Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Celebrating Mental Health in Diverse Communities

In celebration of Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, the National Network to Eliminate Disparities in Mental Health (NNED) offered a webinar to highlight minority mental health. This was a two-part series: One webinar was held on July 7, focusing on Latino & American Indian communities. The most recent was held on July 28, featuring Asian American, African American, and LGBTQ communities. These two webinars highlighted the ways communities across the country are celebrating minority mental health.

RAMS CEO Kavoos Bassiri, LMFT, CGP was one of the featured presenters at the July 28 webinar, together with DJ Ida, PhD, Executive Director of NAAPIMHA; Kathy Wright, Executive Director of the New Jersey Parents' Caucus; and Caitlin Ryan, PhD, ACSW, Director of the Family Acceptance Project.

Click HERE for more information on the webinar, on NNED, their upcoming presentations & events, and how to join the network.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Walking on sunshine... and don't it feel GOOD!

In the previous blog post, we introduced our Summer Bridge program for high school students. Yuka Hachiuma, MFTi, is the Program Coordinator for Summer Bridge as well as a Mental Health Counselor at our Child, Youth, & Family Outpatient Clinic program. Together with Yuka, and counselors Ken Lee, LCSW, and Cecilia Nepomuceno, PhD, RAMS is certainly keeping those students busy during the summer! Here's an update from Yuka about Summer Bridge:

"We received a great response of over 50 applicants--which was all through word of mouth! The 21 participants selected for Summer Bridge range in age from 15-19, come from all parts of the city, and reflect the diversity of the communities in San Francisco. We kicked off the program with a retreat, which featured a Ropes course at Fort Miley (check out the photos). Despite some initial grumbling, everyone had a great time pushing themselves past their comfort zone and getting to know each other in the process. It's hard to believe that we are already half way into the program! Time truly flies when you're having fun.

The participants in this pilot year of the program are a really focused, inquisitive group that is very open to learning and experiencing all we have to offer in the program. They have also repeatedly demonstrated their capacity to both challenge and support each other. We are really excited to be working with this amazing group of youth. It's even more exciting to think that they may go on to become our colleagues in the future. I am confident that they will be successful in whatever path they choose for themselves."

Quality time outdoors - what a great way to spend the summer!

Up high in the sky at the Ropes course

Thank you so much for the update and for sharing the pictures with us, Yuka!

Monday, July 12, 2010

It's the "good" kind of Summer School

In keeping with RAMS commitment to community involvement, training, and “growing our own” mental health professionals, RAMS has started the Summer Bridge program, an eight-week summer mentoring program for people ages 16 to 20, currently enrolled in or recently graduated from SFUSD high schools. This summer program provides participating students with classroom learning, field trips to various providers and agencies, guest speakers, and networking opportunities with future schools and potential employers. The purpose of this program is to promote awareness of psychological well-being and foster interest in the helping professions (social worker, counselor, psychologist, therapist, etc.).

This program started on June 14, and will go through August 6, 2010. We are now halfway through the program, so far it’s been a blast!

Big smile for the Group Shot!

Click HERE to learn more about Summer Bridge. This program is funded by the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA).

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

It's Official!

In a previous blog post, we announced that a resolution was presented by Senator Leland Yee to propose that May 10 would be annually recognize statewide as Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day. On July 6, 2010, this resolution was accepted and approved by the California Senate and Assembly and officially Chaptered into the California Legislature.

Click HERE to see the language of the resolution.

Posted at right is a Fact Sheet in support of this resolution, and a list of the various organizations which joined RAMS to advocate for this very important day of recognition. We at RAMS are honored to have played an instrumental role in this resolution, and are looking forward to working together with community members and leaders in recognizing and raising awareness about the importance of mental health in the Asian Pacific American community. So keep May 10 posted on your calendars!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Become a Peer Specialist in the Mental Health Field

Richmond Area Multi-Services, Inc. and San Francisco State University Department of Counseling are jointly developing and will be offering the Peer Specialist Mental Health Certificate program starting in Fall 2010. Funded by the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), the primary goal of the Certificate program 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.

This first-of-its-kind certification course features interactive classes, job shadowing, and career assistance planning. As a student at SFSU, participants have access to the University’s Library, Computer Labs, Student Health Services, Disability Programs and Resource Center, and Counseling and Psychological Services Center, and Childcare Center as well as the College of Health & Human Services Student Resource Center.

This course is being offered for FREE! Actually, it's better than free: All students who successfully complete the course will receive a $250 stipend. Additional scholarships are being offered to Filipino American students, through the Philippine International Aid.

An Open House shall be held on August 3 at San Francisco State University’s Downtown Campus (see the flyer, at left). Come and meet the Program Coordinator and instructors, ask questions about the course, and get help with the application. Classes are scheduled to start September 16.

Click HERE to learn more about this exciting program, and to download a brochure and the application for enrollment from our website DEADLINE FOR APPLICATION SUBMISSION IS AUGUST 16, 2010.

For more information, please contact the Program Coordinator, Mia Veroy, at or (415) 282-9675 ext 229.