News and Events

The Change of Seasons & Your Mental Health

The Change of Seasons & Your Mental Health photoFebruary 1, 2019 Whether positive or negative, many people experience a shift in mood, thoughts and feelings that parallel with the shift of the seasons. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), every year in the US nearly 5% of the population experience a condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also known as seasonal depression. What is it about the seasonal changes that cause this to happen? Some common differences are light levels outside, limitation of outdoor activity and even the time change from Daylight Saving Time. SAD may ease off when the season changes again, but it can cause some people mild to debilitating depression for months at a time. If you find your mood shifting around certain times of year, take time to protect your mental health and learn to make the season transition a more stable time of year. Here are eight tips that may help turn darker days to lighter ones:

1) Volunteer – Giving back to the community can boost your mood and satisfaction.
2) Walk in Nature – On a sunny, cold day, bundle up with a thick jacket, sweater and comfortable shoes and go for a nature walk. Take frequent deep breaths and enjoy the moment you have with nature.
3) Read – If the weather is too bad to go outside, reading books stimulates your thinking, enables you to think creatively, improves concentration, and increases vocabulary and knowledge.
4) Be Kind to Yourself – Take time for self-care and self-love, whether it’s a nice warm bath, facials, manicure/pedicure, exercise or even just taking a nap.
5) Journal – Journaling is a way to release your thoughts on to paper without judgment.
6) Stay Hydrated – Staying hydrated during the cold months can be challenging, but your body needs water to function properly so staying hydrated is crucially important.
7) Join A Peer Support Group – A big part of depression is isolation. It is important to surround yourself with the people who help you feel connected.
8) Make A Happy Jar – The Happy Jar is filled with post-it notes of happy moments that you have each day.

For more information on this topic please visit

Family Reunification

Family Reunification photoAugust 3, 2018 Over the last 66 years, SSG has remained committed to serving the needs of diverse groups, ensuring individuals and families of various racial, ethnic and cultural boundaries are able to access culturally-competent services. We believe in supporting and advocating for the health and well-being of vulnerable populations everywhere, and will continue to offer services that promote individual empowerment, healthy families, and unified communities.

For more information on the service effort for families that are now being reunified – click here.

The 2018 Nonprofit Leadership Impact Study

The 2018 Leadership Impact Study photoApril 20, 2018 “With more than 1.8 million nonprofits in the U.S., long-term success requires constant evolution and incorporation of our industry’s best practices in fundraising. The findings of The 2018 Leadership Impact Study, released by MobileCause in partnership with NonProfit PRO, reveals what the best organizations are doing to continue growth. A few key findings in the study include: donor retention, going beyond events, and advancing your nonprofit with technology.

In summary, there are plenty of challenges facing our industry. To overcome these challenges and become the best version of our nonprofit, we have to understand and relate to our staff members, clients, donors and other supporters, by being excellent relationship builders. SSG strives to stay up-to-date with the latest trends, strategies and technologies, and effectively implement them into our nonprofit strategy to better serve our clients and community.

To read the 2018 Nonprofit Leadership Impact Study, visit here

This Holiday Season of Giving

CRS photoNovember 17, 2017 Did you know that charitable giving rises alongside the holiday spirit? More charitable donations are made at the end of the year than any other time. Along with the holiday spirit of giving comes the opportunity for folks to receive a tax break for the year. SSG is a unique human service agency with so many wonderful programs to support. A few of our divisions will be kick-starting the season of giving on social media by joining #GivingTuesday fundraising efforts. This annual ‘Day of Giving’ event takes place on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving and has helped to spread the charitable message of the year-end for non-profits. So if you’re feeling the giving spirit while you’re doing your holiday planning and preparations, please consider donating to our SSG divisions by clicking this link: Happy Holidays!

Click here to learn more about #GivingTuesday.

Occupational Therapy Ranked Among Top 20 Best Healthcare Careers

CRS photoApril 7, 2017 There have been many advancements in research for Occupational Science, which is “the development of the science that validates what occupational therapists do, as it studies how meaningful activities – occupations – impact health, wellness, and well-being.” The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects “occupational therapist employment growth of 27 percent between 2014 and 2024.”

