Monday, December 1, 2014

The Wellness Initiative 2013-2014 Profile

The San Francisco Wellness Initiative, a program dedicated to improving the health, well-being and academic success of the city’s 16,000 public high school students at 19 campuses, released their 2013-2014 profile which highlights the program's achievements and notable accomplishments this past year.

The Wellness Initiative and the school-based Wellness Centers is a collaboration with leadership from the SF Department of Children, Youth and Their Families (DCYF), Department of Public Health (DPH), San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD), and RAMS. Confidential student services are provided on-site at Wellness Centers located in SFUSD high schools, at which RAMS provides the integrated behavioral health services component (mental health & substance abuse). This includes confidential on-site Mental Health and Substance Abuse Assessments, Individual and Group Psychotherapy, Crisis Intervention/Consultation, Grief & Loss/Trauma Counseling, Referrals to community resources, and Consultation to school staff and community.

Here's an excerpt of the 2013-2014 Profile which provides an infographic on the services, as well as a feature profile of Dr. David Shephard, RAMS Behavioral Health Counselor at the Wellness Centers program.   View the document by clicking on the images below to enlarge (right-click and select any options to "Open").




The full 2013-2014 Profile can be viewed by clicking HERE.  More information on the results and impact of this program can be found HERE.

Monday, November 17, 2014

A Day with Dr. Janet Helms

RAMS is pleased to present the Ninth Annual Evelyn Lee Diversity and Cultural Competency Training!

A Day with Dr. Janet Helms 
Using Racial Identity in Everyday Life 

WHEN: December 5, 2014 9:00 am to 4:00 pm (Registration at 8:30am)
WHERE: West Bay Conference Center, Grand Ballroom 1290 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

ONLINE REGISTRATION: http://www.ramsinc.org/register.html

Course Description: People in the United States are afraid to talk about race and racism. As a result when racial tragedies, such as the Ferguson police riots or the George Zimmerman trial occur, there is no common language for coming to a shared understanding of the significance of the events across racial groups. Without empathy toward “the other,” there can be no peaceful resolution of societal racial problems. In this interactive workshop, participants will learn to use racial identity theory to understand their own and others’ within-group and between-group perceptions and reactions to race-related events.

Course Objectives: • To learn to differentiate race from culture • To learn to recognize the dimensions of White racial identity • To learn to recognize the dimensions of People of Color identity • To use social interaction theory to understand how people do or do not talk about race

Featured Speaker: Janet E. Helms, PhD is the Augustus Long Professor in the Department of Counseling, Developmental, and Educational Psychology and Director of the Institute for the Study and Promotion of Race and Culture at Boston College. She is the past president of the Society of Counseling Psychology (Division 17 of the American Psychological Association [APA]). She has written over sixty empirical and theoretical articles and four books on the topics of racial identity and cultural influences on assessment and counseling practice. Dr. Helms' work has been acknowledged with numerous awards that include "Distinguished Career Contributions to Research" award from the Society for the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues, awarded at the APA convention, among many others.

Seminar Rates: 
- $50/General
- $35/Former RAMS Staff/Intern/Trainee
- $20/Student
* Meal: Additional $12
* Continuing Education: Additional $20
* On-site Registration: Additional $10

Continuing Education Credit: Richmond Area Multi-Services, Inc. (RAMS) is approved by the California Psychological Association (RIC121) and California Board of Behavioral Sciences (PCE4601) to provide continuing education for Psychologists, MFTs, LCSWs, and LPCCs. RAMS maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Course meets the qualifications for 6 hours of continuing education credits. Those arriving more than 15 minutes after the start time or leaving before the workshop is completed will not receive CE credit.

CANCELLATIONS are subject to a $20.00 processing fee and must be received 5 days prior to be eligible for a refund.

For any questions, you may contact Ocean Sun at oceansun@ramsinc.org and/or (415) 800-0699 ext. 209

To view the flyer below, right-click and select any option to "Open".
Click HERE to register online.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Reflective Spaces, Material Places

RAMS is excited about the upcoming presentation for the Reflective Spaces / Material Places event this Saturday! As described on the NCSPP website:
In community mental health (CMH) work, clients will often receive long-term therapy through a multitude of clinicians. This practice involves practicum trainees, interns, and staff clinicians alike. Building rapport and establishing a therapeutic alliance becomes all the more difficult when needing to process crucial aspects of the end of the previous treatment. This dynamic is common to many public clinics, yet it can be under examined or dismissed as just part of the reality of CMH work. Clinicians in CMH settings encounter a shifting array of clinical and cultural dynamics and navigating both can be overwhelming, particularly when acting as a replacement therapist.

Peggy Kim, a counselor at RAMS, will discuss a case focused on an adolescent with shifting identities, whose sense of belonging is compromised, and reality and fantasy mix together. Peggy will discuss her experience of being the “replacement therapist” and will be joined, in this presentation, by Yuka Hachiuma, director of Child, Youth & Family Outpatient Services at RAMS, who is Peggy’s supervisor. Yuka and Peggy have the added experience of transferring long-term clients to each other. Together, they will invite us all to think about how our cultural worlds and clinical sensibilities combine, intersect, and diverge when seeing transfer clients. As is the norm for RSMP events, all participants will share in a lively group discussion. 
DATE: Saturday, November 8, 2014
TIME: 2:00 - 4:00 pm
PLACE: A Better Way, 1663 Mission Street Suite 460 San Francisco, CA 94110

Attendance is free but registration is required (click HERE to register)

Northern California Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology, together with the Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California (PINC) and Access Institute for Psychological Services, are co-presenting this event.

Photo credit -  Rachel James on Flickr
This presentation is part of the Reflective Spaces / Material Places event series, collaboratively created by the three organizations listed above as a way to "to bring community-based work together with psychoanalytic thinking" in response to "an even greater need to carve out spaces, both within our minds as clinicians and within our places of practice, to reflect on our work and connect with one another."
Dr. David Cushman, clinical staff at RAMS, is chair of the organizing committee.

