News & Announcements

Celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May

Posted: May 10, 2017

During May, we honor the heritage of Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders and Native Hawaiians and celebrate their many contributions to our nation. Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month was first celebrated in 1992. But the origins of this commemoration began with Asian-Pacific Heritage Week in 1977. 

According to the U.S. Census, there are 18.5 million Americans who identify as Asian, Pacific Islander and/or Native Hawaiian. They represent many diverse cultures, languages and customs that are unique to each community.

Asian Americans have a high prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hepatitis B, HIV/AIDS, smoking, tuberculosis and liver disease. Some health conditions and risk factors that are prevalent among Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are hepatitis B, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.

Read more on MinorityHealth.gov. Learn about the history of AAPI Heritage Month from the Library of Congress. .



National Hispanic Council on Aging Call for Participants for the Hispanic Caregivers Survey

Posted: May 09, 2017

The National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA) has issued a call for participants for the Hispanic Caregivers Survey. Hispanic/Latino caregivers are invited to share their insights and recommendations. Results will be presented at the national level, through NHCOA's annual State of Hispanic Older Adults and their Caregivers

Complete the survey in English / Complete el cuestionario en español



New Grant to Support Research on Mental Health Needs of Pacific Islanders

Posted: May 08, 2017

Pacific Islanders are persons who trace their roots to the native peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands. Although they make up the third fastest growing racial group in the U.S., their mental health needs and attitudes regarding mental illness are poorly understood. One reason for this is that discussing mental health problems with others is largely taboo in their cultures. Also, stigma, language barriers, and lack of information about available resources and services complicate Pacific Islanders' access to mental health services.

To address this clinical gap, Andrew Subica, Ph.D., an assistant professor of social medicine and population health in the School of Medicine at the University of California, Riverside, has received a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to conduct one of the first studies of mental health and mental illness among Pacific Islanders. The two-year $452,000 grant is titled, "Engaging Pacific Islander Perspectives on Mental Illness and Mental Health Service Engagement."

"The goal of the study is to capture the perspectives of community-dwelling Pacific Islanders in two large Pacific Islander communities--Samoans in Los Angeles and the Marshallese in Arkansas--in order to develop the first culturally attuned manualized intervention to promote Pacific Islander engagement in mental health services," said Subica, the grant's principal investigator and a member of UCR's Center for Healthy Communities.

Read more on News-Medical.Net.



Recording Available! Community-Driven Service to Science Efforts Virtual Roundtable

Posted: May 05, 2017

The Community-Driven Service to Science Efforts Virtual Roundtable highlighted collaborative approaches that have been used by practitioners/program developers, researchers/evaluators, and members of the community directly involved in the evaluation process to elevate the science for culturally-based practices. Watch the roundtable recording.

The purpose of the Roundtable was to:

  1. Increase awareness about different approaches to community-driven practitioner-researcher relationships;
  2. Identify tools and/or practices that community-based organizations can use to grow a community-driven practice to address behavioral health disparities; and
  3. Inform a process for the NNED to be a connector among practitioners, researchers, and community members engaged in the practice and evaluation efforts.

Target Audience: Are you interested in building the science to address behavioral health disparities and equity? Are you a researcher, academician, community member, program developer? Please watch the recording of our Virtual Roundtable to listen, learn, and contribute.

Social Media: If you would like to share your experience, or have questions you would like addressed on the Virtual Roundtable, please post on twitter using #Service2Science.

Program Descriptions and Panelists

Asian American Family Enhancement Network Bicultural Parenting Education Program: The “Asian American Family Enhancement Network Bicultural Parenting Education Program (AAFEN B-PEP)” is a linguistically and culturally competent parenting education program for Chinese and Korean immigrant parents. The curriculum of this skill-based, interactive and manualized program is designed to enhance the bicultural parenting competency, as well as increase the positive communication and interaction, of the Chinese and Korean immigrant families with intermediate and high school-age children at risk for substance use and other delinquent behaviors. Learn more about this program.

