Sunday, May 5, 2013

Honoring Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day

Please join us in honoring
Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day
May 10
(May is also the National Mental Health Awareness Month
and Asian Pacific American Heritage Month)

In honor of Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day on May 10th, Richmond Area Multi-Services, Inc. is proudly joining many others in the community at a press conference to discuss the issues of detecting and addressing mental health concerns in primary care & non-mental health care settings. 
WHEN: Friday, May 10th from 10:00am to 12:00pm

Chinatown Public Health Center
San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH)
1490 Mason Street, San Francisco, CA 94133
WHAT: Join public officials, healthcare professionals, Bay Area local & national leaders, community advocates, stakeholder institutions/ organizations, and educators & researchers who will gather to recognize Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day

Oftentimes, those with mental health concerns first present to primary care & non-mental health care providers; however, many health professionals in primary care and other healthcare professions may have challenges in recognizing, diagnosing, and treating these conditions effectively due a variety of factors. There is an additional challenge for the Asian American community, as literature indicates that these individuals tend to seek help from their primary care practitioner rather than mental health professionals. If mental health problems are not treated, they can worsen or prevent recovery from the medical conditions. At this press conference/community event, experts in health care will engage in a discussion about the challenging factors we face in this regard, what needs to be & can be done, and how they have effectively & innovatively integrated services so that there is comprehensive assessment and coordination between mental health and non-mental health care professionals.

Peter Ng, MD, Pediatrician, Chinatown Public Health Center, SFDPH
Tung Thanh Nguyen, MD, Commissioner, President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders; Clinical Professor, UCSF School of Medicine
Irene Sung, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Community Programs, SFDPH; Medical Director, Community Behavioral Health Services, SFDPH
Ho Luong Tran, MD, MPH, President & CEO, National Council of Asian Pacific Islander Physicians
Albert Yu, MD, MPH, MBA, Director, Chinatown Public Health Center, SFDPH; Clinical Professor, UCSF, Department of Family and Community Medicine
Moderated by: Helena Chan, MD, Medical Director, RAMS, Inc.

This event is sponsored by RAMS.

UPDATE: The panel speakers at the press event:

L-to-R: Drs. Helena Chan, Peter Ng, Tung Thanh Nguyen, Irene Sung, Ho Luong Tran, and Albert Yu
About Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day
 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).  Asian & Pacific Islanders (A&PIs) specifically make up one of the fastest growing ethnic communities in the United States, yet they have the lowest rates of utilization of mental health services among ethnic populations, which may be due to the substantial stigma that exists (since many individuals and families remain in denial or silence about their situation) as well as cultural & linguistic isolation of the community, family, and individual.  These disparities indicate the critical need to raise awareness & talk about mental health, de-stigmatize seeking help, and increase access to & support culturally competent/relevant services for the Asian American & Pacific Islander community.

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 (District 1) Eric Mar. 

First established in 2010 by the State of California and the City & County of San Francisco, it recognizes the importance of raising awareness about mental health and promoting mental wellness in the Asian Pacific American community.  It is overwhelmingly supported by many major associations and community coalitions.  Since May is already established nationally as the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and as Mental Health Awareness Month, institution of this day in the month of May more closely aligns both awareness efforts. 
We are pleased to share that the City of Austin in Texas, has proclaimed May 10th as Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day this year.  Also, The White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and The White House Office of Public Engagement are hosting an AAPI Briefing on Suicide Prevention and Mental Health on May 10th.  San Francisco Department of Public Health is holding an all-day training on May 10th focused on working with Filipino-Americans. There are many other outreach activities being held on this day.

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