This event is open to all community mental health providers, licensed mental health professionals, graduate students in training, as well as members of the lay public who have an interest in psychoanalytic psychology.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Free Showing of an award-winning movie that pries the lid off a cultural taboo

An Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) family trying to make the best of their circumstances. A wife haunted by traumatic memories of her past. A husband battling his own issues while having to keep his job, his sanity and his marriage together. A very realistic but truly sympathetic portrayal of mental illness that affects many Filipino households.

Mga Anino ng Kahapon (Shadows of the Past) starring Agot Isidro and TJ Trinidad is an acclaimed landmark film about a family's heart-wrenching journey through mental illness juxtaposed against the lingering traumas of martial law and the challenges of OFWs.

The movie directed by Alvin B. Yapan earned the Special Jury Prize at the Metro Manila Film Festival New Wave Division and won Agot Isidro the Best Actress award for the same division.

Mga Anino ng Kahapon will be shown for the first time in the Bay Area for FREE.
Date: Saturday, October 25, 2014 
Time: 4:30pm-7:00pm 
Location: Skyline College (Building 4, Room 4148) 3300 College Drive, San Bruno, CA 94066
The movie is in Tagalog with English subtitles.

Sponsored by Positively Filipino, the Filipino Mental Health Initiative of San Mateo (FMHISMC) and RAMS Inc., a nonprofit mental health agency serving Asian Americans, the film screening will be followed by a Q&A led by Dr. Jei Africa of FMHISMC with the special participation of Manila-based journalist and mental health advocate Cathy Sanchez-Babao, who was instrumental in the making of this movie.

The public is invited. Light refreshments will be served.

Seats are limited to please RSVP immediately to fmhismc@gmail.com or at gemma@positivelyfilipino.com.

To view the flyer below, right-click and select any option to "Open"

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Mental Health First Aid training in Tagalog and English on October 26

RAMS' Asian & Pacific Islander Mental Health Collaborative is pleased to announce that its community collaborator, San Francisco Filipino Mental Health Initiative, will be continuing and offering another Mental Health First Aid course in Tagalog and English.
 
When a mental health crisis happens, people are often wondering what to do and generally unable to detect early signs of mental health issues. Mental Health First Aid training addresses these questions and offers participants with the knowledge & skills to recognize warning signs, how to assess a mental health crisis, and how to act during the crisis situation.  The course will train seniors, caregivers, and community members.  The training is FREE, sponsored by RAMS and funded by Mental Health Services Act through Community Behavioral Health Services-San Francisco Department of Public Health.

When: Sunday, October 26, 2014, 9:00am to 5:00pm 
Where: Bayanihan Center, 1010 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94103
Lunch and light snacks will be provided.
For more information, and if you are interested in this training, please contact Joyce Vives-Diloy, MSW, Filipino Cultural & Language Specialist at the San Francisco Filipino Mental Health Initiative, at: sfofmhi@gmail.com

Space is limited, please RSVP to sfofmhi@gmail.com by October 20 to reserve your spot.

According to the National Council on Behavioral Health:
WHAT IS MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID?  Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour course that introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health concerns, builds understanding of their impact, and overviews common treatments. The course uses role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to assess a mental health crisis; select interventions and provide initial help; and connect persons to professional, peer and social supports as well as self-help resources. Mental Health First Aid allows for early detection and intervention by teaching participants about the signs and symptoms of specific illnesses like anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and addictions. The program offers concrete tools and answers key questions like “What can I do?” and “Where can someone find help?” Participants are introduced to local mental health resources, national organizations, support groups, and online tools for mental health and addictions treatment and support. 

WHY MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID?  One in five Americans has a mental illness and many are reluctant to seek help or might not know where to turn for care. The symptoms of mental illness can be difficult to detect — even when friends and family of someone who appears to be developing a mental illness can tell that something is amiss, they may not know how to intervene or direct the person to proper treatment – which means that all too often, those in need of mental health services do not get them until it is too late. As a society, we largely remain ignorant about the signs and symptoms of mental illnesses, and we ignore our role as responsible community members to help people experiencing these illnesses. 
To view the flyers below, right-click and select any option to "Open"


Friday, September 26, 2014

RAMS participates in NIMH and SAMHSA webinar & roundtable discussion

RAMS participated, as a primary discussant, in the invitational roundtable discussion & webinar event on, “Practice-Based Research and Implementation: Developing a Framework for Collaboration to Reduce Mental Health Disparities” on September 25, 2014. The Office for Research on Disparities and Global Mental Health of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the Office of Behavioral Health Equity in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) were the hosts and sponsoring entities for this webinar event & discussion.

The objective of this webinar was to enhance understanding of the development of behavioral health services collaboration approaches that accelerate the dissemination of research-based mental health treatments into communities. There was a focus on the importance of utilizing practice based data to identify trends in mental health care disparities for members of the racial and ethnic minority groups and rural populations as collaborations are developed. The event was an opportunity to learn from researchers, practitioners, community providers and leaders on how best to develop research-practice partnerships to increase access to and the availability of culturally and linguistically appropriate mental health services. The conversations was to set the stage for thinking about ways to align efforts underway in NIMH and SAMHSA to address disparities in mental health outcomes across diverse populations.

 In an effort to generate conversations that will lead to an action plan, RAMS was invited to share our experiences, ideas, and solutions on implementing mental health services & treatment that have helped to reduce mental health disparities, challenges faced in implementing mental health services & treatment to reducing mental health disparities, and ways that those challenges could become opportunities to address mental health disparities.

RAMS is grateful for the generous invitation to present and have the opportunity to share what we have done and are working on with the wider healthcare audience & community-at-large.

Check out SAMHSA's 2015-2018 Strategic Plan, a new strategic plan outlining six Strategic Initiatives focused on leading change to better meet the behavioral health care needs of individuals, communities, and service providers.  The document in its entirety can be downloaded HERE.



