Friday, December 16, 2011

Graduation Day - Peer Specialist Mental Health Certificate Program Fall 2011

We are so excited to announce the graduation of the Fall 2011 Cohort of the Peer Specialist Mental Health Certificate Program on Thursday, December 8th, 2011. This is the third graduating cohort of the program. Friends, family, and members of the behavioral health community gathered on that day to support and celebrate this special occasion with our graduates at the San Francisco State University downtown campus.


Kavoos Bassiri, RAMS CEO, along with Dr. Rob Williams, Chair of the Counseling Department at San Francisco State University, Dr. Mya Vaughn, Assistant Professor at San Francisco State University, and Christine Tam, Program Coordinator, conducted the ceremony to recognize the hard work, dedication, and commitment of the graduates that led them to successfully complete the program.

Throughout the past 12 weeks, students went through an intensive training that taught them the skills and knowledge of being a peer counselor in the field of community behavioral health. They devoted themselves to attending eight hours of lectures each week on topics related to counseling individuals with mental health conditions and/or substance use related issues. In addition to attending class regularly, the program demanded students to spend time outside of class to review lecture materials, complete reading assignments, and work on class projects. Many of the graduates from this cohort faced personal challenges outside of the course throughout these 12 weeks, yet, they continued their hard work and dedication in spite of these challenges to meet the demands the program. Their resilience and ability stay committed are highly commendable.

At this time, graduates are looking for opportunities to continue their pursuit in the field of community behavioral health. Several of them have already expressed interest in further education in the field while others have started the process of looking for employment and internship opportunities. We look forward to hearing from them as they continue to develop professionally. We anticipate hearing many future contributions to the community by this graduating class. .

The next cohort for the Peer Specialist Mental Health Certificate Program will begin in April 2012. Details about how to apply for the next cohort will become available in January 2012. Please contact Program Coordinator, Christine Tam at (415) 668 – 5955 x386 or christinehtam@ramsinc.org for additional information.

Youth Council Fall 2011

In September of this year, Youth Council reconvened with vigor and new faces. This year’s Youth Council has 9 youth attendees and two RAMS staff advisors who meet once a month to discuss mental health services and issues pertinent to the adolescent and young adult population. The opinions and perspectives of youth participants are gathered to better address the delivery service within RAMS and the larger CBHS system. Over the past months, we have screened clips from the documentary, “Race to Nowhere” (2009), discussed the academic pressures that our teens face and explored tips for self-care and connecting teens to mental health services. Sai-Ling Chan-Sew, LCSW, RAMS Clinical Supervisor/Consultant and also former Director of the Child, Youth and Family System-of-Care, Community Behavioral Health Services, visited and joined our discussion regarding stress management.

In 2012, the Youth Council will be accepting new members who have an interest in participating in this program. If you know of a youth who would be a good fit, please contact Nira Singh, PsyD. or Stephanie Chen, Ph.D. at (415) 668-5955 for more information. For a sneak peek--topics of the new year will include teen-friendly recruitment and outreach strategies as Summer Bridge will start gearing up for their third year.