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.
New Report Uncovers Poverty Suffered by Many in API Community
September 27, 2013 On September 25, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles announced the release of a report on the Asian Americans and Native Hawaiian Pacific Islanders (NHPI) in Los Angeles County, highlighting the rapidly growing number of API immigrants. The report also challenges the “myth of Asian Americans and NHPI as the model minority” and highlights the “tremendous social and economic diversity” among APIs in LA County. This data illustrates the importance of SSG programs such as the Tongan Community Service Center, founded to serve a PI community that faces multiple socioeconomic challenges. As outlined in announcement – and featured in an LA Times article about the report – Tongan immigrants experience shockingly high rates of poverty, as well as high rates of unemployment. Learn more about TCSC:
APIOPA’s “Bike to China” Project engages State Assemblymember
August 28, 2013 On Wednesday, July 17th, APIOPA’s Bike to China youth had the opportunity to lead their State Assemblymember, Jimmy Gomez, on a tour of Chinatown, one of nine cities represented in the 51st assembly district. This 3 mile youth-led tour focused on highlighting concerns of the Chinatown community and recommendations for the changes they want to see take place in the area. Some of the main policy changes the youth discussed were Increased investment in bicycle infrastructure in Chinatown, increased research on air quality and its impact on community health, and cultural and linguistic access for all community members to share their voice. To learn more about this and other APIOPA projects, please visit www.apiopa.org. For more news on SSG Divisions, visit SSG Newsletters.
Obamacare: Role of Community-Based Providers
July 22, 2013 As healthcare reform (aka Obamacare) rapidly approaches, the important role of community-based providers – including community health centers like SSG partner APAIT Health Center – in ensuring access to care is evolving and expanding. In 2014, there will be an influx of new clients who will now have access to insurance. By 2015, the health centers are expected to double the number of patients they serve to 40 million. APAIT Health Center is prepared for this expansion and provide primary medical and behavioral health services. For further details on APAIT click here. To read the original article click here. Additional article.
SSG Divisions: Move to New Locations
July 8, 2013 Many SSG divisions have relocated to new offices. On June 10th, Project 180 opened its doors at a new location in Little Tokyo at 470 E. 3rd St. Suite C, Los Angeles. As of July 1, 2013, API Alliance, Older Adults Program, PALS for Health, BACUP, The Painted Brain, and Integrated Behavioral Health Team moved to 1730 W. Olympic Blvd., LA in the same building as the APAIT Health Center. Programs will be getting settled in during the first couple of weeks in July. Call in advance for service availability. For detailed contact information, visit the Programs & Services page.
Local Walk-In Clinics Gaining Popularity
June 18, 2013 Community healthcare clinics are gaining popularity for people looking to avoid the long waits and high prices of the doctor’s office or emergency rooms. This trend is expected to continue as the Affordable Care Act’s full implementation looms and concerns grow over a shortage of primary care physicians. Community providers, such as SSG views this growing trend as an opportunity to provide increased services to local community members seeking both physical and mental health services. For more information on SSG’s local community clinics, click here. To read the full article, click here.
Healthcare Reform to Strengthen Mental Health Services
June 4, 2013 The enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has created opportunities to provide increased health and mental health services to more individuals in LA County and beyond. New policies under the ACA require health insurance plans to cover depression screenings for adults and behavioral assessments for children. Community based and behavioral health providers such as SSG see this as an opportunity to challenge the stigma associated with mental illness and reach more individuals most in need. For more information on our mental health services, click here. To read the full article, click here.
Presidential Proclamation — National Mental Health Awareness Month
May 20, 2013 SSG has twelve (12) programs that offer mental health services to vulnerable communities. Our programs provide innovative, comprehensive and culturally appropriate services designed to improve quality of life and advance wellness. To read the full text of the Presidential Proclamation on National Mental Health Awareness Month, 2013, click here. For more information on our mental health services, click here.
OTTP-LA Provides Mental Health Services at New Wellness Center
May 6, 2013 On Monday May 6, OTTP-LA celebrated the grand opening of the new Wellness Center at Washington Prep High School. The Wellness Center will provide comprehensive health care including medical, dental and mental health services, that will serve students and the local community. OTTP-LA in partnership with St. John’s Well Child & Family Center has been named as a community partner in providing mental health services. A portion of the Wellness Center funding came for Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas’ Office. For more information on OTTP-LA services click here.
Fremont Wellness Center Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
April 22, 2013 On Friday, April 19, the Fremont High School Wellness Center and Community Garden hosted its ribbon cutting ceremony, opening the school-based primary health center and community garden serving the students and residents of this South Los Angeles community. SSG’s Executive Director Dr. Herbert Hatanaka was on hand to speak at the event along with other notable community leaders including LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles), and Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-East Los Angeles). The Wellness Center is a collaboration between the Los Angeles Unified School District and community-based partners UMMA Community Clinic, and the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust. SSG/Weber Community Center (WCC) will provide mental health care services at the Wellness Center through its partnership with UMMA. For more information on WCC, click here..
“Let’s Move” with APIOPA!
March 11, 2013 First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign has raised awareness of childhood obesity and is focused on providing educational activities to promote a healthier lifestyle. Mrs. Obama’s exclusive one-on-one interview with Good Morning America to discuss the initiative can be viewed here. SSG’s program APIOPA has a similar focus. Check them out and learn about their work with TCSC and the upcoming LA Marathon!
Healthier Food Options Profitable for Business
February 07, 2013 The Hudson Institute just released a study – Lower Calorie Foods: It’s Just Good Business – demonstrates chain restaurants can help combat obesity with lower calorie menu options AND be profitable. This is excellent news to support our efforts to increase access to lower calorie, healthy food options for low-income, ethnic minority communities. Access the full study here and for more on health access within SSG, visit our Health Programs.
SSG/Weber Community Center’s Innovative Collaborative
January 09, 2013 SSG/Weber Community Center is a proud partner in this innovative collaborative between John C. Fremont High School, The LA Neighborhood Land Trust, UMMA Community Clinic and various other South Los Angeles groups. This project is also featured in a report published by SSG’s Research & Evaluation team. To view the report visit Publications. For the full story, see Martin J. Blank’s Student Advocacy: A Sharper Picture on The Huffington Post’s Blog.