Thursday, September 11, 2014

"Depression: Pathways to Resilience and Recovery" event on September 13

The UCSF Depression Center and its Community Advisory Board (of which RAMS is a member), the UCSF Department of Psychiatry, and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention will present "Depression: Pathways to Resilience and Recovery," a day-long event looking at the diagnosis, treatment, and impact of depression this Saturday (September 13) at UCSF's Cole Hall.

The symposium will feature a multitude of workshops on topics such as advances in treatment, depression’s impact on relationships, online tools for assessment and treatment, suicide prevention, and strategies for self-care and supporting loved ones. The event will also feature presentations by California Highway Patrol officer and "Guardian of the Golden Gate Bridge" Sgt. Kevin Briggs, suicide attempt survivor Kevin Berthia, and director/writer/producer David Zucker.

 "Depression: Pathways to Resilience and Recovery" is free and open to the public, but advance registration is requested. To find out more program details, download the flyer, and register now, visit psych.ucsf.edu/depression2014.


To view the  flyer below, right-click and select any option to "Open".

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Summertime and The Learnin’ is Easy (and Over)

Today's guest post is from Danni Biondini, MA, Behavioral Health Counselor at RAMS who also serves as the Program Coordinator for the Summer Bridge program, which is an 8-week summer mentoring program for San Francisco high school students, designed "to promote awareness of psychological well-being and foster interest in the helping professions".
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RAMS Summer Bridge has completed its fifth summer! A diverse group of youth, between the ages of 16-19, graduated from this MHSA-funded workforce development program. The program culminated in a graduation ceremony at California Institute of Integral Studies on Thursday, July 31st. The participants celebrated with their families, as well as RAMS staff/administration. Each of the 25 participants received a certificate of completion, as well as a stipend check for their involvement.

Over the course of the 8-week program, the participants learned about working in the field of Psychology and the helping professions. Through guest speakers and field trips, they met with licensed psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, marriage and family therapists, and professional clinical counselors. One of the highlights of the program was the field trip to Psychiatric Emergency Services at San Francisco General Hospital, where the participants saw firsthand what it’s like to work in a psychiatric emergency room. Another participant cited visiting the RAMS Fu Yau Project as her favorite experience, since learning about preschool mental health consultation strengthened her resolve to become a child psychologist.

 Besides learning about the various paths to working in the mental health field, the participants were introduced to basic listening and counseling skills, ideas about stigma and the origins of mental illness, and strategies for practicing self-care. They presented final projects on some of the topics that interested them more, including: eating disorders, the intergenerational transmission of trauma.

The youth developed strong relationships with each other, with the three peer mentors, and with the three staff members. One of the most notable comments that the staff received was that
Summer Bridge was the only place some of these youth have ever felt comfortable to be themselves. 
More than just an opportunity to learn, this program provided a new template for social experiences with peers.

 Now, the participants will return to high school, or head off to college, with this new knowledge about steps to take for their futures. All participants are invited to join Youth Council, the youth advisory board for RAMS, which meets throughout the school year. After the program ended, Summer Bridge hosted an end-of-summer reunion for this year’s cohort to meet previous cohorts. To further build upon and sustain lasting relationships, Summer Bridge will host another reunion in the winter.

For more details about this program, visit http://www.ramsinc.org/summerbridge.html

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Introducing the Awardees of the 2014 Staff Awards for Outstanding Service

RAMS is delighted to announce the awardees of the second annual Staff Awards for Outstanding Service!

To be considered for this recognition, anyone working at RAMS may be nominated by anyone within the agency. A diverse committee representing staff and management personnel reviewed all nomination submissions.

The awardees were announced during the July 2014 all-staff meeting, at which they were presented with a certificate. Awardees were also given a cash prize.

Consumer/Community Advocate Award: This award honors an individual who has been an outstanding voice for consumer empowerment by promoting client centered decision-making & change, access to information & resources, and creating relationships that foster hope, safety, and a sense of self-efficacy. S/he is mindful not only of consumer needs, but also of the needs of the larger community. S/he goes above and beyond the “call of duty”, outside her/his regular responsibilities to advocate on the behalf of the organization, consumers, their communities, and the “cause” at large.

Awardee: Claudia Molina, BA
Ms. Claudia Molina is a bicultural & bilingual Spanish-speaking Empowerment Services Coordinator of the Peer Counseling Services Program. Over the years based at Mission Mental Health Clinic (SFDPH), she has been a dynamic and strong advocate for the consumers. She has always gone above & beyond to support and link consumers to housing, legal, and other community supports based on their needs. She is extremely resourceful and always shares her wealth of knowledge & information to benefit others.






Excellence in Service & Cultural Competency Award: This award honors a skilled & compassionate individual who exemplifies the values and ideals of RAMS’ mission in her/his work & interaction with staff, consumers, and the community. S/he has given superior, sustained commitment to quality services, along with unwavering dedication to serve the organization (including other staff, consumers & their communities) with professionalism, integrity, respect, and humility. This individual is not only skilled at what s/he does, but also values diversity, is able to conduct self-assessments, manage & embrace the dynamics of difference, acquire new cultural knowledge, and adapt to the cultural context of the people s/he serves. S/he has a lasting positive impact on the organization and the communities.

Awardee: Kathleen Gonzales, RN 
Ms. Kathleen Gonzales is a bicultural & bilingual Tagalog-speaking Nurse Manager at Broderick Street Adult Residential Facility. She exhibits diligence; she actively and empathically listens to others; she gives time to and seeks out input & ideas from the nursing and counseling teams as well as treats all the residents/clients with deep respect and empathy. She brings knowledge of her background to her work with the Asian Pacific American residents/clients as well as the issues that concern & affect the staff/supervisees. Furthermore, in her position she frequently communicates with counselors - seeking out all culturally relevant treatment information and ensures the nursing team is aware of and understands them. There have been many instances of resident/client issues that involved cultural dynamics and she consistently offered her insights & suggestions during case conferences/team meetings as well as sought feedback with humility. She has made a positive impact at RAMS and in the lives of the residents/clients.