This career also offers a wide variety of work environments such as hospitals, rehabilitation centers, schools, small medical offices and clients’ homes. For more information about career opportunities with SSG, please visit

To see the entire U.S. News article, click here.

Homeless Housing Initiatives in 2017

CRS photoFebruary 1, 2017 SSG’s HOPICS division is a longstanding leading homeless service provider in South Los Angeles and is currently the lead agency for the area’s homeless Coordinated Entry System (CES). The CES provides outreach, screening and assessment, housing placement, and supportive services for homeless individuals. As the lead agency for CES, SSG/HOPICS is responsible for extensive community coordination to expand and enhance the impact of the CES. SSG stands ready to support the county in its efforts to end homelessness and applauds county leadership for their efforts to get Measure H on the ballot.

To learn more about Measure H and the county’s 47-point plan for addressing LA’s growing homeless crisis, please visit:

New California Law Will Disaggregate Health Data On Asians

APCTC photoNovember 1, 2016 R&E was recently funded by California Department of Public Health for the California Reducing Disparities Project, giving them the opportunity to be the lead Asian & Pacific Islander (API) Technical Assistance Provider, working collaboratively with organizations that serve API populations throughout the state of California. Some of the sub-groups that this project will serve are: Cambodian, Hmong, Korean, Lao, lu-Mien, Samoan and Tongan. This initiative will identify solutions that will improve mental health outcomes in communities that have been historically unserved, underserved or inappropriately served. Rather than looking at “cookie cutter” approaches to service delivery, data disaggregation makes it possible to take a closer look at disparities and challenges faced by each distinct group within the “Asian” category in order to arrive at recommendations for effective, high quality and culturally competent mental health treatment programs.

Santa Ana Civic Center

APCTC photoSeptember 12, 2016 According to the report, approximately 450 homeless individuals inhabit the surrounding area and the population continues to grow. The city council requested that Orange County develops a health and safety plan in the next 30 days. This news comes in contrast to the recent state level veto of the petition submitted by the City of Los Angeles to declare a state of emergency due to a record homeless population. SSG/HOPICS currently leads the South LA Coordinated Entry System (CES), which coordinates regional housing resources to maximize local service provider’s capacity to address the growing homeless housing crisis. The CES efforts also heighten community awareness about homelessness to ultimately foster financial support from local residents, small business owners, large corporations and government entities for sustainability. SSG will continue to lead efforts in the county with community-based solutions and innovative initiatives in alignment with our mission to serve our communities.

Mayor Garcetti Announces Launch of Metro Bike Share in Downtown L.A.

APCTC photoJuly 7, 2016 The Metro Bike Share has 1,000 bikes available at 65 locations around downtown L.A., including Union Station, City Hall, Grand Park, the L.A. Convention Center, South Park, Chinatown, the Arts District, the Fashion District and Little Tokyo. Metro users are be able to unlock the Metro bikes from a dock using a Metro TAP card. A monthly pass offering unlimited 30-minutes rides will go for $20 a month. Passes are available at Walk-up fares will become available to riders August 1 at a price of $3.50 for 30 minutes. We encourage friends of SSG to check out these new bike stations. What a great initiative by the City of L.A. to reduce car trips and create Metro Bike Share riders.


APCTC photoJune 10, 2016 APCTC offers comprehensive services to all age groups through our multi-faceted programs such as Outpatient Counseling, Field Based Services, School-Based Program serving 24 schools in Los Angeles Unified School District and Bellflower Unified School District, Consumer-Run Wellness Center, Tenant and Sponsor Based Housing Programs, and Employment Services.

APCTC has taken an active role in advocacy for consumer and family leadership development through providing leadership training, and involvement with API Speakers Bureau, Project Return, API NAMI – LA Chapter, Consumer and Family Employment Training Program.
In addition, we have Client Council, Family Education Groups, Never Stop Rock Band and prevention classes for families dealing with various issues such as autism and childhood development.

Our 5 locations throughout Los Angeles county employ over 100 well trained, bi-cultural and bi-lingual treatment teams consisting of Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Nurses, Social Workers, Marriage Family Therapists, Mental Health Rehabilitation Specialists, Employment Counselors, Case Managers, Support Specialists, Peer and Parent Advocates, volunteers and student interns.

