most diverse racial group in the United States though APA’s use mental health services at the lowest rate among ethnic populations. As such, there is a critical need to raise awareness about mental health within the APA community to de-stigmatize seeking help and enhance access to culturally competent community services.

“In establishing this reoccurring day, RAMS plans to launch Northern and Southern California Taskforces which would be the platform in order to formally collaborate on efforts,” says Kavoos G. Bassiri, President & CEO of RAMS, “As a community of Californians and Asian Pacific Americans, together, the groups will identify best practices and strategies on outreach & promotion as well as discuss pertinent issues relating to mental health, culturally competent healthcare practices, and the community-at-large.”

Founded in 1974, RAMS is a non-profit agency providing comprehensive, culturally competent services that aim to meet the behavioral health, social, vocational, and educational needs of the diverse San Francisco Area with special focus on the Asian & Pacific Islander American and Russian-speaking communities. Each year, RAMS serves over 15,000 adults, children, youth, and families, in over 30 languages in over 75 sites, citywide.

Happy Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day!

Over a year in the making, after months and months of work by RAMS CEO, Kavoos G. Bassiri, we are thrilled to announce that today, May 10, is the first annual Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day, to be observed and celebrated locally in San Francsico and statewide in California!

Presented and supported by District 1 Supervisor Eric Mar, a long-time supporter of RAMS, this resolution was voted on & passed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on April 20, 2010.

Today, this resolution is being presented by Senator Leland Yee to the California Senate, in order for Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day to be recognized statewide.


As presented by Senator Yee :

SCR 97 (Yee)
Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day.
This measure would recognize May 10, 2010, and each May 10 thereafter, as Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day, and acknowledge the importance of raising awareness about mental health in the Asian Pacific American community.

WHEREAS,
The Asian Pacific American community is among the fastest growing and most diverse racial groups in the United States. Asian Pacific Americans have made remarkable economic, political, and social contributions, and are the majority in eight California cities and the second largest group in four California counties; and
WHEREAS, Approximately 25 percent of Americans experience and are diagnosed with a mental health condition in a given year, impacting all communities regardless of race, ethnicity, age, socioeconomic status, and gender; and
WHEREAS, There is a critical need to raise awareness about and advocate for health care policies that increase the accessibility of mental health care services; and
WHEREAS, In this country there is a critical need to raise awareness about mental health, particularly within the Asian Pacific American community, to destigmatize seeking help, and to gain access to culturally competent community services; and
WHEREAS, Asian Pacific Americans use mental health services at the lowest rates among ethnic populations. This may be due to the substantial stigma that exists among Asian Pacific Americans, as well as cultural and linguistic isolation of the community, family, and individual; and
WHEREAS, There is an extreme lack of research regarding Asian Pacific Americans and mental health issues. A combination of psychosocial and pharmacological treatments and supports prove to be highly effective with 70 percent to 90 percent, inclusive, of individuals with mental health issues having significant reduction of symptoms and improved quality of life; and
WHEREAS, Raising awareness about mental health in the Asian Pacific American community encourages professional interest in health and human services careers, fostering a diversified workforce that reflects the community;

now, therefore, be it Resolved by the Senate of the State of California, the Assembly thereof concurring, That the Legislature recognizes May 10, 2010, and each May 10 thereafter, as Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day, and acknowledges the importance of raising awareness about mental health in
the Asian Pacific American community; and be it further
Resolved, That the Secretary of the Senate transmit copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.
Thank you to all of our supporters who made this all possible!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Sunday, May 2, 2010

What it means to be a Vietnamese American Chef

Top Chef Hung Huynh, a featured guest at RAMS upcoming anniversary event, on the role and responsibility of being an Asian American & Vietnamese American Chef:



Video from The Asia Society (see other interviews and clips on their YouTube page here)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Roundup - May 2010 Upcoming Events

May 7: Senator Leland Yee, RAMS Chief Executive Officer Kavoos G. Bassiri, and representatives of RAMS and other API & mental health organizations shall hold a press conference regarding the proposed statewide Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day on May 10. This annual day of recognition was spearheaded by RAMS, and made possible with the widespread community and political support, including the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
(For more details on the citywide day, see May 10 below).

May 8: The 6th Annual Richmond District Health Festival shall be held from 10am – 2pm at the Richmond Recreation Center, 251 18th Avenue. This festival was sponsored by RAMS, along with Compassionate Community Care, Kaiser Permanente, and Self-Help for the Elderly as well as Senator Leland Y. Yee and Supervisor Eric Mar.

This festival will feature live performances from Chinese Lion Dancers, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and speeches by Senator Yee and Supervisor Mar. There will be over 40 community health organizations, children’s activities and free clinical services including bone density testing, dental check ups, Hepatitis B screening, spinal screening, medication review and much more. This event is completely free of charge to the public. Come enjoy a day of fun and valuable knowledge on your health and well-being. For more information, contact Susan Chan at 557-7857 or susan.chan@sen.ca.gov
Click HERE for a write-up from the Richmond Blog.

May 10: Today is Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day in San Francisco! This proposal of RAMS and Supervisor Eric Mar was introduced, and the resolution approved by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, on April 20, 2010.

May 12: RAMS 35th Anniversary Fundraiser Gala, aka "Changing Reality: The Voices of Asian American TV Stars". This will be held at the Hotel Kabuki on Wednesday May 12, reception at 5:30pm and program at 7:00pm.

May 22: Join RAMS at the 6th annual NAMIWalk SF Bay Area! NAMIWalk is a fundraising and awareness-raising 5K walk that will take place in 80 communities across the country in 2010. The San Francisco walk will take place from 9:00am-11:00am at Speedway Meadow in Golden Gate Park. Check out their site at www.namiwalksfbay.org for more details.