Panelists:

  • Terry S. Gock, PhD, M.P.A., Director, Asian Pacific Family Center, Pacific Clinics: Dr. Gock is the Director of the Asian Pacific Family Center (APFC) of Pacific Clinics in Los Angeles County.  In addition to offering a continuum of culturally competent outpatient mental health services through its about 100 staff and consultants, APFC has been awarded all eleven competitive federal demonstration and program evaluation enhancement grants that he has submitted to SAMHSA. These grants have helped APFC develop five preventive intervention programs that are now recognized as “Community Defined Evidence (CDE)” programs by the California Institute for Behavioral Health Solutions (CIBHS) and as “Category 4 Community-Defined Promising Programs” by the Asian & Pacific Islander (API)-California Reducing Disparity Project (CRDP). They include the Asian American Family Enhancement Network (AAFEN) bicultural parenting education program for Chinese and Korean immigrant populations. Besides his over 30 years of experience in developing and implementing API mental health and behavioral healthcare services, Dr. Gock is also a clinical and forensic psychologist who has been active in many national professional and community advocacy organizations. For example, he is a current Board member of the National Asian American and Pacific Islander Mental Health Association (NAAPIMHA). In addition, Dr. Gock has received a number of national and local recognitions for his professional work, including an American Psychological Association Presidential Citation that, in part, honors his “lifelong devotion to multiculturalism” in psychology. 
  • Edward Ho, PhD, Director of Program Evaluation Services, Bach Harrison, LLC: Dr. Ho received his doctoral degree in Social Psychology from the University of Utah, and is currently the Director of Program Evaluation Services with Bach Harrison, LLC, a Salt Lake City based evaluation and survey research company. Dr. Ho has worked in the substance abuse prevention field since 2001, evaluating several large statewide grants in three different states, as well working with numerous local level prevention providers on program evaluation projects. He served as a consultant for several years to the Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies in their Service to Science Academy Program.
  • Lydia S. Ko, Team Supervisor at Pacific Clinics – Multicultural Family Center: Mrs. Lydia S. Ko is an active community advocate in the East San Gabriel Valley for more than nineteen years. In 1996, she moved from Ohio to Los Angeles, California.  She had participated in one of the parenting programs offered by the Asian Pacific Family Center- East. (APFC-E) in Rowland Heights, CA.  After completion, she became more active in the community. She continued to participate in organizing parent support groups. She’s the former president for two PTA’s and community council/advisor to the local school district.  Not only is Mrs. Ko actively involved in school districts and local organizations, she also encourages parents to venture out of the family and volunteer in their local community. She now works for Asian Pacific Family Center – East, as Team Coordinator for parenting program, to help organize and mobilize the community. Through the parenting program, she has been serving five thousands of parents. In March 2008, she received a “Service in Action Award” honored by Cultural Competence and Mental Health Summit XV for her accomplishments. In December 2016, she received “the Susan Mandel Leadership Award” at Pacific Clinics to recognize her dedication and leadership for programs, parents and their families in the Asian communities.

Bienvenido: The Bienvenido curriculum is a strengths-based educational curriculum to enhance awareness of mental health, clarify a participant’s personal goals for an enhanced quality of life, and develop skills to reduce risk for emotional and behavioral risks associated with mental distress. The Bienvenido curriculum is appropriate for use in various community settings, including behavioral service settings, schools, and outpatient mental health centers. In particular, Bienvenido seeks to reduce reliance on alcohol, tobacco and other drugs for individuals at risk for abuse and dependence due to stresses associated with immigrant traumas and ongoing marginalized community social status. Each module provides information about topics related to development and sustenance of mental health and enhanced quality of life. Modules are ordered to first introduce participants to potentially new knowledge about mental health, clarify their understanding of risk and protective factors associated with mental health and quality of life, and develop skills to enhance effective social functioning and community integration. Participants are encouraged to describe their immigration experience, and group discussion provides acknowledgement and support. Acculturative stresses and local values of cultural diversity are topics that provide examples of on-going risks for emotional distress, and potentially adverse behavioral consequences. Application to daily functioning is addressed by modules on anger management and effective communication. Clients are encouraged to seek mental health as a family goal. Learn more about this program.