South LA Wins Promise Zone Designation

June 13, 2016 According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), through the Promise Zone Initiative, the Federal government will work strategically with local leaders to boost economic activity and job growth, improve educational opportunities, reduce crime and leverage private investment to improve the quality of life in these vulnerable areas. This will undoubtedly have an impact on the services and programs Special Service for Groups has in the area. SSG looks forward to continued development of our work in South Los Angeles with this new designation!

SSG Receives Three Year CARF Accreditation

December 7, 2015 SSG has been awarded a Three Year Accreditation from CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) in Outpatient Treatment and Community Employment Services. This accreditation demonstrates that SSG programs meet a rigorous standard for quality and service excellence and conformance to internationally accepted standards of practice.

CARF is an internationally recognized independent, nonprofit health and human service accrediting body. The CARF accreditation process entails an in-depth assessment and review of service delivery and business operations over a multiple day visit by several surveyors. We are pleased to have successfully completed this review and received the highest level of accreditation in our areas of specialty.

Lack of Dental Care for Children is a National Problem

August 26, 2015 Children from low-income households across the country are not receiving preventive dental care services, according to a recent news article. Even those enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program tend not to be treated. As a result, the percentage of children from low-income backgrounds with untreated tooth decay is about double that of children from households above the poverty level.

SSG is committed to providing dental services to children who would otherwise not receive treatment. Our Children’s Dental and Outreach Project provides dental health education and no-cost dental care to students from low-income families preparing for kindergarten through high school in 8 school districts. Learn more here.

Task Force Puts Forth Workforce Development Proposal

August 10, 2015 A California education task force recently approved a set of recommendations for closing the job skills gap in the state. Commissioned in 2014 by the community college system’s Board of Governors, the task force assembled a blueprint that will be presented in town halls in San Francisco and Los Angeles next month. Implementation of the proposal could begin as early as January 2016.

SSG is dedicated to preparing youth, young adults and adults for the workforce. Our workforce development programs provide individuals with the skills needed to become productive and independent members of society. Learn more here.

Photo by Arno KleineSchaars / CC BY 2.0

APIOPA Featured in the LA Times

July 27, 2015 Last weekend, SSG division APIOPA was featured in the LA Times for their work bringing healthful produce to Filipinotown, a neighborhood in which grocery stores and access to fresh produce are scarce. Together with OCAPICA, APIOPA runs the Roots CSA agriculture collective, which supplies fresh, culturally-relevant produce to Asian and Pacific Islander communities from small local farmers. Congratulations, APIOPA, for getting recognition for your programming! To learn more about APIOPA, click here.

It’s Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

July 13, 2015 Organizations across the US are currently participating in Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, named after the author and activist. The month is meant “to focus on building awareness about the importance of mental wellness and effective mental health care and inform the community about available resources.”

No matter the month, SSG is dedicated to helping vulnerable communities on a variety of issues, including mental health. From PALs for Health, which helps Limited English Proficient (LEP) patients navigate the health care system, to Weber Community Center, which provides comprehensive outpatient mental health and substance abuse services to youth, SSG’s many divisions aim to meet the needs of Los Angeles’ diverse population. Learn more about our programs here.

House of Reps. Puts Forth Criminal Justice Reform Bill

June 29, 2015 Toward the end of last week, a bipartisan criminal reform bill was introduced in the House of Representatives. Titled the Safe, Accountable, Fair, Effective (SAFE) Justice Act, the legislation aims to decrease the prison population by, among other proposed changes, training prison staff in mental health issues and expanding recidivism-reduction programming. The bill has received support from a broad coalition that includes the NAACP, the ACLU, Koch Industries, and the American Conservative Union.

SSG has a history of providing programming in the forensic treatment and criminal justice arena. Offenders and ex-offenders, as well as youth at-risk of offending, are eligible for services that are designed to decrease recidivism and facilitate reintegration into the community. Learn more here.

Photo by Kate Ter Haar / CC BY 2.0

Barriers to Health Care Persist

June 17, 2015 A short while ago, Alliance For A Just Society released a study that reported families still face barriers when it comes to accessing health care coverage, despite the insurance mandate. The reasons include cost considerations, lack of access to information, and language and cultural barriers.

