Monday, April 25, 2016

Peer Specialist Mental Health Certificate ADVANCED COURSE -- Now Accepting Applications for the Summer 2016 Cohort!

RAMS is excited to announce that the Peer Specialist Mental Health Certificate Program is now accepting applications for its 8-week Peer Specialist Mental Health Certificate Advanced Course, with classes set to begin on Tuesday, June 14th, 2016!

Funded by the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), the Peer Specialist Mental Health Certificate Program (part of the Division of Peer-Based Services at RAMS) provides training for consumers of behavioral health services or their family members who are interested in becoming peer counselors/peer specialists in the field of community behavioral health. In addition to the Peer Specialist Mental Health Certificate Entry Level Course that is currently offered, RAMS has designed its Advanced Course to support and educate individuals who are providing, or have recently provided peer-based services to clients in the community (or possess relevant training, volunteer and/or educational experience), and would like to obtain more specialized peer counseling training and professional development opportunities.

We are looking for individuals who:
  • Are at least 18 years of age and a resident of San Francisco,
  • Have successfully completed at least a High School education or GED, and
  • Are able to attend 8 weeks of classes, which will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays (3PM-6PM).
  • This program is funded by MHSA through San Francisco Behavioral Health Services. As such, the course is targeted to individuals (or family members) with personal experience with receiving behavioral health services.
  • Individuals with current or past work experience, education, and/or training (including volunteer and advocacy work) in the peer counseling field are highly encouraged to apply
Application and Course Timeline:
  • Friday, April 22nd: Application Release
  • Tuesday, May 3rd & Friday, May 6th: Optional Informational Open Houses
  • Wednesday, May 25th @ 5PM: Application Submission Deadline
  • Week of June 1st, 2016: Notification of Application Status
  • Tuesday, June 14th, 2016: First Day of Class
  • Thursday, August 4th, 2016: Last Day of Class & Graduation
Materials are available for download at: Please feel free to contact Program Coordinator, Kristin Snell, at (415) 579-3021 x102, or via email at should you have any questions or would like any additional information.

Monday, April 18, 2016

2016 Richmond Community Health Festival on Saturday, May 7th

RAMS is proud to be a co-sponsor along with San Francisco District 1 Supervisor Eric Mar, California District 19 Assembly member Phil Ting, Kaiser Permanente, Compassionate Community Care, and Self-Help for the Elderly for the Richmond Community Health Festival.

The purpose of this free health festival is to encourage a healthy lifestyle and provide access to resources that help meet the health needs of our diverse community.

The Health Festival will feature FREE health screenings and medication review along with FREE giveaways, cooking demonstrations, health education offered by about 40 community health organizations, children’s activities and family fun.

When: Saturday, May 7, 2016, 10 am - 2 pm

Where: Richmond Recreation Center, 251 18th Avenue (at Clement), San Francisco

Monday, April 4, 2016

Asian Family Institute - integrated care

RAMS is extremely proud to announce the launch of the Asian Family Institute, integrated care (AFI-ic), which offers innovative and comprehensive mental health consultation and treatment through a holistic, integrated approach for the Asian & Pacific Islander American (APIA) population in the San Francisco Bay Area. It utilizes both conventional and complementary therapies in the treatment of mental health concerns and services are available in English and Chinese. Together, a therapist and acupuncturist & traditional Chinese medicine practitioner can work to provide personalized treatments to suit each person's lifestyle and promote self-awareness and resources for self-care. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is one of the dominant medical practices used in many Asian countries, and treatments may include functional and nutritional assessments, acupuncture, and breathing and meditation exercises.

Asian & Pacific Islander Americans individuals frequently face complex mental health issues that require holistic medical and psychological care. Moving beyond demographic and cultural factors that may be a barrier to mental health care utilization for APIA individuals, the Asian Family Institute, integrated care is a remarkable step toward addressing systematic issues, by providing culturally responsive and linguistically sensitive services.

Deeply embedded in Chinese and many APIA cultures, individuals who are facing mental health issues are often encouraged to try their best to endure 忍 (ren); they may be discouraged to seek psychological services in order to try to save face, preserve their reputation, and not humiliate their family. With cultural pressures to suppress negative mood states, and the stigma against sharing experiences of psychological symptoms, individuals may feel reluctant to express concerns regarding mental health issues. Research on illness beliefs of depressed Chinese American patients reveals that they are more inclined to complain about somatic symptoms instead. Because of these issues, it is quite common for APIA individuals to feel more comfortable seeking out a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner rather than a mental health clinician, although they would also benefit from being in therapy.

For those struggling with conditions affecting the body and mind, such as chronic pain and low mood or energy, the AFI-ic provides clients the option of choosing either a comprehensive mental health evaluation, a traditional Chinese medicine assessment, or both - for a uniquely integrated approach. The health care providers at the AFI-ic clinic are distinctively qualified and experienced in treating Asian & Pacific Islander American individuals, approaching care collaboratively and with an open mind.

For more information, please contact AFI's Intake Coordinator at (415) 668-5025.