Wednesday, November 24, 2010

November activities

RAMS staff were quite active in the community during the month of November!

Program Director of RAMS Asian Family Institute Eddie Chiu, PhD, was a featured presenter at the Problem Gambling Regional Summit in Santa Rosa, held on November 19. This was part of the California Problem Gambling Technical Assistance and Training Project of the National Pacific American Families Against Substance Abuse (NAPAFASA) intended for service providers and the general public to "Learn about the issue of problem gambling in California and its impact on individuals, families, and communities; Prevention and intervention methods and resources, including clinical treatment and resources for financial protection; and Current and future directions in problem gambling prevention, treatment, and policies." The two topics which Dr. Chiu spoke about were 1) Assessment and Treatment of Problem Gambling, and 2) Family Centered Problem Gambling Interventions.

RAMS Deputy Chief / Director of Clinical Services Christina Shea, LMFT, was interviewed together with Judy Young, Executive Director of Vietnamese Youth Development Center, for the Cantonese Journal weekly show on KTSF Channel 26. Interviewed by Anni Chung, Executive Director of Self-Help for the Elderly and co-host of the Chinese Journal (Cantonese show), the episode aired on November 20th. Ms. Shea and Ms. Young represented as co-chairs of the Asian & Pacific Islander Health Parity Coalition (APIHPC). They introduced the work and achievements of APIHPC, discussed the goals of APIHPC for 2010-2011 - media campaign on “de-stigmatization” of mental illness and service seeking behaviors, outreach/education of promoting mental health in API community, advising Department of Public Health on culturally competent services for API, and asking the API community for feedback and advice on service delivery - and spoke with the audience about considering the behavioral health helping professions as potential careers.
Photo credit - cbcastro on Flickr

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Promoting Equality in Schools

The Wellness Centers program shall be featured in a presentation by RAMS Wellness Centers Behavioral Health Counselor Ulash Dunlap, MS, PPSC, at the 6th World Conference on the Promotion of Mental Health and Prevention of Mental and Behavioral Disorders. This will be held on November 17-19, 2010 in Washington DC.

The title of Ms. Dunlap’s presentation is “Promoting Equality in Schools: Lessons Learned in Working with Immigrant Youth”. Ulash Dunlap (Behavioral Health Counselor, RAMS, Inc.); Kavoos G. Bassiri (President & CEO RAMS, Inc.); Deborah Bryant (School District Nurse, San Francisco Unified School District - SFUSD); Kristin Chun (Director, Behavioral Health Services/Wellness Centers Program, RAMS, Inc.)

The presentation will explore how RAMS is successfully and collaboratively working on-site at the schools to support the mental health needs of immigrant students vital work which, in turn, helps to promote equality. RAMS provides the integrated behavioral health services component of school services, including mental health & substance abuse treatment. During RAMS tenure, students have been surveyed bi-annually by ETR & Associates (outside evaluator) to assess satisfaction with services. In the most recent survey of all Wellness Centers, results support that, as a result of meeting with a RAMS Counselor, there has been improved psychological well-being & skills around managing school & home life.

How can counselors and school-based mental health professionals serve immigrant youth in culturally appropriate ways? Grounded in both theory and practice in the schools, this presentation focuses on immigration trends, acculturation, stressors, mental health, language needs, health care, and challenges in working with immigrant youth in schools. Through case scenarios and lessons learned by RAMS and Wellness Centers staff, this presentation outlines the practical counseling, and collaborative and community interventions that culturally competent school counselors and mental health professionals may want to consider when working with immigrant youth.

Friday, November 5, 2010

NAMI Listens

Kavoos G. Bassiri, LMFT, CGP, President & CEO of RAMS, was invited to participate in the most recent National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Listening Session, which was a gathering to help NAMI better understand issues affecting the AAPI community and draft recommendations to move forward. The objectives for this meeting was to
- Bring together Asian American and Pacific Islander leaders (consumers, family members and providers) to engage in an open dialogue with NAMI regarding mental health in this community
- Elicit feedback and recommendations for NAMI to successfully engage AAPI communities
- Identify existing resources and opportunities to improve mental health education and supports for AAPI communities


21 people from all over the US with a variety of experiences and perspectives (people living with mental illness, family members, providers, researchers, NAMI and non-NAMI members), were invited & attended this event on November 4th & 5th in Los Angeles.

This Listening Session was organized by the NAMI Multicultural Action Center and facilitated by Jei Africa, PsyD, MSCP, CATC.