SSG division PALS for Health works to advise vulnerable communities in the Los Angeles region on health care access. Staff have linguistic and cultural competency in a number of languages, including Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, and Japanese. Learn more here.

Photo by / CC BY 2.0

Los Angeles Homelessness on the Rise

June 4, 2015 According to a recent count conducted by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), the number of homeless people in Los Angeles County has risen by 12% over the past two years. 70% of these individuals were not sleeping in shelters, but instead were taking refuge in cars or on the streets.

SSG division Homeless Outreach Program Integrated Care System (HOPICS) assisted LAHSA with the homeless count. HOPICS has a long history of working to find services and shelter for those facing homelessness. Founded in 1988, HOPICS is a respected service provider in Los Angeles County that offers an integrated approach to addressing mental health issues, substance abuse treatment, reentry needs and homeless and housing assistance. Learn more about HOPICS here.

Photo by Timothy Krause / CC BY 2.0

Teen Obesity Linked to Alzheimer’s & Dementia

May 19, 2015 A newly-released study found that obese teens have an increased risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease later in life. It is believed that the onset of insulin resistance in early life increases the risk of those health conditions down the line.

SSG is dedicated to helping individuals work toward positive health outcomes. Our health programming offers a continuum of prevention and health services for individuals and families. SSG division Asian Pacific Islander Obesity Prevention Alliance (APIOPA) is specifically dedicated to improving/addressing the social, cultural, environmental, and political factors that contribute to the growing rates of obesity among API residents in Los Angeles County. Learn more about APIOPA here.

Photo by Mike Licht / CC BY 2.0

U.S. News & World Report’s 2 Most Important Caregiver Tips

May 4, 2015 U.S. News & World Report recently published their “2 Most Important Tips” for caregivers to those with dementia. Why focus on caregivers for people with dementia? Because this disease poses to caregivers unique challenges that leave them particularly vulnerable to feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and isolated.

SSG’s programs for the older adult population are designed to reduce health and mental health disparities for low-income older adults and family caregivers. Our older adult services are provided to individuals from various racial and ethnic backgrounds throughout Los Angeles County. To learn more about these programs, click here

Photo by Sohel Parvez Haque / CC BY 2.0

Substance Abuse in American Workers

April 20, 2015 According to a new report issued by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA), nearly 1 in 10 full-time workers in the U.S. recently struggled with substance abuse. An analysis of survey data collected between 2008 and 2012 revealed that 9.5% of respondents were dependent on or abused alcohol or illicit drugs in the past year.

SSG has a number of substance abuse programs that are designed to meet the diverse needs of the community through high-quality, innovative services. Programs provide an array of services related to prevention, treatment, and recovery. To learn more about SSG’s substance abuse programs, click here.

Photo by Wisappe / CC BY 2.0

Mental Health Parity Still a Way Off

April 6, 2015 According to a recently-released report by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), “health insurance plans are falling short in coverage of mental health and substance abuse conditions.” While the law mandates many U.S. insurance provides cover mental health care like other widespread conditions, NAMI found that progress in achieving this mental health parity is slow going and happening in fits and starts across the country. Their report, A Long Road Ahead: Achieving True Parity in Mental Health and Substance Use Care,” is available here.

SSG has a number of divisions that are designed to decrease mental health disparities and improve the quality of life for vulnerable populations. A variety of programs offer innovative, comprehensive and culturally appropriate services to advance the wellness of diverse communities. To learn more about these programs, click here.

Photo by MilitaryHealth / CC BY 2.0

SSG/Weber Community Center to Tackle Humanitarian Crisis

March 26, 2015 Special Service for Groups/Weber Community Center is one of a handful of non-profits to receive funding to provide critical services to refugee youth in Los Angeles County. In California, Los Angeles is the primary region receiving refugee youth, many of whom are fleeing a life of violence in Central America. The nearly $850K in funding comes from a collaborative of local, state, and national funders. Read more here.

Photo courtesy of the California Community Foundation

New Smartphone Attachment Will Test for HIV/AIDS

March 9, 2015 A team of Columbia University researchers have developed a smartphone device that can test for HIV and syphilis. According to Science Daily, the mobile-powered device uses a finger-prick amount of blood to make a diagnosis in 15 minutes. Costing approximately $34 to make, and able to test at a “full laboratory-quality” standard, the device may one day be used to make “lab-based diagnostics accessible to almost any population with access to smartphones.”