Rising Star/Leadership Award: The award honors an individual that has shown exceptional promise in leadership by demonstrating their skills within the organization and our communities. S/he has shown accomplishments in improving the operations of a program, the administrative/supportive functions, and/or the lives of consumers and community we serve using an effective and efficient approach. This individual leads the way with fresh energy, strong ability, and steadfast commitment.

Awardee: Richard Zevin, LCSW
Mr. Richard Zevin is a bilingual Spanish-speaking Program Manager of San Francisco Achievement Collaborative Team (SF-ACT) of the Wellness Centers Program, where he oversees the clinical component of an innovative juvenile drug court treatment program, located at Civic Center Secondary School. He also provides clinical supervision for RAMS social work staff and interns in a variety of programs throughout the agency. He has demonstrated exceptional commitment to RAMS as shown through his service in four different positions at four programs since he was first hired (i.e., as Treatment Coordinator at Bridge To Wellness, Behavioral Health Counselor at Wellness Centers Program, Senior Behavioral Health Counselor at PAES Counseling & Pre-Vocational Services, and currently as SF-ACT Program Manager). As the Program Manager he bridges the communication between high school administration, the juvenile justice system, and the Department of Public Health. He has a unique ability to communicate with people from different walks of life; through his passion & ability to connect with at-risk youth; his professionalism; his warmth; and his exceptional clinical skills. He truly is a contributor to RAMS and our community’s continued success.

Congratulations to the awardees! RAMS is pleased to be able to have this annual recognition for its staff.

Click HERE to view awardees from the previous year.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Reflections on a Milestone: 100 Peer Specialist Graduates, and Counting!

Today's guest post is from Shana Averbach, LMFT, Coordinator of the Peer Specialist Mental Health Certificate program being offered by RAMS and San Francisco State University Dept. of Counseling. Started in Fall 2010, the Certificate Program's goal is "to prepare consumers and/or family members with the basic skills & knowledge for entry-level employment in the behavioral health system of care and with academic/career planning that supports success in institutions of higher learning". 
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It is with great enthusiasm that we announce a major milestone for the Peer Specialist Mental Health Certificate Program: With the recent graduation of 13 students from the program’s eighth cohort, our total number of graduates from the course has passed 100! This is no small feat for the program that was constructed from the ground up in 2010 and has continued to grow and flourish over the following four years.

The most recent cohort graduated June 19th at the San Francisco State University Downtown Campus, the same location where it spent the prior 12 weeks learning about the basic tenets of community behavioral health treatment. Equipped with new knowledge to add to their already valuable lived experience with mental health and/or substance use treatment and recovery, many are already exploring job and volunteer opportunities in the peer professional community.

Joining in the celebration were students’ direct supporters – friends, family members, social workers, neighbors, and bosses (to name a few!). Also in attendance were many of the course’s guest lecturers, and representatives from agencies who continually invite students to shadow their work as part of the course’s 8-hour required field observation assignment. And of course, a number of the 100+ alumni from previous cohorts were present – proudly sporting ribbons of gold and purple to indicate their status as members of this pioneering course. Everyone was invited to write one personal “wellness ingredient,” and these flavors of wellness adorned the room for all to share.

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Dr. Rob Williams, Chair of SF State Dept. of Counseling
As is often the case with milestones, having 100+ graduates evokes a time of reflection on what makes this program successful. There are certainly outcomes that the program can point to – such as knowing that the majority of its graduates actively engage in work, volunteer, and educational opportunities as a direct result of taking the course – that are good indicators that the program is successfully meeting its objectives. But it’s the overall integrity of the program that stands out as a success; In other words, on any given day, the program is truly abiding by the principles on which it was founded.

Funded by the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), The Peer Specialist Mental Health Certificate Program is proudly rooted in its guiding principles, which include the following:

Community Collaboration: Every aspect of the course – from outreach to curriculum development and delivery to quality control - is immersed in collaboration between community behavioral health agencies and peer input. The spirit of togetherness is felt in ongoing networking events, professional development, and celebrations such as the graduation described above. The success of the program hinges on the success of the collaboration.

Cultural Competence: Course curriculum includes a cultural competency focus from day one, and program participants – and later direct peer service providers - represent cultures and languages as diverse as the city we serve. Cultural competence isn’t a side note; it’s center stage.

Focus on Wellness: In this course as in the field of peer professionals, the Wellness and Recovery Model leads the way. Whether addressing stigma and inviting hope by sharing lived experience or rejoining and rebuilding life in the community by engaging in the course and/or the workforce, participants in this program live and breathe the empowering message “I did it and so can you.” This message grows exponentially each and every time it’s delivered, and it is delivered often.

* * * * *
So, in saluting our most recent graduates and our vibrant community of alumni, we acknowledge each and every person who has helped along the way. Here’s to the next 100!


Are you or someone you know interested in being trained as a peer professional? 
Applications for the Fall 2014 term will be released soon in July! 
Go to www.ramsinc.org/peer.php to stay in the loop!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Summer Learning... Had Me A Blast! (Tell me more, tell me more...)

Summer has officially begun as RAMS kicks off its version of a psychology summer camp!

The RAMS Summer Bridge 2014 program started this week. RAMS is collaborating with the Samoan Community Development Center, California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), and The Wellness Initiative. CIIS hosts the program on their Mission St campus.

L-R: Ernest Brown, Ph.D., Summer Bridge Counselor
Danni Biondini, M.A., Summer Bridge Coordinator
Heather Truschel, M.A., Summer Bridge Counselor
Summer Bridge is an 8-week summer mentorship program for students who are interested in the field of psychology. Along with the educational aspects of the program, they are given the chance to explore many career possibilities in the helping professions. Participants of the program will experience first-hand how psychology applies to human services.

This is the fifth year of the Mental Health Services Act-funded program, which recruits youth ages 16 to 20 currently enrolled in or recently graduated from SFUSD high schools, especially from underrepresented backgrounds in mental healthcare, who want to learn about working in the helping professions. For eight weeks, the youth meet three days a week to explore what therapists/counselors do, the different paths to higher education, and the different roles in community mental health. The participants will meet professionals working in the field, including therapists, social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, professors, and researchers. Each week the participants go on a field trip to further explore the themes of Identity, Helping Professions, Mental Health, Education, and Self-Care.

