On September 6, CCACC welcomed a distinguished guest, Dr. Miriam E. Delphine-Rittmon, Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Administrator of the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA). Dr. Delphine-Rittmon and her team of five staff were warmly welcomed by Ms. Sun Wenying, Executive Director of CCACC, Ms. Lu Huixing, Director of CCACC Health Center (also known as "Pan Asia Volunteer Health Clinic"), Dr.Mo-Ping Chow, founding doctor of the clinic, Dr. Yao-Yao Zhu, the attending physician and vice chairman of CCACC, Dr. Yuchi Huang, board Member, Dr. Pei Yang, volunteer physician, and volunteer psychiatrist Shao Xiaoping.
CCACC Team introduced the "Mental Health 360" program to the SAMHSA Team.
The Mental Health 360 ° Project of CCACC Health Center was established in March 2015. The project was initiated by a group of community physicians, local Chinese mental health professionals, and administrators of the Asian American Health Initiative in Montgomery County, Maryland. These health professionals are concerned about the overall well-being of the Chinese-American community besides their medical needs. They see the perception of seeking mental health services carries a heavy stigma, that someone who needs psychological support is weak and shameful. Therefore, many of them seek medical services for somatic conditions that clearly have psycho-social roots in the Asian American community.
The main goals of the program are to raise awareness of mental health needs among Chinese people, to provide professional mental health services, and to serve as a platform to gather resources from the community, community organizations, and local governments.
Since 2015, we successfully built up programs to address stigma and promote the utilization of mental health services through the services provided:
1）Raise awareness through seminars and workshops. In 2015, we successfully launched the program by hosting a mental health article contest among the community. In 2017, we hosted the “Hear Me Out” event to promote conversation and communication among the first-generation immigrant Asian Parents and the American-born second generation. We hosted monthly virtual health seminars during the pandemic; and more than 10 mental health seminars to address the needs of the demented and depressive seniors, family relationships, and youth mental health during the pandemic. In FY 2023, we offer Youth Mental Health First Aid Training to engage more concerned community members to be part of the solution to the mental health crisis after the pandemic.
2) Providing direct services (psychiatric service and counseling) for people who do not have access to mental health services due to language, cultural barriers, and financial constraints. Our volunteer psychiatrist and a psychiatric Nurse Practitioner will provide medication for patients with moderate and severe symptoms, a psychologist specializes in youth and a licensed clinical social worker works with adults from a family and environment perspective. This service is designed to be short-term, and solution-focused; we will provide treatment referrals to specialists as needed.
3) We build mental health screenings in all the medical services that the clinic offers. We promote self-reliance through our services
· The ICCM Program: The Integrated Chronic Care Management program will provide one on one coaching for patients who suffered from more than 3 kinds of chronic diseases and who are depressed. Our health coaches will contact patients regularly to identify obstacles in disease management. problem solve and
· The PEARLs Program: The Program to Encourage Active and Rewarding Living is designed to serve depressed and socially isolated seniors. Licensed counselors will maintain a connection with participants over a 19 weeks period to address barriers to healthy living.
· The Village Program: the village program provides workshops, community resources, and psychological support for families who take care of a demented love one, or children and adult with special needs.
· The CDSMP Workshops: CCACC has been providing Chronic Disease Management Workshops for community members who suffer from chronic conditions, such as diabetes, chronic pain, and other chronic conditions. These workshops help participants gain a new perspective on their illness beyond the medical field. These 6-week, 2.5 hours sessions help participants gain an overview of their health status, engage in new health practices, and to address psychological factors, such as depression.
· Overdose Response Program: CCACC Health Center became an ORP substance abuse education center status from the state of Maryland in May 2023. In the coming year, we will go to community centers, Chinese schools, and other institutions to educate on the harms of drug abuse and measures to reduce the harm of drug abuse.
4) Advocate for public health resources for Asian groups.
Since 2016, the program has received funding support from Montgomery County and the State of Maryland Community Health Resource Commission. Each year, we provide 3-4 large-scale lectures and provide direct mental health services to over 100 community members. Topics cover depression, anxiety disorders, and other common mental health topics. We pay attention to mental illness prevention and end-of-life issues; we have been provided service to promote communication between immigrant families in an effort to the prevention of depression and suicide among youth.