Asian Counseling and Referral Service

Asian Counseling and Referral Service

ACRS has decades of expertise in providing culturally competent services to immigrants, refugees, and members of other Asian and Pacific Islander communities. ACRS is led by staff and and board members who mirror the communities we serve. We bring years of expertise working with community members facing challenges such as

Asian Counseling and Referral Service

ACRS has decades of expertise in providing culturally competent services to immigrants, refugees, and members of other Asian and Pacific Islander communities. ACRS is led by staff and and board members who mirror the communities we serve. We bring years of expertise working with community members facing challenges such as poverty, limited English, limited digital literacy skills, disabilities, old age, and other barriers. ACRS staff represent a diverse range of cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Collectively, ACRS staff speaks over 40 languages reflecting the communities we serve. Some of these languages include Cantonese, Samoan, Cambodian, Tagalog, Japanese, Korean, Hindi, Mandarin, Khmu, Burmese, Vietnamese, Bicol, Afghani and others. As an organization led by people of color, ACRS is committed to strengthening the leadership of BIPOC staff, client community, and partners. We work to challenge traditional definitions of what a leader is and acknowledge and value the power of leadership shown every day by staff and clients. ACRS supports and seeks out opportunities for people to practice and provide leadership that are key to agency efforts. For staff this includes engagement in the strategic planning process; co-facilitation of agency committees and workgroups; and mobilizing community groups on issue advocacy.

About the Organization:

ACRS has decades of expertise in providing culturally competent services to immigrants, refugees, and members of other Asian and Pacific Islander communities. ACRS is led by staff and and board members who mirror the communities we serve. We bring years of expertise working with community members facing challenges such as poverty, limited English, limited digital literacy skills, disabilities, old age, and other barriers. ACRS staff represent a diverse range of cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Collectively, ACRS staff speaks over 40 languages reflecting the communities we serve. Some of these languages include Cantonese, Samoan, Cambodian, Tagalog, Japanese, Korean, Hindi, Mandarin, Khmu, Burmese, Vietnamese, Bicol, Afghani and others. As an organization led by people of color, ACRS is committed to strengthening the leadership of BIPOC staff, client community, and partners. We work to challenge traditional definitions of what a leader is and acknowledge and value the power of leadership shown every day by staff and clients. ACRS supports and seeks out opportunities for people to practice and provide leadership that are key to agency efforts. For staff this includes engagement in the strategic planning process; co-facilitation of agency committees and workgroups; and mobilizing community groups on issue advocacy.

organizational budget

15 MILLION+

existence for

31+ YEARS

Organization benefits AAPIs residing in the following state(s):

Washington

organizational budget

15 MILLION+

existence for

31+ YEARS

Organization benefits AAPIs residing in the following state(s):

Washington

The Issue:

Asian Counseling and Referral Service (ACRS) reaches over 30,000 community members who are historically underserved due to language and cultural barriers. Often, Asians and Pacific Islanders are lumped together as one large group without acknowledgment of the differences and needs connected to ethnic/cultural backgrounds, migration history, past generational trauma, language barriers, and other factors. Some of our clients may be experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic health conditions, and have limited access to computers or the internet. Separated by language and cultural barriers, many immigrants and refugees experienced isolation which compounded existing health challenges.

The Solution:

Research has found that a strong sense of cultural identity has been associated with enhanced mental health, specifically with improved self-esteem, resilience, coping styles, general life satisfaction, performance under threat, and protection against distress from discrimination. [Srivastava, R., Srivastava, R. Impact of Cultural Identity on Mental Health in Post-secondary Students. Int J Ment Health Addiction, 2019] ACRS provides mental health and social services in over 40 languages with caring staff who recognize our clients cultures, languages and migration experiences. At ACRS, people of all backgrounds can find culturally relevant services to heal from trauma, manage mental illness or recovery. They can access essentials like food, employment counseling, job readiness training, parenting supporting, senior services and youth programs. Newly arrived immigrants and refugees can access citizenship assistance, legal aid, ESL and culturally competent job readiness training. Our goal is help clients lead healthy and meaningful lives. We offer mental health programs to help clients manage anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, dementia and other conditions. We partner with each client to create a wellness plan that empowers them to develop personal goals, understand medications (if needed), and strengthen their support systems. Support systems can include parents, extended family, chosen family and access to basic needs. To streamline access to basic needs, ACRS offers: • Primary and dental care, mediation management and a onsite pharmacy • Wellness groups such as gardening, healthy cooking, diabetes prevention and smoking cessation programs • Recovery programs to address substance use, problem gambling or domestic violence treatment/prevention • Eastern treatments such as acupuncture • A senior center with wellness activities such as Tai Chi, Yoga, Zumba and Mahjong • A food bank providing culturally familiar foods • Citizenship assistance and legal aid for immigrants and refugees • Employment services • Youth job readiness training, leadership programs • Civic engagement opportunities to learn about the issues that impact their lives

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