Panelists:

  • Gilberto Perez Jr., President & CEO, Bienvenido Community Solutions, LLC: Gilberto Perez Jr., is the founder and owner of Bienvenido Community Solutions, LLC an organization dedicated to assisting organizations and individuals on becoming mental health facilitators, Bienvenido Community Solutions also serves as a bridge between behavioral health research groups to the Latino community in NE Indiana. Gilberto is the author of the Bienvenido curriculum, a nationally recognized mental health promotion program for Latino immigrants. Gilberto has served as a mental health therapist, team leader and hospice social worker in Puerto Rico and Indiana. His role outside of Bienvenido Community Solutions includes serving a senior administrator at Goshen College in the area of intercultural development. He has presented a several national and international conferences on Latino mental health and cultural competency. Most recently, Gilberto was awarded the Educational Leader of the Year Award at the Indiana Latino Expo Governor's Luncheon. He also received the Chickadee Bird Award by the Indiana Undocumented Youth Alliance for his continued support of undocumented immigrants in Indiana. Gilberto enjoys playing basketball, writing songs and playing his guitar. Gilberto lives in Goshen, IN with his wife and his three (growing taller than Gilberto) teenagers.
  • Francisco Limon, PhD, Director of Behavioral Health, Greene County Health Care Inc.: Dr. Francisco Limon became the Director of Behavioral Health at Greene County Health Care Inc. upon graduation with a PhD from the ECU Medical Family Therapy program in May of 2016. Prior to that, Dr. Limon was the Coordinator of Integrated Care and Quality Assurance between May of 2015 and May of 2016 as an intern from the ECU Medical Family therapy Program. Dr. Limon received his bachelor’s degree with major in clinical psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1993 and his master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from Purdue University Calumet in 2012. Dr. Limon has 14 years of experience in the field of mental health and his focus has been on increasing access to high quality mental health services for minority and under privileged individuals. Dr. Limon is also an adjunct faculty at Drexel University where he teaches in Medical Family Therapy master’s degree program and is involved with the NC office of Minority Health and Minority Health disparities.

Gathering of Native Americans (GONA) Curriculum: The GONA curriculum is intended to provide culturally specific substance abuse prevention training in Native American communities. Community healing from historical and cultural trauma is a central theme of the GONA approach. This includes an understanding and healing of self, family, and community. The curriculum recognizes the importance Native American values, traditions, and spirituality play in healing from the effects of historical trauma and substance abuse. The four themes of the curriculum reflect the four levels of life’s teachings. They are: (1) Belonging: a time when infants and children learn who they are, where they belong, and a sense of protection; (2) Mastery: a time when adolescents and young adults learn to understand their gifts, their vision, where they come from, and how to master their talents; (3) Interdependence: a time for adulthood, responsibility to others and an understanding of interconnectedness with all things; and (4) Generosity: a time when, as elders, families and communities can give back through sharing of wisdom, teachings, culture, rituals, stories, and song. Learn more about this program.

Panelist:

  • Jami Bartgis, President and CEO, One Fire Associates, LLC

Smart & Secure Children Parent Leadership Program: The Quality Parenting Leadership Program currently employs the Smart and Secure Children (SSC) curriculum. SSC is a product of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute’s (SHLI) Neighborhood Healthy Child Development project and was designed in collaboration with parents through a community-based participatory research study. The overall aim is to increase quality parenting as a means to strengthen vulnerable families raising children who may have been exposed to negative childhood experiences. Research has shown that quality parenting may mitigate up to 50% of the negative impact of poverty on children’s development. To date, over 250 parents have completed quality parenting trainings in Georgia, Tennessee, and Mississippi, Texas, Alabama, and Missouri. Learn more about this program.