SSG supports developments that promote early diagnosis and increase access to healthcare. Our own HIV/AIDS program, APAIT, provides culturally-competent, linguistically-appropriate services to medically underserved communities living with or at risk for HIV/AIDS in Southern California. Learn more about APAIT and our health programs here.

Photo by Samiksha Nayak, Columbia Engineering

Children’s Dental & Outreach Project Gets New Home

January 26, 2015 On Wednesday, January 21, SSG was thrilled to participate in the grand opening of the Family Resource Center, home to the Children’s Dental and Outreach Project and the Children’s Medical Clinic. Formerly housed in an old WWII Army trailer, the new La Puente building will allow more families than before to access basic health services that can help their children thrive.

The expanded dental space has room for 2 dentist chairs. One is installed. The second space stands empty while the hunt for a chair donation is underway. If you have information on a potential lead, please contact SSG today!

Weber Community Center Gets a Huffington Post Mention

January 12, 2015 Blogging for the Huffington Post, Martin J. Blank, President of the Institute for Educational Leadership, recently praised the work of SSG’s Weber Community Center, calling its work with South Los Angeles’ John C. Fremont High School “a sterling example of cooperation between school and community-based mental health professionals.”

Weber is one of multiple SSG divisions that serve at-risk, economically disadvantaged children, youth, and families across various racial/ethnic and age groups at service sites located throughout the Los Angeles region. All programs are designed to strengthen families so that they may lead healthy, fulfilled and successful lives. Learn more here.

Happy New Year!

December 31, 2014 SSG wishes everyone safe and happy New Year celebrations!

If you would like to make a donation that will count toward your 2014 tax deduction, there’s still time to do so. Click here to be taken to our secure donation portal. We appreciate your support! Happy 2015!

Happy holidays from SSG!


December 15, 2014 SSG wishes everyone a safe, happy holiday season. We are proud of the work our team and supporters accomplished in 2014. Thank you, all!

If you would like to make a donation that will count toward your 2014 taxes, you may do so here. We appreciate your support!

SSG mourns the passing of Lark Galloway-Gilliam

December 5, 2014 The Board and Staff of Community Health Councils, Inc. (CHC), recently announced that their founder and Executive Director, Lark Galloway-Gilliam, has passed away after a long-fought illness. SSG is deeply saddened by this news and the loss of a remarkable community leader and partner in the fight for healthy communities. Information about a public memorial will be available at

SSG Division Project 180 Gets a News Mention

November 24, 2014 Earlier this month, Project 180 Founder and Program Creator, Victoria Simon, was asked for her thoughts on the impact of Assembly Bill 109, the State’s plan for reducing prison populations, on Skid Row.

Project 180 is one of SSG’s Forensic Treatment/Criminal Justice programs. To learn more about these services, click here.
Photo by Wayne Hsieh / CC BY 2.0

Veterans Day 2014

November 11, 2014 Returning Veterans don’t always have access to the services they need to transition back to civilian life.

SSG encourages those who have served and those who know a Veteran to make use of our comprehensive health and human service programs. We operate more than 20 divisions across Southern California and in San Francisco, addressing homelessness, substance abuse, mental health, and a host of other needs. Learn more here.
Photo by Maryland GovPics / CC BY 2.0

Election Season Brings Talk of Workforce Development

October 27, 2014 With elections just around the corner, “workforce development” has become a much-discussed topic. Election season or not, SSG recognizes the importance of helping youth, young adults, and adults gain the skills needed to become productive and independent members of society. Our workforce development programs serve a variety of individuals across a spectrum of abilities and needs. Learn more here. Photo by U.S. Army RDECOM / CC BY 2.0

Millions of Children & Adolescents Not Getting Preventative Dental Care

October 13, 2014 The cost of dental services often deters families from seeking treatments for their children and adolescents. According to the latest CDC report, 9 out of 10 children and adolescents did not receive treatment in the past year. SSG understands the importance of oral care and the role it plays in a child’s developmental health. Our Children’s Dental and Outreach Project works in 8 school districts in the East San Gabriel Valley to provide dental health education and no-cost dental care to students from low-income families. Photo by Wonderlane / CC BY 2.0