The youth began the week with a visit to the Fort Miley Ropes Course, where they climbed up trees, walked across logs and wires thirty feet in the air, and jumped back down (with a safety harness!) or rode a zip line back to the ground. The group bonded as they encouraged each other to face their fears, and learned what it means to trust and support one another. They will continue exploring how this relates to the work of psychology as the program continues.

Upcoming field trips include: Exploratorium’s The Changing Face of Normal: What is Mental Health exhibition, RAMS Child, Youth & Family Outpatient Clinic, San Francisco State University’s Counseling Department, RAMS Fu Yau Project, SFGH Psychiatric Emergency Services, and RAMS Broderick Street Adult Residential Facility. The program culminates in each participant presenting a final project showcasing their journey and self-discovery over the eight weeks. A graduation ceremony for participants and their families will be held at CIIS at the end of July.

Summer Bridge staff with Peer Mentors
L-R: Kaiqi Guo, Hannah Ramirez, Mike Misa

After the program, the participants are invited to join the Youth Council, the advisory group for RAMS. They may also return to work as Peer Mentors for next year’s Summer Bridge program. The long-term goal is to recruit these youth for the workforce (e.g. healthcare, community mental health, etc.). Eventually, we hope to see these youth return to RAMS as staff!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Join us at NAMIWalks!

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization working at the national, state, & local levels to raise awareness and provide essential and free education, advocacy and support group programs. Every year, the local NAMI affiliates in the Bay Area work together to create the AnnualNAMIWalk SF Bay Area to raise awareness for mental illness and raise funds to underwrite and support much-needed free local programs.

To view flyer, right-click and select any option to "Open":


RAMS is pleased to participate in the Annual NAMIWalk SF Bay Area on Saturday, May 31, 2014 to show support and raise awareness about mental health issues.  Check out the 2014 NAMIWalk SF Bay Area page for more details about this event!

Please see www.namiwalks.org for more information about this great cause.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Mental Health Awareness in May

In honor of Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day and May being Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and Mental Health Awareness Month, on May 10, RAMS is proudly partnering with Self-Help for the Elderly to hold two mental health awareness events focusing on outreach efforts to older adults.  Held at Self-Help for the Elderly sites, RAMS will facilitate interactive and engaging activities focusing on ways to maintain balanced mental and physical health. 

May is established nationally as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Mental Health Awareness Month, and Older Americans Month.  Established by the State of California, the City & County of San Francisco, and the City of Austin (TX), Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day on May 10 recognizes the importance of raising awareness about mental health and promoting mental wellness in the Asian Pacific American community.  The establishment of Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day was an effort spearheaded by RAMS and 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. 

There are been increasing recent studies and reports on the ongoing struggle of older adults and mental health issues.  The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent Suicide reports that amongst elderly women of all ethnic or racial groups, Asians have the highest suicide rate.  However, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have the lowest rates of utilization of mental health services among ethnic populations.  This may be due to the substantial stigma that exists, the great need to increase the workforce of culturally competent providers, lack of culturally responsive outreach/services, and the cultural & linguistic isolation of the community, family, and individual.  Many people believe that mental disorders are rare and “happen to someone else" however one in four adults are impacted by mental illness in the United States every year.  Many factors contribute to mental health concerns such as biological, life experiences (e.g. trauma), and family history of mental health conditions.  It is important that each person is aware of some of the warning signs and ways to support and help.

Additionally, during the month of May, RAMS is pleased to be engaged in a series of mental health outreach activities: 
  • RAMS is participating in & presenting at an Asian American Pacific Islander Behavioral Health Forum which is being held at the White House, sponsored by The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and The White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders   
  • Contributing an article about mental health awareness to the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging, Voices Spring 2014 Newsletter
  • Led by journalist Ms. Katherine Kam, RAMS is contributing towards a WebMD article on mental health issues and Asian American families & youth
  • RAMS is sponsoring the Mental Health First Aid courses in Tagalog and English, which is being offered by its community collaborator, San Francisco Filipino Mental Health Initiative
  • RAMS is participating in the 2014 NAMIWalk Bay Area to raise awareness about mental health, support those affected by a mental health condition, and reduce mental illness stigma
To view the  press releases below, right-click and select any option to "Open".


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Mental Health First Aid in Tagalog and English

RAMS' Asian & Pacific Islander Mental Health Collaborative is pleased to announce that its community collaborator, San Francisco Filipino Mental Health Initiative, will be offering a Mental Health First Aid course in Tagalog and English. When a mental health crisis happens, people are often wondering what to do and generally unable to detect early signs of mental health issues. Mental Health First Aid training addresses these questions and offers participants with the knowledge & skills to recognize warning signs, how to assess a mental health crisis, and how to act during the crisis situation. During the month of May, SF Filipino Mental Health Initiative is offering FREE Mental Health First Aid courses, sponsored by RAMS and funded by Mental Health Services Act through Community Behavioral Health Services-San Francisco Department of Public Health. The course will train seniors, caregivers, and community members.

For more information, and if you are interested in this training, please contact Joyce Vives-Diloy, MSW at: sfofmhi@gmail.com

According to the National Council on Behavioral Health:
WHAT IS MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID?
Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour course that introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health concerns, builds understanding of their impact, and overviews common treatments. The course uses role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to assess a mental health crisis; select interventions and provide initial help; and connect persons to professional, peer and social supports as well as self-help resources. Mental Health First Aid allows for early detection and intervention by teaching participants about the signs and symptoms of specific illnesses like anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and addictions. The program offers concrete tools and answers key questions like “What can I do?” and “Where can someone find help?” Participants are introduced to local mental health resources, national organizations, support groups, and online tools for mental health and addictions treatment and support.

