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.

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