Fall 2010 Newsletter
From the Director's Chair Featured Photo
Dear CHAA Friends,

On behalf of the board and staff at Community Health for Asian Americans, I would like to thank you for supporting our efforts to serve Bay Area Asian, South Asian, and Pacific Islander communities. In 2010, we accomplished major milestones with the help of many generous friends and supporters like you. Your continued engagement and ongoing commitment to CHAA has helped us grow beyond a traditional mental health agency to a multi-service health and wellness organization that is engaged with and responsive to our communities. We celebrate this and other successes over this past year, thanks to our partnerships with you.

This year, CHAA's Southeast Asian Young Leaders group attracted over 300 youth from across the Bay Area to our 7th Annual Youth Stopping Violence Summit in Richmond. In light of several recent youth suicides related to cyber bullying, CHAA's youth introduced ways to use social media as tools for preventing violence and empowering youth voices for positive change.

Through our community engagement programs, CHAA made significant strides in assisting refugee and immigrant families develop meaningful support through community gardening, health and wellness workshops for adults and youth, and weaving, while creating opportunities for building friendships across communities through exchange of ideas and experiences.

CHAA is very pleased to have initiated a psychology internship program with our first five doctoral candidates in partnership with academic institutions. CHAA began providing Collaborative Assessments, a client-centered and strength-based approach to psychological testing and strengthened our collaboration in the Chinatown Youth Center Initiative, with organizations like the Asian Health Services, National Council on Crime and Delinquency, and Oakland Asian Cultural Center.

This year we grew our Outpatient Adolescent Treatment Services (OATS) program from a small little known service to the only county-funded outpatient AOD treatment program for adolescents in West Contra Costa County. OATS provides individual, group and family interventions for minor youth who struggle with substance abuse and mental health problems. Youth are referred from schools, community agencies, probation officers and self-referrals.

With more than 15 years of experience in delivering culturally sensitive mental health, family support and youth development programs in the Bay Area, CHAA's multi-lingual professionals have provided services to over 500 people this past year.

Finally, CHAA also saw an increase in staff from 45 to 63 employees, reflecting the higher demand for our services within the communities we serve.

CHAA is proud of the work accomplished thus far, but as we progress, new challenges arise and we realize there is still much left to accomplish. With your generosity, we look forward to expanding and deepening our work with communities that continue to lack mental health and wellness services. We need your commitment and support as we continue to promote health and wellness in 2011.

Wishing you and your families a lovely holiday season,

Beatrice Lee,
Executive Director

Multicultural singers perform at
World Refugee Day in Oakland in June.

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In the News

Youth Stopping Violence Summit attracts 300 community members
Celebrating its seventh year hosting the event, SEAYL attracted more than 300 attendees for the Youth Stopping Violence Summit in Richmond on October 16th. Held at Lovonya DeJean Middle School, the day featured motivational speakers, performers, and workshops promoting the creation of a safer community while spreading a message of peace to youth.
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Burma refugee community focus of new CHAA outreach program
Nwe Oo is quite familiar with the daily obstacles faced by Oakland's Burma refugee population. Born on the Burma-Bangladesh border and a longtime resident of Thailand, she has experienced the challenges of transitioning to life in a foreign urban environment from a rural war-torn society.
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Refugee gardens grow in East Oakland
Refugees who once harvested food in the foothills of the Himalayas and the lush fields of Southeast Asia are nourishing a garden culture in the flatlands of East Oakland. Their first crop is emerging this fall from a fenced-in plot off 11th Avenue, crammed between a basketball court and a grove of old palm trees.
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CHAA internship program instills professional, personal growth
Nine months ago, a group of five graduate students embarked on a journey to learn what it takes to become a professional mental health clinician. After completing CHAA's rigorous internship program in June, those students are leaving more prepared, focused, and confident for the next stages of their careers.
Read more
Have some community news you'd like to share with CHAA? Email Shannon at shannon.eliot@chaaweb.org.
CHAA Faces
Elma Bataa,
Mongolian Community Wellness Advocate
Elma Bataa, Mongolian Community Wellness Advocate for API Connections, enjoys informing her community about health and wellness services and resources. Also involved with Street Level Health Project, Elma is intimately familiar with healthcare for underserved communities in and around Oakland.
Dickyi Charwathakyi,
Tibetan Community Wellness Advocate
Dickyi Dolkar Charwathakyi, Tibetan Community Wellness Advocate for API Connections, is passionate about listening to and acting on her community's needs. Dickyi is an active member of the Tibetan community and has organized multiple events both large and small, including an ongoing women's knitting group.