A Look at the Difficulties of Being a Caregiver

September 29, 2014 A recent survey of caregivers revealed the time and money they spend on caregiving tasks, as well as the difficulties they face balancing those tasks with their professional responsibilities. SSG has a program to help caregivers navigate their responsibilities. Our Sustaining Independent Lives with Vital Empowering Resources (SILVER) division offers care management and family caregiver supportive services. Photo by Helgi Halldórsson / CC BY-SA 2.0

L.A. Homeless Collaborative is Expanding

September 12, 2014 As a provider of services for those experiencing homelessness, SSG applauds the move to make services and housing more accessible. SSG has a history of working to assist homeless populations. Our homeless/safety net/basic needs programs offer a variety of services designed to meet the client’s immediate need for food and shelter. Learn more here. Photo by Eve Fouché / CC BY

SSG’s APIOPA Making a Difference in LA Neighborhoods

SSG’s APIOPA Making a Difference in LA Neighborhoods graphicAugust 25, 2014 SSG’s programs do its best to address the diverse issues facing the communities we serve. SSG/APIOPA focuses on healthy eating and active living. As a way to promote more healthy activities, such as bicycling and walking, SSG/APIOPA recently conducted an analysis of the risks of reckless driving in Chinatown that impacts bicyclists and pedestrians. This is an important first step in fostering the conversation towards a safer environment for community members to engage in activities that promote a healthy lifestyle.

SSG New Headquarters Location

SSG New Headquarters Location! info graphicAugust 4, 2014 SSG is proud to announce its new headquarters which will provide a central and accessible location to its many programs, stakeholders and community members. The new building is a testament to SSG’s growth as a community service provider. Herb Hatanaka, SSG’s Executive Director notes, “Our new corporate headquarters represents the extraordinary milestone in the 62-year history of SSG. It symbolizes our collective achievement and accomplishment as a community-based organization and sets the stage for transformation and growth in the new era before us. Congratulations to us all.” SSG looks forward to planting its seeds in this new location and continuing its growth for many years to come.

SSG’s New Research Publication on Capacity Building for Nonprofits

SSG's New Research Publication on Capacity Building for Nonprofits info graphicJuly 16, 2014 With funding from the California Community Foundation, SSG Research & Evaluation Team and the Los Angeles Nonprofit Capacity Building Network interviewed a group of nonprofit leaders on how they have used capacity building services to improve their organizational practice. The findings include what and how leaders can expect from capacity building in transforming their organizational culture and professional development, as well as recommendations for nonprofit leaders, foundations, and capacity builders. The full report and executive summary can be accessed at

SSG’s New Behavioral Health Line

SSG's New Behavioral Health Line info graphicMay 19, 2014 SSG is proud to announce the launch of its new toll-free Centralized Behavioral Health Access Line. The line was developed to provide one convenient and user-friendly place for consumers to call. With the implementation of Healthcare Reform, aka ‘Obama Care,’ hundreds of thousands of LA County residents have become insured either through Medi-Cal or Covered California health plans. SSG wanted to make access to care, particularly for behavioral health services, as simple as possible for newly insured clients. By calling the 844-CALL-SSG (844-225-5774) number, a prospective client can get 24/7 attention and screening by highly trained master’s level clinicians and crisis counselors. After a brief assessment, an intake form will be completed and routed to the SSG clinic that best suites the needs of each individual. For more information on our services, please visit a list of our programs and services.

Breaking Ground for New Family Center

March 28, 2014 After 35 years of providing low or no-cost dental screening and treatment services for low-income students in a trailer at Northam elementary, the Children’s Dental Program is moving into a new building with the Family Resource Center in La Puente. The Dental Program serves over 600 students a year and they will continue to serve the community in the much needed expanded space. The Family Resource Center will also provide medical services, mental health care and homeless services. For more information on the Dental Program be sure to visit the Health section of our website.

