The Year of the Tiger — a Chinese zodiac symbol that represents strength and courage — is the perfect symbol of empowerment. Felton Institute can trace our roots back to 1889, the Year of the Ox, representing independence and reasonability.  And as Felton continues its services to the APPI community, we do so with an awareness of the community’s strength and resilience.

At the start of the month, Felton Institute joined our Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) neighbors in celebrating Lunar New Year.

One way is by offering a Felton team of staff and community volunteers who offer one-on-one services so individuals can access the internet for telehealth and other services known as Tech Squad. Felton Institute’s Tech Squad began in 2020 at the height of the pandemic in Visitacion Valley, where 59% of the community are of Asian ancestry. We continue to offer the introduction to digital technology in both Cantonese and English which has been a bridge for those who are monolingual and need additional support. Tech Squad’s strategy is to “meet a person where they are,” and with more than 350 individuals served, it’s a notion that has become essential. It’s more than just access to critical services, it’s also about facilitating people’s ability to interact with family and friends at a time when connecting is both crucial and difficult.

Another approach is through equitable mental health care. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reports, the AAPI community has the lowest help-seeking rate of any racial/ethnic group, with only 23.3% of AAPI adults experiencing mental illness receiving treatment in prior years, according to a study done by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).  Felton is working diligently through programs like (re)MIND®, BEAM and BEAM UP®, San Francisco Suicide Prevention (SFSP), and Full Circle Family Program, to reduce the stigma around mental health and behavioral health issues.  Our programs are culturally competent, providing linguistic support and care for our diverse AAPI communities.   

Our AAPI community is a beautiful representation of more than 40 distinct ethnicities. It is our honor to serve the community with the strength and courage the Lunar New Year portends. 

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About Felton Institute: Rooted in equity, Felton Institute transforms quality of life and promotes social justice to accelerate community led change. Felton Institute is a tax-exempt organization registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit under EIN 94-1156530.

Offering more than 50 acclaimed and honored programs that address homelessness, mental health, prenatal, adolescent, adult and senior needs, Felton Institute provides evidence-based behavioral health and social services in San Francisco, Alameda, San Mateo, Marin, and Monterey counties.

Felton Institute can trace its roots back to 1889. The organization is named for its social services pioneer and executive director Dr. Katharine “Kitty” Felton who was called the “conscience of San Francisco” and was committed to ensuring that children and families in crisis have access to social services and resources in order to help them build upon their inherent strengths and develop self-sufficiency.