Monday, May 30, 2011

Closing Night Event - Asian Pacific American Heritage Month 2011

Please join RAMS and other community organizations for the last Asian Pacific American Heritage Month event of 2011!  This inter-generational multi-ethnic event shall feature live performances, happy hour specials all night, announcements, and delicious ethnic food. All are welcome so please help us spread the love by inviting your friends to attend too!

RSVP: http://apahmclosingnight.eventbrite.com/

WHAT: APA Heritage Month Closing Night Celebration
WHEN:  Tuesday, May 31, 6:30-9:00 p.m.
WHERE: Carnelian By the Bay, 1 Ferry Plaza (behind the Ferry Building), San Francisco.  Close to Embarcadero MUNI/BART.  $5 valet parking.

Your co-hosts: 
Aaron Rora - Angela Pang - Caitlyn Chi - Chris Chang - Christine Hsu - Christine Padilla - Claire Chang - Cliff Yee - Edmond Hui - Frank Chui - Ho Chie Tsai - Irene Kao - James Feng - Jenny Yu - Kavoos Bassiri - Keesa Ocampo - Manufou 'Fou' Liaiga-Anoai - Mary Nicely - Myron Lee - Paul Yep - Plunket Phommachanh - Rich 'Juebop' Jue - Ron Lee - Samson Wong - Sandra Siharath - Shaun Tai - Sourichanh (Sirch) Chanthyasack - Stephanie Balon Wong - Steve Liu - Steven Lee - Susan Lee - Susie Willemsz-Geeroms - Tamiko Wong

Community co-sponsors:
3rd I Film Festival - Asian American 20s & 30s Meetup - Asian American Business Connection Meetup (AABC) - Asian Business League - San Francisco (ABL-SF) - American Legion Cathay Post No. 384 - Asian Peace Officers' Association (APOA) - AsianWeek Foundation (AWF) - Bay Area Asians Meetup - Burma Education Fund - Cherry Blossom Alumnae (CBA) - East of Main Street - Fa'atasi - Hyphen Magazine - Indonesian Day 2011 - Korean American Professional Society (KAPS) - Laotian American National Alliance (LANA) - Mission District Re-Entry Center for Youth (MDRCY) - Nakayoshi Young Professionals (NYP) - OCA-SF (Organization of Chinese Americans - SF) - ORIENTED.COM - Pacific Asian American Women Bay Area Coalition (PAAWBAC) - RAMA - Richmond Area Multi-Services, Inc (RAMS, Inc) - SEACHAMPA (South East Asian Cultural Heritage & Musical Performing Arts) - SF Asian Professionals Meetup - SF Cantonese Enthusiasts Meetup - SF Samoa-Pacific Islander Community Partnership - Shelter Network - TaiwaneseAmerican.org - WHOmentors.com, Inc. - Young Filipino Professionals Association (YFPA)

Business supporters:
4fifteen clothing - Alido’s Restaurant (donating lumpia!) - Bok Choy Apparel (selling items!) - Blue Salud Special Events (helping with logistics!) - Burmese Kitchen (donating cold Burmese Salad called Nan gyi thoke) - Fight Life - New Delhi Restaurant (donating mini-samosas!) - Sugar Bowl Bakery (donating brownie bites!) - Usagi Team (selling doggie clothes, wine accessories, and hand-made bags!)

Performers:
Charles Wang (cellist) - Cynthia Lin and the Blue Moon All Stars - Kariktan Dance Company - Michelle Martinez - Traditional Burmese Dancer Using Oil Lamps - Visitacion Valley Ukulele Club

Volunteers:
Angela Tang - Jackie Hwang - Karah To - Q Thang Do - Scott Kong - Sherry Wong - Susan Wong - Vicki Hsu

Poster by Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute

Friday, May 27, 2011

House Leader Nancy Pelosi meets with API Budget Coalitions

Press Release from Chinatown Community Development Center

SAN FRANCISCO (May 27, 2011) – Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi and over 40 community-based leaders from the Asian and Pacific Islanders (API) Budget Coalitions (which includes RAMS) met to discuss federal budget priorities for API low-income families, youth and seniors. Representatives from the Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Vietnamese, Laotian and Samoan American communities from across San Francisco attended. Leader Pelosi declared her strong support for the three federal budget priorities articulated by the group: the Community Development Block Grant program (CDBG), Social Security Supplemental Income program (SSI), and Medicare.