Panelists:

  • Aneeqah Ferguson, Associate Project Director, Morehouse School of Medicine: Aneeqah Ferguson joined the Morehouse School of Medicine Satcher Health Leadership Institute (SHLI) in 2007 as Research Assistant to Dr. David Satcher, 16th US Surgeon General. At that time, she had nearly 13 years of experience as an educator for adult and adolescent learners in addition to a wealth of experience as a public health research assistant on projects at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Cancer Society, and Georgia state public health research. In her work at Morehouse School of Medicine, she provides leadership development and capacity-building for parents and community members as well as workshops and trainings for faculty, students, residents and staff. She currently serves as Associate Program Director in the Satcher Health Leadership Institute for the Smart & Secure Children parent leadership program, as well as the 13-state trans-disciplinary policy-focused Collaborative Action on Child Equity (CACE) project which uses the Smart & Secure Children curriculum and leadership approach.  
  • Shemeka Dawson, Community Liaison Consultant: Ms. Shemeka Dawson has four children ages (27, 24, 20, and 18) and five grandchildren ages 1 month, 18 months, 3 years, 6 years, and 8 years old. Ms. Dawson is a community advocate whose lived experience has made her more passionate about the importance of evidence-based interventions. Ms. Dawson's trauma from adverse childhood experiences led to her encounter as a minor with commercial human trafficking, substance abuse and incarceration as a young adult. Ultimately, Ms. Dawson's strong desire to live a more better life and provide the same for her family, led her to seek, on her own, the help she needed to reclaim her mental, physical and spiritual health. In 2015, Ms. Dawson as a member of Salvation Army's Haven ATL program for women recovering from sex trafficking, enrolled alongside her daughter in the 12-week Smart & Secure Children (SSC) parent leadership program. At the time she enrolled in SSC, Ms. Dawson's family was in a crisis and facing what appeared to be insurmountable barriers to keeping her family together: the family was homeless; her youngest son was in DFACS custody with a 6-month window to get him back; she was also faced with an ultimatum of getting housing and employment within 4 weeks or else she would lose permanent custody of her son who was only 16 at that time. So when Ms. Dawson encountered the message of hope that she heard from the structure and approach of SSC, she was all in. She took not only one class, but asked if she could enroll in an additional one meeting on the weekends. She began to apply the messages of goal setting around brain development and social emotional health with her daughter and family, and reclaimed her family. She went on to share the tips of healthy child development with neighbors and strangers alike. She went on to become trained by the Satcher Health Leadership Institute as a parent leader, mentoring and developing teen mothers at the local junior college. Now Ms. Dawson has founded her own organization "Women With Fire" and works as a consultant with SHLI to help bring more mothers, fathers and grandparents into the opportunity that SSC offers. 

Contact: If you have any questions about this roundtable please email us at connect@nned.net.



Via Hope: Peer Support Improves Community Re-Entry

Posted: May 05, 2017

Following Texas’ 84th legislative session and the implementation of Rider 73, Via Hope set out to develop a curriculum to train Certified Peer Specialists and Certified Recovery Coaches. With support from a grant provided by the Hogg Foundation, this Community Re-Entry Pilot Project provides peer support to help people get support and access much-needed services.

Since 2016, Via Hope has trained nearly two dozen peers to serve specifically in the criminal justice system. The class helps people develop and strengthen peer support skills, and adapt those skills for the jail setting. While the vast majority of these peers have been incarcerated themselves, the training also provides in-depth knowledge of the criminal justice system.

Following Via Hope’s training, peer specialists are assigned to inmates before they’re released to help them access services from local mental health facilities and community programs. Peer specialists are essential to help people with mental health conditions navigate this tenuous time. Once certified, they work in jails, forensic psychiatric hospitals, and other settings throughout Texas.

The value of peer support has been well established in a variety of settings. For those re-entering the community following jail time, these specialized peers—people with lived experience in both behavioral health and incarceration—can pick up the individual as he or she is released, get them into supportive services more quickly, provide a supportive environment and increase accountability. A report from the Center for Public Policy Priorities makes the case for putting state funding toward programs in county jails to pair incarcerated persons who have mental illness with someone who’s gone through a recovery process. This idea has attracted support from around the country and throughout Texas.

Beyond the benefits to the individual in terms of access to care and personal support, peer support can help lower recidivism, decrease crime and drug abuse, and even ease stresses on prison staff. Read more 

Read more on UTexas.edu.



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