Hire-Ability & Peer Wellness Center Collaborates for Job Resource Fair

Peer Division and Hire-Ability partnered to host the first Job Resource Fair at the Peer Wellness Center on Thursday, September 21, 2023.  The event was a great success, with representatives of each of Hire-Ability’s programs in attendance, along with partner representatives from Department of Public Health (DPH), Occupational Therapy Training Program (OTTP-SF), Caminar, and UCSF Citywide.  Thanks to our MHSA partners and our outreach, about 30 individuals from the community attended which far exceeded our expectations! 

The response from attendees was overwhelming positive.  Some comments include:

“This was my very first job resource fair. Everything seemed very well thought out, very organized. Well put together.”

“I found Belinda (Hire-Ability) super informed, respectful and encouraging. I feel more likely to follow up on what we talked about than if I just read the info sheet.”

Six members scheduled an intake appointment in the upcoming weeks to enroll in Hire-Ability programs and others showed an interest in following up in the future.  

Many thanks to everyone who participated in such a successful endeavor and we are looking forward to hosting another event soon!

Contributed by: Kristen Hay (Associate Director – Hire-Ability) and Stephen Leader (Manager – Peer Wellness Center)

Hire-Ability Received DiversAbility Awards

The DiversAbility Breakfast was organized by a group of nonprofits 19 years ago with the mission of sharing local resources and employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Hire-Ability’s Employment Services team collaborated with the TAY NextGen program and other members of the Executive Leadership Team to show our appreciation for the partnership we have with our participants and employers. The Employment Services team nominated three participants and one employer to receive breakfast and an appreciation ceremony hosted by the Department of Rehabilitation. Hire-Ability has led the charge in improving outcomes for the job seekers we serve in San Francisco. 

Through the support of the job developers, these participants and employers have been empowered to hire and sustain employment for those with a mental health diagnosis. By providing individualized services such as assessment, job readiness training, self-advocacy training, job placement and job coaching, these participants have been given the resources to achieve their highest earning potential. Our team of highly effective job developers excel at connecting and consulting with the community to find employers and positions that fit the needs of our participants. For instance, Safeway nominated a manager and employee for the DiversAbility Breakfast Award. Safeway has been a collaborative employer with employment services for years and they have hired more than 10 of our participants. This is made possible by the shared values and commitment to diversity and inclusion that Safeway and RAMS share. Hire-Ability is honored to give appreciation to the participants, employers, and our staff that continue to work tirelessly toward a community that celebrates strength and equality.

Contributed by: Laura Westman, Employment Services Manager

HireAbility Holds Boundaries Workshop

The workshop was facilitated by employment services manager Laura Westman and the amazing employment services team at Hire-Ability: Alexandra Macmillan, Mary Ann Dones, Joyce Xue, Lilly Ho and Lucy Wu.

The team presented on how to navigate professional boundaries to job seekers enrolled in employment services as well as trainees in the Employee Development, Janitorial, and i-Ability programs. Participants were actively learning and engaging in material about how to define professional boundaries, utilizing “I” statements, how to say “no” and had the chance to role play healthy and unhealthy boundaries. Lilly and Mary Ann even acted out some great examples of boundaries, including what to do when someone steals your chocolate out of the breakroom!

Many participants expressed difficulty in creating and drawing these boundaries and will use what they learned moving forward in their employment services, where they will continue to receive 1-1 support from their job developer. The next monthly workshop will be on time management, where the team looks forward to continuing to support our participants as they navigate the road toward employment.

Contributed by: Laura Westman, Employment Services Manager

Wellness Centers Program

High school can be a difficult space to navigate, as students deal with new social circles and greater peer and academic pressures. When a student is also struggling with mental health issues and faced with risk factors such as community-based violence or poverty, navigating high school can seem nearly impossible. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) found that 60 percent of high school students struggling with serious mental health issues do not graduate, while according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, more than 30 percent of high school students feel debilitated by sadness and hopelessness.

In partnership with San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD), Department of Public Health and the Department of Children Youth and their Families, RAMS Wellness Centers Program creates a safe space for struggling high school students at on-campus Wellness Centers, which are located at each of SFUSD’s 15 high schools. The Wellness Initiative Counselors provide on-site therapy and work collaboratively with teachers and parents/caregivers. The Wellness Centers provide resources to a vast community of youth from a wide range of cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, many of who may not otherwise access services. Check out the SF Wellness Initiative for more information about the collaborative effort that established this program.

RAMS SF TRACK (Treatment Recovery Accountability Collaboration Knowledge), a component of the Wellness Initiative, supports youth under the age of 21 who are at either serious risk or are already involved in the juvenile justice system. SF Track is a portable intensive outpatient treatment program with services provided at the home, school or in the community.

RAMS Wellness Initiative serves high school students at 15 SFUSD sites.

The Wellness Centers Program also offers a school-based clinical training program for graduate students studying psychology, counseling, marriage & family therapy, and social work. For more information and to find out about the application procedure, you can download the internship program information by clicking here.

Dennielle Kroneneberg, LCSW, PPS
Director, Behavioral Health Services/Wellness Centers Program
(415) 668-5955 Ext. 314
denniellekronenberg@ramsinc.org