Following a presentation by Patsy Tito, Executive Director of the Samoan Community Development Center, on the importance of CDBG funding to API communities, Rep. Pelosi acknowledged that the CDBG program must be protected because it forms the underyling foundation for critical local programs.  This is particularly true in San Francisco. CDBG funds nearly every API serving non-profit in the city of San Francisco. These services range from affordable housing to senior, youth, and family support programs.

Leader Pelosi also supported the priority to defend SSI from Republican attempts to raid and deplete the program. Anni Chung, Executive Director of Self-Help for the Elderly, presented on behalf of the community groups, and pointed out that for many API seniors, over 90% of their income comes from SSI.

Leader Pelosi finally urged API community leaders to oppose the current Republican attempt to privatize portions of Medicare after Kent Woo, Executive Director of the NICOS Chinese Health Coalition, presented.
 

About the Asian and Pacific Islanders (API) Budget Coalitions
The Asian and Pacific Islanders (API) Budget Coalitions is a San Francisco based “coalition of coalitions” formed to coordinate and advocate on government budget policy issues on behalf of vulnerable Asian and Pacific Islander communities. We consist of seven different citywide and neighborhood based Asian and Pacific Islander coalitions focusing on a broad range of issues impacting API’s. Our coalitions and their individual members provide social services and programming on a citywide basis to nearly every vulnerable API community in the City. Collectively, our coalitions include nearly 80 non-overlapping, individual organizations, institutions, and/or agencies.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Peer Leadership & Support

RAMS Peer Specialist Mental Health Certificate Program was invited to present at the Mayor's Disability Council meeting which took place on Friday May 20.  The topics discussed at the meeting were on Mental Health Issues, Peer Leadership, and Peer Support.  Christine Tam, Program Coordinator, gave an overview of the program's history and how it was created, student demographics, the current status of the program, and the successes experienced by the students in the program during their class experience and after graduation.
Christine Tam speaks in front of the Mayor's Disability Council

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Week of Mental Health Awareness

There was a whirlwind of activity at RAMS last week in celebration of Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day on May 10, as well as the national Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and Mental Health Awareness Month which both occur in May.  A brief recap:

Monday, May 9:  The College of San Mateo presented an Asian Pacific American Mental Health Awareness Panel, featuring a panel presentation from RAMS staff about the importance of mental health and culturally-competent services in the A/PI community, working in the mental health profession, as well as challenges and issues specific to the A/PI communities.

Presenting at the College of San Mateo:
(L to R) Kavoos Bassiri, Dr. Stephanie Chen, Dr. Shyamsunda​r Kotagal, Can Nguyen

Tuesday, May 10:  On Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day, RAMS presented an all day training event titled "Asian Pacific American Mental Health: Knowing Our Roots and Growing Beyond".  This widely anticipated event was filled to capacity with over 200 registrants, and was a great success.  To kick-off the event, Mayor Edwin M. Lee addressed the audience on the importance of mental health and the Asian Pacific American community. Supervisor Eric Mar, who along with Senator Leland Yee was instrumental in establishing Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day, also addressed the audience in the early afternoon.
This all-day training featured an exciting panel of presenters that are recognized leaders, trailblazers, and legends in the field of mental health and working with Asian Pacific Americans:
• Alvin N. Alvarez, PhD, Professor, Dept. of Counseling, SF State University; Past President, Asian American Psychological Association
• Jean Lau Chin, PhD, ABPP, Professor, Adelphi University
• DJ Ida, PhD, Executive Director, National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association
• Stanley Sue, PhD, Professor of Psychology and Director, Center on Excellence in Diversity, Palo Alto University
 
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee

San Francisco Supervisor Eric Mar

Dr. Alvin Alvarez

(L to R) Dr. DJ Ida, Kavoos Bassiri, Dr. Jean Lau Chin, and Dr. Stanley Sue
As an added bonus for this auspicious day, the San Francisco Giants flashed the message "Happy Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day - May 10" on the AT&T Park scoreboard during the 3rd inning of the SF Giants vs. Arizona Diamondbacks game.  It was a winning game for the Giants as well!