WHY MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID?
One in five Americans has a mental illness and many are reluctant to seek help or might not know where to turn for care. The symptoms of mental illness can be difficult to detect — even when friends and family of someone who appears to be developing a mental illness can tell that something is amiss, they may not know how to intervene or direct the person to proper treatment – which means that all too often, those in need of mental health services do not get them until it is too late. As a society, we largely remain ignorant about the signs and symptoms of mental illnesses, and we ignore our role as responsible community members to help people experiencing these illnesses.
To view the flyers below, right-click and select any option to "Open"

 
 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Inaugural Filipino Mental Health Symposium

The Filipino Mental Health Initiative of San Francisco and San Mateo County, and student organizations and staff at San Francisco University, together, are pleased to present the Inaugural Filipino Mental Health Symposium, “Kwentuhan: Sharing Our Stories”, on Friday April 11, in Jack Adams Hall at San Francisco State University.

Students, educators, community members, and health providers interested in promoting mental wellness within the Filipino and Filipino American community will find the symposium useful. Stories, discussions, and performances have been carefully selected to provide opportunities for the larger community to learn more about issues related to Filipino American children, families, and adults.

Our theme “Kwentuhan: Sharing Our Stories” emphasizes the historical importance of story telling within Filipino culture and its potential for expanding our awareness around mental wellness. Through sharing our stories and the resources provided at the symposium, we hope to empower, dispel stigmas around mental health, and provide a place for others to meet people who are serving the Filipino and Filipino American communities.

We hope you and your community members will join us, as we come together for this powerful event.
To attend, register by clicking HERE or visiting the registration site http://tiny.cc/fmhs
Lunch and refreshments will be provided. This is a FREE event!

To view the flyer, right-click and select any option to "Open"



 SPECIAL THANKS TO: CHI RHO OMICRON, ACTIVE MINDS, COUNSELING AND PSYCHOLOGICAL SERVICES CENTER-SFSU, THE BIG 6, AND CONGRESSWOMAN JACKIE SPEIER.

If you have any questions please contact Judith at judith@bayanihancc.org.

This activity is sponsored by RAMS Asian & Pacific Islander Mental Health Collaborative in partnership with the Filipino Mental Health Initiative - SF. Funded by Mental Health Services Act, San Francisco Department of Public Health - Community Behavioral Health Services.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

API Mental Health Collaborative is abuzz with events

Today's post is written by RAMS Asian & Pacific Islander Mental Health Collaborative Coordinator Natalie Ah Soon, MPH, providing information and updates about the APIMHC program's mental health promotion events and activities. 
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APIMHC’s Community Collaborators springs into the season with a beehive of community mental health promotion events and activities:

On April 4, 2014, Samoan Wellness Initiative will start a Fale Lalaga (Weaving House) of wellness through the O Lo’u Leo (My Voice) Series. In conjunction with Journey to Empowerment, four digital stories produced by Pacific Islanders about issues that impact their mental health will be featured individually, followed by a guided discussion and dialogue co-facilitated by experienced facilitators and community members/providers. Mental health providers will be on-site to provide support.  Activities will be geared towards Pacific Islanders, and particularly the Samoan community.
Contact: Nani Wilson – naniwilson@hotmail.com



On April 6, 2014, Southeast Asian Mental Health Initiative will host a cultural event to celebrate the Cambodian and Laotian New Year. Outreach, engagement, and education activities include monk blessings, BACI, cultural performances, sharing of traditional food and practices of wellness, sharing of resources (among others).  Cambodians, Laotians, providers, and community members are invited to attend.
Contact: Chanthol Oung - chanthol.ccdi@gmail.com


On April 11, 2014,  the Filipino Mental Health Initiative-SF, a community collaborator of RAMS’ Asian and Pacific Islander Mental Health Collaborative Project, will offer the Inaugural Filipino Mental Health Symposium titled Engaging and Educating through KWENTUHAN: Sharing Our Stories. Students, educators, community members, and health providers interested in promoting mental wellness within the Filipino and Filipino American community will find the symposium useful. A line-up of carefully selected mental health-related stories, discussions, and performances about Filipino Americans will provide opportunities for the larger community to learn more about issues that impact Filipino-American children, families, and adults. Through KWENTUHAN: Sharing Our Stories and the resources provided at the symposium, it is hoped that awareness of mental wellness will expand through empowerment with information sharing and exchange, dispelling the stigma of mental health, and providing a place for community members and providers to meet individuals that serve the Filipino-American community in the San Francisco Bay Area.  The event will be held on Friday, April 11, 2014, 9am-3pm in the Jack Adams Hall at San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway, San Francisco, CA 94132.
Registration is REQUIRED for this FREE event! Register at: http://tiny.cc/fmhs by Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Contacts: Judith or Joyce at joyce@bayanihancc.org OR 415-348-8042

Saturday, March 15, 2014

A Day With Adam Phillips

RAMS was honored to present renowned author & psychoanalyst Adam Phillips in San Francisco on March 15.  Here is a video excerpt from that day, in which the esteemed author is interviewed by RAMS staff member Dr. Loong Kwok.


A Day with Adam Phillips
March 15, 2014
9:30 am to 4:30 pm
UCSF Mission Bay, Genentech Hall, Byers Auditorium
600 16th Street, San Francisco, CA 94158

Monday, March 3, 2014

RAMS Co-Presenting at CAAMFest 2014

RAMS will be co-presenting a feature film at the CAAMFest 2014, held by the Center for Asian American Media.
Kyle and Jen, estranged siblings, travel from New York City to rural Pennsylvania to pack up the home of their recently deceased mother. While there, they make a discovery that turns their world upside-down.
From writer-director J.P. Chan, his full-length feature film debut A PICTURE OF YOU is a poignant narrative of moving out and moving on.  Two estranged siblings — Kyle (Andrew Pang) and Jen (Jo Mei) — attempt to reconcile their differences over a weekend packing up their late mom’s lakehouse. Eschewing familiar sibling tropes, Chan’s film balances personal filial piety with modern guilt.  The result is a thoughtful meditation of life, death and the infallible bonds that keep us together.  (Christian Ting, CAAMFest)

RAMS will be co-presenting the showing on Wednesday, March 19th , at 6:40pm at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, 1881 Post Street.