The iPad Therapist: Mental Health for the Aging

March 18, 2014 For some seniors in ethnic communities, obtaining proper health and mental health care pose serious barriers in access and cultural and language needs. Launched in February 2014, the Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing is piloting a cutting-edge behavioral health program aimed directly at low-income, minority population: telemental health. Individuals will be able to meet with a therapist using iPads to videoconference. SSG’s Older Adults Division is in collaboration with the program in efforts to innovatively reach more underserved and linguistically isolated communities.

Mentally Ill Are Often Locked Up In Jails That Can’t Help

February 10, 2014 Across the country, health and human services officials are scrambling together to address the massive overcrowding of prisons and the ineffective treatment of mentally ill inmates. SSG’s Project 180 specializes in delivering evidenced-based programming to decrease recidivism and improve the quality of life for previously incarcerated men and women in Los Angeles county. For more on SSG’s forensic treatment and criminal justice programs, check out our specialized programming.

As Parents Age, Asian-Americans Struggle to Obey a Cultural Code

January 27, 2014 In a country that is growing older and more diverse, elder care issues are playing out with particular resonance for many Asian-Americans. SSG’s Older Adults Division specializes in providing services to older adults and caretakers in the Asian and Pacific Islander Communities of Los Angeles.

Neglected Issue: Mental Health

January 14, 2014 All across America and the world, families struggle with these issues, but people are more likely to cry quietly in bed than speak out. These mental health issues pose a greater risk to our well-being than, say, the Afghan Taliban or Al Qaeda terrorists, yet in polite society there is still something of a code of silence around these topics. SSG’s Mental Health Divisions are available to address the need for support and treatment services through a variety of community and school-based mental heath services.

Remembering Nelson Mandela: An advocate for change

December 6, 2013 Nelson Mandela passed away on Thursday night, leaving behind a legacy that will not soon be forgotten. As a leader of the anti-Apartheid movement and the peaceful liberation of a black majority in the white minority-ruled South Africa, Mandela became a central figure in the human rights struggle at home and abroad. SSG, an organization with deep roots in community advocacy, respectfully remembers a man who inspired generations around the world.

Having a Home for the Holidays

December 3, 2013 Permanent supportive housing combines a permanent home for someone who is homeless and includes mental healthcare, job training and medical, drug and alcohol treatment provided on-site. SSG’s divisions and programs provide either housing and/or supportive services to chronically homeless individuals.

Dealing with mental illness as a youth can be scary and lonely

November 22, 2013 Moodiness, depression, substance abuse are all warning signs parents can’t ignore. Dealing with mental illness as a youth or being a parent of a youth struggling with mental illness can seem daunting. You are not alone. SSG’s divisions and programs provide culturally and linguistically appropriate mental health services to young adults (or Transition Age Youth ages 16-24).

BMI Doesn’t Tell the Whole Story about Obesity Diseases for Asian Americans

November 1, 2013 Body Mass Index (BMI) uses height and weight ratios to determine whether someone is obese. A person with a BMI of 30 is considered obese and at high risk for obesity-related diseases, such as heart and renal problems and diabetes. According to many medical experts, however, these diseases can occur at the same rate for Asian Americans with BMI as low as 24. Over-relying on BMI as an indicator of chronic diseases can mean many Asian Americans might be overlooked for prevention efforts. The stereotype of ‘skinny’ Asians “propagates that ‘model minority’ myth,” says Scott Chan, program director of SSG’s Asian Pacific Islander Obesity Prevention Alliance. “It makes people in our own community feel like they don’t have to worry about obesity and diabetes. We buy into it.” Challenging this stereotype is an important aspect of APIOPA’s community advocacy work.

Covered California is Open for Business

October 2, 2013 As of Oct. 1, Covered California is officially open for business. It kicks off a six-month open-enrollment period, during which at least 500,000 Californians are expected to enroll in affordable health insurance programs. As the rollout of the federal Affordable Care Act, Covered California will allow many SSG divisions to work with even more people in our underserved communities. “We are thrilled about the successful launch of Covered California. As a behavioral health organization, we are particularly excited about the inclusion of substance abuse and mental health treatment services as part of the 10 essential health benefits included in every plan,” said Dianna Malak-Lopez, SSG’s Director of Strategic Development & Partnerships. Many SSG programs have already begun productive partnerships with health care organizations to provide more holistic services to our communities.