Thursday, May 12: Staff from the RAMS Wellness Centers Program were speakers at the 2011 California Association of Marriage & Family Therapists Annual Conference.  The title of the presentation is “Lessons Learned: Providing Creative Tools for Working in School-Based Services to Meet the Needs of Diverse Youth”.  RAMS Behavioral Health Counselors Ulash Thakore-Dunlap, MS, Shana Averbach, MS, Alissa Gunsberg, MA, Mia Gutfreund, MA, and Rebecca Peng, MS, as well as Program Director Kristin Chun, LMFT, presented on Thursday May 12, on behalf of RAMS.

Wellness Centers staff presenting at CAMFT: (L to R) Shana Averbach, Alissa Gunsberg, Kristin Chun, Mia Gutfreund, Rebecca Peng, and Ulash Thakore-Du​nlap

Saturday, May 14: RAMS was a co-sponsor along with Senator Leland Yee, Supervisor Eric Mar, Kaiser Permanente, Self-Help For The Elderly, San Francisco Recreation & Parks, and Compassionate Community Care for the 7th Annual 2011 Richmond District Community Health Festival. The Health Festival featured FREE clinical health services as well as giveaways, food, health education offered by more than 40 community health organizations, children’s activities and family fun.

RAMS at the Richmond District Health Festival:
(L to R) Christy Tam, Paul Lee, Kristina Bang, Mark Gavartin

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

May 10 is Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day!

PRESS RELEASE - RAMS Honors Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day - May 10

Who: Honorable Edwin M. Lee, Mayor, City and County of San Francisco
Kavoos G. Bassiri, President and CEO, Richmond Area Multi-Services

Where: State Building
455 Golden Gate Ave, Milton Marks Auditorium (Lower Level)
San Francisco, CA, 94102

When: Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Press Time (9:00 – 9:30 am)

What:
SAN FRANCISCO – In honoring this year’s Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day on May 10th, Richmond Area Multi-Services, Inc. (RAMS) is holding an all day training event Asian Pacific American Mental Health: Knowing Our Roots and Growing Beyond.

To kick-off the event, Mayor Edwin M. Lee will be addressing 200+ guests on the importance of mental health and the Asian Pacific American community. Board of Supervisor Eric Mar is scheduled to also address the audience in the early afternoon. This all-day training features an exciting panel of presenters that are recognized leaders, trailblazers, and legends in the field of mental health and working with Asian Pacific Americans:
• Leland Y. Yee, Ph.D, California State Senator; Psychologist
• Alvin N. Alvarez, PhD, Professor, Dept. of Counseling, SF State University; Past President, Asian American Psychological Association
• Jean Lau Chin, PhD, ABPP, Professor, Adelphi University
• DJ Ida, PhD, Executive Director, National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association
• Stanley Sue, PhD, Professor of Psychology and Director, Center on Excellence in Diversity, Palo Alto University

Asian American Mental Health Facts:
• Approximately 25% of Americans in a given year are impacted by mental health conditions regardless of gender, age, race, religion and socioeconomic status (National Institute of Mental Health)
• Asian American girls have the highest rates of depressive symptoms of any racial/ethnic or gender group
• Asian American women ages 15-24 have a higher rate of suicide than Caucasians, African Americans and Latinos in that age group (Center for Disease Control and Prevention/National Center for Health Statistics)
• Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders appear to have extremely low utilization of mental health services relative to other U.S. populations (National Alliance on Mental Illness)
• Among elderly women of all ethnic or racial groups, Asian Americans have the highest suicide rate (Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent Suicide)
• The economic cost of untreated mental illness is more than 100 billion dollars each year in the United States. Without treatment the consequences of mental illness for the individual and society are staggering: unnecessary disability, unemployment, substance abuse, homelessness, inappropriate incarceration, and suicide. (National Alliance on Mental Illness)
• The best treatments for serious mental illnesses today are highly effective; between 70 and 90 percent of individuals have significant reduction of symptoms and improved quality of life with a combination of pharmacological and psychosocial treatments and supports (National Alliance on Mental Illness)

About Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day:
Establishment of Asian Pacific American
Mental Health Day in 2010

The establishment of Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day was an effort spearheaded by RAMS along with California State Senator Leland Y. Yee, Ph.D. and San Francisco Board of Supervisor
Eric Mar. It was first established in 2010, as declared by the State of California and the City and County of San Francisco, recognizing the importance of raising awareness about mental health in the Asian Pacific American community.
   