A Picture Of You is described by J.P. Chan as "a serious movie about life that gets sideswiped in the supermarket parking lot by a funny movie about death. It’s a story about family, loss, secrets, letting go, and starting anew."  For more details, visit the film's website http://www.apoyfilm.com/ as well as their kickstarter page

We hope you join us at the CAAMFest 2014 for this highly anticipated film! Also, please check out the CAAMFest 2014 website to see the whole lineup of cinema, food, and music events!

More From Adam Phillips

RAMS is very excited to present renowned author & psychoanalyst Adam Phillips in San Francisco on March 15!

A Day with Adam Phillips
March 15, 2014
9:30 am to 4:30 pm 
(Registration at 9:00am)
UCSF Mission Bay, Genentech Hall, Byers Auditorium
600 16th Street, San Francisco, CA 94158

To register, use this link http://www.ramsinc.org/register.html

Click HERE to read more about the upcoming event.

Here are a few recent articles written about Adam Phillips, for your reading pleasure:

One Way and Another: New and Selected Essays by Adam Phillips – a review by Daniel Cohen in The Guardian.

Photo credit: Eamon McCabe
"How should we read psychoanalysis? Many of its great theorists – Sigmund Freud, Donald Winnicott, Jacques Lacan – trained as doctors, and their successors tend to follow the rigid formulae of academic papers. However, for Adam Phillips, a practising psychoanalyst who is also a perceptive literary critic, it is "more illuminating" to consider psychoanalysts as poets "rather than failed or aspiring scientists"."

This Is Your Life - A psychoanalytic writer urges us to just deal with it. By Joan Acocella in The New Yorker.
"Phillips, Britain’s foremost psychoanalytic writer, dislikes the modern notion that we should all be out there fulfilling our potential. In his new book, he argues that, instead of feeling that we should have a better life, we should just live, as gratifyingly as possible, the life we have. Otherwise, we are setting ourselves up for bitterness."

Tickling Our Minds: How Adam Phillips Changes Our Thinking.  By Robert McCrum in Newsweek.
"He was taken up by the pragmatic English as a servant of the dark arts who could somehow translate the mysteries of analysis into brilliant, readable, and seductive prose."

Second Selves - "Missing Out", Sunday Book Review.  By Sheila Heti in the New York Times.
"Phillips continued in that Bomb interview to express his hope for “a world in which there is less art and better relationships. . . . The only game in town is improving the quality of people’s relationships. Everything is about group life, and there’s no life without group life.” This seems indicative of how he wants his essays to function: less like art-objects (beautiful, stable things to be contemplated at a distance) than a training ground for how we might relate differently to the world and one another through how we relate to the text. Modeling relations in a safe environment is what many therapies do; it’s fascinating to see it work in a book."

The Q&A: Poetry as Therapy.  By E.H. in The Economist.
"Freud suggests not exactly that we speak in poetry, because poetry has line-endings, but that we potentially speak with the type of incisiveness and ambiguity that we're most used to finding in poetry. So, to put it slightly differently: the reading of poetry would be a very good training for a psychoanalyst."

Friday, February 28, 2014

Training Asian Female Students in Community Mental Health

A recent article written by Fu Yau program staff was published in the journal Women & Therapy on February 24.

Titled "Training Asian Female Students in Community Mental Health: Reflection on our Multiple Identities as Supervisors", the article is a collaboration between authors Yuki Okubo of CSPP-Alliant University, as well as Fu Yau Project Director Rose Sneed, PsyD, and program staff Chiaki Sasaki, PsyD, and Helen Duoong, LMFT.


As per the Abstract: This article is a compilation of personal narratives and self-reflections by supervisors affiliated with the Community Behavioral Health Clinical/Research Training Practicum (CRTP) at Fu Yau Project, collaboration between California School of Professional Psychology PsyD Program in San Francisco, and Richmond Area Multi-Services, Inc. (RAMS). As female psychologists of color, authors reflected on what has shaped us as clinicians and supervisors, and in turn, has influenced the way they train and supervise Asian female trainees in the context of community mental health. Authors each took turns to share our personal and professional experience, followed by commentary and training implications.

We are proud of our staff's accomplishments in publishing this article!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Renowned author & psychoanalyst Adam Phillips in San Francisco

RAMS is pleased to present:

A Day with Adam Phillips
March 15, 2014
9:30 am to 4:30 pm 
(Registration at 9:00am)
UCSF Mission Bay, Genentech Hall, Byers Auditorium
600 16th Street, San Francisco, CA 94158

ONLINE REGISTRATION LINK: www.ramsinc.org/register.html

Photo credit: Jerry Bauer
Adam Phillips is internationally acclaimed as an essayist, literary critic, cultural scholar, and practicing psychoanalyst. He is a renowned author who has been featured in The New York Times, The Economist, The New Yorker, The Guardian, and Newsweek to just list a few. Currently in private practice in London, he is the general editor of the new Penguin Modern Classics translations of Sigmund Freud as well as a regular contributor to the London Review of Books. He is also a Visiting Professor in the English Department at York University. Previously, he was Principal Child Psychotherapist at Charing Cross Hospital.

Adam Phillips is called “one of the finest prose stylists at work in the language, an Emerson of our time” by John Banville. He has published over 17 scholarly books and numerous essays on psychoanalysis, literature, philosophy, the history of science, sociology, politics, child psychology, and biography. The Guardian says “’Phillipsian’ would evoke a vivid, paradoxical style that led you to think that you had picked up an idea by the head, only to find you were holding it by the tail.”

This seminar includes a presentation titled “On Unforbidden Pleasures” analyzing, from historical to current day viewpoint, how particular behaviors are perceived in our society as acceptable and how that influences the individual’s wellbeing. This will be followed by a discussion on his latest book One Way and Another: New and Selected Essays, which focuses on psychoanalysis: its history, methods, and its preoccupations including desire, memory and narcissism. The seminar concludes with an in-depth interview examining the latest ideas about psychoanalysis and its application in working with culturally diverse populations in the community.

