In honor of Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day and May being Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and Mental Health Awareness Month, Richmond Area Multi-Services, Inc. (RAMS), on May 10, RAMS is proudly partnering with Richmond District Neighborhood Center to hold a mental health awareness event. This year, May 10 is also Mother’s Day and the event will focus on outreach efforts to families and supporting adult-child bonds. Held at Richmond District Neighborhood Center, the free community event will include interactive and engaging activities – arts & crafts, group sing along, games & activities, face painting, yoga, family photo fun, snacks, information & resources, and giveaways – all in celebration of mental wellness and maintaining balanced mental and physical health.
May is established nationally as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and Mental Health Awareness 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 onMay 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.
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. Childhood mental illness occurs in one out of five children in the United States during a given year, and two-thirds of them get little or no help according to the U.S. Surgeon General. Many factors contribute to mental health concerns such as biological, life experiences (e.g. trauma), and family history of mental health conditions. Asian & Pacific Islanders (A&PIs) specifically make up one of the fastest growing ethnic communities in the United States, yet they have the lowest rates of utilization of mental health services among ethnic populations, which may be due to the substantial stigma that exists as well as cultural & linguistic isolation of the community, family, and individual. These disparities indicate the critical need to raise awareness, de-stigmatize seeking help, and increase access to culturally competent/ relevant services for the Asian American & Pacific Islander community. It is important that each person is aware of some of the warning signs and ways to support and help.
Founded in 1974, RAMS is a non-profit agency providing comprehensive, culturally competent services that aim to meet the behavioral health, social, vocational, and educational needs of the diverse San Francisco Area with special focus on the Asian & Pacific Islander and Russian-speaking communities. Annually, RAMS serves about 18,000 adults, older adults, children, youth & families, in about 30 languages, in over 90 sites citywide. For more information visit: www.ramsinc.org.