On the floor of the State Senate

“Since May is already established nationally as the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and Mental Health Awareness Month, instituting this day in May more closely aligns both awareness efforts,” says Kavoos G. Bassiri, President and CEO of RAMS, Inc.



Friday, May 6, 2011

CALL FOR ACTION - Honoring Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day on May 10

Richmond Area Multi-Services, Inc. (RAMS) is reaching out to the California community to honor and recognize “Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day” on May 10th. The call for action is for community groups, organizations, coalitions, and associations; health advocates or individuals; and public officials & entities, public health departments, and other affiliates to acknowledge this day and the importance of mental health in the Asian Pacific American community by organizing an activity, making an announcement, and/or simply spreading the word to raise awareness.

Starting 2010, and each year thereafter, the State of California and City & County of San Francisco declared May 10th as Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day. This effort was spearheaded by RAMS along with State Senator Leland Y. Yee, Ph.D. and SF Board of Supervisor Eric Mar. Establishment of this day was overwhelmingly supported by many major local, statewide, and national associations and community coalitions. "Since May is already established nationally as the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and Mental Health Awareness Month, instituting this day in May more closely aligns both awareness efforts," says Kavoos G. Bassiri, President & CEO of RAMS, Inc.

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 Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). “Given the traditionally low rates of mental health utilization within this [Asian American] community, it is our belief that the creation of day to promote greater awareness of the mental health issues facing various Asian American and Pacific Islander communities is a critical and much-needed act of advocacy,” stated Dr. Gordon Nagayama Hall, President of the Asian American Psychological Association.

In honoring Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day in 2011, RAMS is holding an all day training event “Asian Pacific American Mental Health: Knowing Our Roots and Growing Beyond” in San Francisco. The event features an exciting panel of presenters: Dr. Alvin N. Alvarez, Dr. Jean Lau Chin, Dr. DJ Ida, and Dr. Stanley Sue, and facilitated by Kavoos G. Bassiri. Joining the moderated panel discussion is also Dr. Leland Yee, Psychologist and California State Senator. The presenters are recognized leaders, trailblazers, and legends in the field of mental health and working with Asian Pacific Americans. This training is funded by Mental Health Services Act and offered to the community through a collaboration of RAMS and Harm Reduction Therapy Center - Training Institutes.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Seventh Annual Richmond Community Health Festival on Saturday May 14

RAMS is proud to be a co-sponsor along with Senator Leland Yee, Supervisor Eric Mar, Kaiser Permanente, Self-Help For The Elderly, and Compassionate Community Care for the 7th Annual 2011 Richmond District Community Health Festival.

The Health Festival will feature FREE clinical health services including blood pressure tests, body mass index tests, body fat tests, allergy advice, hearing tests, eyeglass cleaning, dental screening, bone density tests, Hep B screening and medical reviews. The fair will also feature FREE giveaways, food, health education offered by more than 40 community health organizations, children’s activities and family fun.

When: Saturday, May 14, 2011, 10am-2pm

Where: Richmond Recreation Center, 251 18th Avenue, San Francisco (between California and Clement)

For more information call Alex Doniach, 415-557-7857.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Meet RAMS – Angela Tang, LCSW

On May 3, 2011, in celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors honored one individual in each supervisorial district for “public recognition of distinction and merit for outstanding service”. We are proud to announce that Supervisor Eric Mar awarded RAMS Director of Operations Angela Tang, LCSW with a Certificate of Honor as the individual representing the Richmond District of San Francisco. Ms. Tang received commendation for her hard work and dedication with over six years of service at RAMS, and for her commitment to serving the Asian American community in the Richmond District, and the greater San Francisco area.

Please join RAMS in congratulating Angela Tang for this great honor, and in congratulating and celebrating all 11 honorees of the various San Francisco districts!