Tuesday, May 16, 2017

May 10 - APA Mental Health Day Co-Hosted by RAMS & APIMHC

In honor of May 10 - Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day and May being Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and Mental Health Awareness Month, RAMS proudly partnered with its Asian Pacific Islander Mental Health Collaborative (APIMHC) to host a community celebration at the SF County Fair Building. APIMHC is a collaborative partnership between RAMS and six community-based organizations: Samoan Community Development Center, Filipino-American Development Foundation/Bayanihan Community Center, Vietnamese Youth Development Center, Cambodian Community Development, Inc., Lao Seri Association, and Vietnamese Family Services Center. The purpose of this event was to celebrate mental wellness and increase awareness of balanced mental and physical health in the context of cultures. The event was made possible with great thanks by Kaiser Permanente and the San Francisco Federal Credit Union.

This year’s event was held on Wednesday, May 10th from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. at the San Francisco County Fair Building, located at 1199 9th Ave, SF, CA. The celebration featured cultural wellness activities and healing practices, along with demonstrations, including Cambodian Dance, Shaio Lin Style Kung Fu, Hot Siva (Samoan), Drumming Circle, and Vietnamese Hat Dancing. Information & resources and food of the different cultural communities were also provided.

About Mental Health Conditions:
  • About one in five Americans in a given year are impacted by mental health conditions regardless of gender, age, race, religion and socioeconomic status. (NIMH)
  • Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders appear to have extremely low utilization of mental health services relative to other U.S. populations. (NAMI) This may be due to the substantial stigma that exists and cultural & linguistic isolation of the community, family and individual.
  • The economic cost of untreated mental illness is more than 100 billion dollars each year in the United States. Without treatment the consequences of mental illness for the individual and society are staggering: unnecessary disability, unemployment, substance abuse, homelessness, inappropriate incarceration, and suicide. (NAMI)
  • Treatments for mental health conditions today are highly effective and individuals who receive treatment have significant reduction of symptoms and improved quality of life.
Many factors contribute to mental health concerns such as biological, life experiences (e.g. trauma, immigration, housing instability), and family history of mental health conditions. When someone starts to experience the early warning signs of mental illness, knowing the risks factors and symptoms will help. Often times, family and friends are the first to support a person through these early stages. Asking for help is never a sign of weakness and wellness & recovery is always possible.


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