SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Providing and expanding mental health services for the AAPI community was the focus of a gathering Friday in San Francisco’s Richmond District.

Acknowledging the recent massacres in Half Moon Bay and Monterey Park as well as the surge of hate attacks directed at the AAPI community during the pandemic, San Francisco Assemblymember Phil Ting announced he has secured 6.5 million dollars in state funds for RAMS, a Richmond District nonprofit which provides community mental health services.

“At times when so many folks in Asian American community really feel under threat, this organization in particular, has been a safe haven for so many families. So many low-income families in particular, who really have nowhere else to turn have nowhere else to go,” said Ting.

The plan is for the money to be used for RAMS to consolidate and expand their programs into one service center. “The challenge for especially for AAPI communities, AAPI seniors are that we have a hard time to seek help. And when RAMS as an established organization, they actually also know where to go in the community to offer that help,” said Connie Chan, San Francisco supervisor.

Citing recent attacks by members of the APPI community on fellow members, those who work at RAMS said the focus can no longer be just about treatment, but also about educating people about what mental health is and how it can affect them.

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“How do we provide culturally appropriate outreach and education to the community so that they understand that having experienced a trauma will impact the emotion and may actually impact their physical being. So, I think we really need to start with that,” said Christina Shea, RAMS clinical chief officer.