As a result of attending this seminar, the participant will be able to:
  1. Understand how “unforbidden pleasures” impact the individual’s wellbeing
  2. Learn how the psychotherapist shapes the therapeutic relationship
  3. Learn about the application of psychoanalytic concepts and principles into practice in the community
Seminar Rates (Includes morning refreshments and lunch):
  • $130/General
  • $90/Former RAMS Staff/Intern/Trainee
  • $65/Student
  • Continuing Education: Additional $20
  • On-site Registration: Additional $10
Space is limited so REGISTER NOW!

Continuing Education Credit:
Richmond Area Multi-Services, Inc. (RAMS) is approved by the California Psychological Association (RIC121) and California Board of Behavioral Sciences (PCE4601) to provide continuing education for Psychologists, MFTs, LCSWs, and LPCCs. RAMS maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Course meets the qualifications for 6 hours of continuing education credits. Those arriving more than 15 minutes after the start time or leaving before the workshop is completed will not receive CE credit. CANCELLATIONS are subject to a $50.00 processing fee and must be received 10 days prior to be eligible for a refund.

For any questions, you may contact Angela Tang at angelatang@ramsinc.org and/or (415) 800-0699 ext. 200

Monday, February 17, 2014

CARF Re-Accreditation for Hire-Ability Vocational Services

The Commission for Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) surveyors visited RAMS Hire-Ability Vocational Services on December 11 & 12, 2013 for our re-accreditation. The accreditation is a process that demonstrates a provider has met standards for the quality of its services. In the recent survey outcome report, CARF noted that RAMS/Hire-Ability achieved the maximum 3-year accreditation (through January 2017) following services:
  • Community Employment Services: Employment Support
  • Community Employment Services: Job Development
  • Employee Development Services
  • Employment Planning Services
  • Employment Skills Training Services

Also, CARF surveyors made no recommendations with the report stating "this is an extraordinary accomplishment, as only 3 percent of CARF surveys result in no recommendations." Other survey report highlights include:
  • Organization has a strong recovery focus, resulting in high satisfaction and outcome scores
  • Clear culture of creativity, intellectual curiosity, innovation, and ongoing positive improvements
  • RAMS is recognized national leader in providing culturally sensitive services

We are so very proud for having achieved consecutive three-year reaccreditations and, with the most recent survey, having no recommendations.

The CARF family of organizations currently accredits close to 50,000 programs and services at more than 22,000 locations. More than 8 million persons of all ages are served annually by more than 6,500 CARF-accredited service providers. CARF accreditation extends to countries in North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. This prestigious accreditation signals a service provider's commitment to continually improving services, encouraging feedback, and serving the community. Click HERE to read more about the accreditation process.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

AmazonSmile!

Donate to RAMS through your regular Amazon shopping!

RAMS is now participating in the AmazonSmile program, a simple and automatic way for Amazon customers to support RAMS every time you shop, at no additional cost to you. Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases whenever you shop on AmazonSmile!

As a not-for-profit organization, RAMS relies on support from community members, like yourself! We would greatly appreciate if you would designate RAMS as your charitable organization on AmazonSmile(https://smile.amazon.com/ch/23-7389436), and signing in with your regular Amazon login. Then, please continue to return back to the smile.amazon.com site for any Amazon purchases so that 0.5% of the eligible purchases can be donated to RAMS.

Thank you for your ongoing support!


Click HERE to read more about AmazonSmile.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Introducing the Asian & Pacific Islander Mental Health Collaborative

RAMS gallops into the Year of the Horse with a brand NEW project: Asian & Pacific Islander Mental Health Collaborative!

The project is RAMS’ inaugural venture into community health promotion programs. Through RAMS’ collaborative partnership with the Samoan Community Development Center, Filipino-American Development Foundation/Bayanihan Community Center, and Vietnamese Youth Development Center, our goal is to reduce the stigma of mental health among Samoans, Filipinos, and Southeast Asians (Cambodian, Laotian, & Vietnamese) in San Francisco by delivering culturally and linguistically competent mental health prevention and early intervention activities across the lifespan in community settings.

Check out our website page HERE for more details.


Image credit: artwork by Ryan Gucayane, designed for CRDP, API-SPW

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Peer Specialist Mental Health Certificate -- Now Accepting Applications for Spring 2014 Class

RAMS, in collaboration with SFSU, is excited to announce that the Peer Specialist Mental Health Certificate Program is currently accepting applications for the Spring 2014 Class!
 
Funded by the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), the Peer Specialist Mental Health Certificate Program provides a 12-week long training for consumers of behavioral health services or family members who are interested in becoming peer counselors/peer specialists in the field of community behavioral health.

We are looking for individuals who are:
  • at least 18 years old
  • residents of San Francisco
  • have completed at least a high school level education or GED
  • current or past consumers of behavioral health services and/or family members
  • interested in helping others in the community behavioral health setting

Application and course timeline is as follows:
  • Tuesday, January 7th - Application Release
  • Tuesday, January 21st - Optional Program Open House (see image below for details)
  • Friday, February 14th @ 5:00pm - Application Deadline
  • Week of March 10th - Notification of Application Status
  • Friday, March 21st - Registration Forms Due for accepted applicants
  • Tuesday, April 1st - 1st Day of Class
  • Thursday, June 19th - Graduation Ceremony
 
OPEN HOUSE FLYER (Right-click and select any option to "Open")
Kindly distribute this to those in your network and your consumer community, as applicable.

Please feel free to contact Program Coordinator, Shana Averbach, LMFT at (415) 668-5955 x386 or shanaaverbach@ramsinc.org should you have any questions.
Program brochures & application forms are also available for download at: http://www.ramsinc.org/peer.php

We look forward to receiving the applications, Spring 2014 class, and beginning of another great cohort!