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".