Friday, March 30, 2012

Meet RAMS - The Wellness Centers

RAMS is proud to be the core behavioral health provider for the San Francisco Wellness Initiative whose mission is to improve the health, well-being, and educational outcomes of San Francisco’s public high school students by providing comprehensive, school based student health programming. Founded in 2000, the Initiative is made possible by a unique partnership between the San Francisco Department of Children, Youth and Their Families (DCYF), the San Francisco Department of Public Health/Community Behavioral Health Services (DPH/CBHS), and the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD). Leveraging the resources of each agency, the Initiative allows the school district, city departments, and community-based organizations such as RAMS to align and coordinate their efforts to address student health needs. Focused on prevention and early intervention in areas critical to student wellness, the San Francisco Wellness Initiative is one of the first networks of high-school-based health centers that has been brought to scale in a school district.

RAMS employs 21 Behavioral Health Counselors, 3 Clinical Case Managers, and a Trauma/Grief & Loss Counselor to work in 15 of the public high schools’ Wellness Centers throughout San Francisco. As a multidisciplinary team (i.e. psychology, marriage & family, counseling, social work), our counselors are able to provide mental health and substance abuse support services to approximately 1700 students each year including; individual & group counseling, assessment & triage, crisis intervention, consultation to teachers & parents, and case management services. Each counselor works as part of a team member of the Wellness Center, who is responsible for serving, primarily, non-academic needs of the students. In addition to RAMS, the core staff typically includes the Wellness Coordinator, a school health nurse, and a Community Health Outreach Worker (CHOW). In addition to providing confidential, behavioral health counseling and medical services to the students, the Wellness Centers’ team also works to link students and their families to resources outside of school, and to bring community based organizations that serve youth onto campus. Wellness Centers’ core beliefs take a holistic view of a student, maintaining that a student whose health & wellness is considered has the best chance for academic and personal success.

One example of the many activities and services provided to students is the Wellness Newsletter.  This is created by the Wellness Team at School of the Arts/Academy Arts & Science, and contributed to by Behavioral Health Counselor Shana Averbach.  Previous newsletters were also profiled on this blog.  Click HERE for the latest newsletter.

Photo credit: desk by Robert S. Donovan

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Business Community Supporters

We are proud to recognize two local business who are supporting RAMS in our community.

GoGo Senior Dog Veggies

The RAMS Hire-Ability production services is pleased to partner with GoGo Senior Dog Veggies, a local start-up online business. The inspiration of this business started when the owner, Steve Loving, was having difficulty finding good healthy dog snacks for his senior, diabetic dog, GoGo. He adopted the idea of introducing vegetables in GoGo’s diet to see if there would be a change in his health. Sure enough, GoGo has more energy and his diabetes is much more manageable. Now, many other dogs who suffer from chronic health conditions can enjoy these freeze dried vegetables either through snacks or as a regular part of their diet and hopefully see improvement with their health. Hire-Ability is responsible for managing the online orders, packaging and shipping of product. To learn more about this great business or to order product, please visit their website by clicking HERE.

Sports Basement

Sports Basement will be sponsoring a private happy hour event on Thursday, April 19th for RAMS. Not only will they be providing snacks, drinks, beer and wine, but everyone will also receive a 20% discount off their entire purchase during the event. 
WHEN:  April 19th, 6:00-8:00pm
WHERE:  1590 Bryant Street, San Francisco.  (415) 575-3000
Sports Basement engages with the community, hosting and helping hundreds of community groups and partners at their 4 store locations on an annual basis.  Click HERE for more information.

We would like to express our gratitude to these local businesses for supporting RAMS, and for providing us with these exciting partnership opportunities.

Check out a prior blog post HERE for more details on other RAMS Hire-Ability business partners.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

National Problem Gambling Awareness Week

RAMS is actively participating in National Problem Gambling Awareness Week, which is being held from March 4-10 this year.

As part of our ongoing outreach and awareness-raising efforts, Dr. Eddie Chiu, Director of RAMS Asian Family Institute, together with Kent Woo, Executive Director of NICOS Chinese Health Coalition, participated in a press conference held by NICOS at Donaldina Cameron House regarding Problem Gambling in the Chinese Community.
The press conference revealed new data which indicates a 10% increase in the number of Chinese seeking assistance in gambling-related problems, which signifies that the Chinese community has increased awareness of such problems, although overall usage is still relatively low compared to other population groups.  Issues such as youth gambling as well as success rates in gambling addiction were also discussed.

For more information and to view video coverage of the press conference, visit the KTSF Channel 26 website HERE.

RAMS collaborates with NICOS in offering problem gambling services, which provides assessment, counseling, support groups, outreach, and educational services for problem gamblers and their family members in the Asian American communities. The project also operates the Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-888-968-7888 and provides counseling, information and referral in English, Cantonese, and Mandarin languages/dialects.