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The PROTECH Project Looking for Volunteers

Hello everyone, The PROTECH project (Pandemic Rapid-response Optimization to Enhance Community-Resilience and Health) is currently looking for volunteers to help our Chinese Canadian communities. PROTECH is a rapid response community-based action project supported by the Government of Canada’s New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF). As the first racialized groups hit by the pandemic, the Chinese Canadians and diasporic communities have experienced increased stigma and racism, further intensifying the vast mental health, economic and social impact shared by the broader Canadian communities. Led by Prof. Josephine P. Wong and Prof. Mandana Vahabi (Ryerson University); Dr. Alan Li (Regent Park Community Health Centre); and Dr. Kenneth P. Fung (University Health Network), PROTECH uses an integrative approach to engage and mobilize real-time responses to reduce the negative psychosocial impacts of COVID-19 on Chinese Canadian communities and address the mental health needs of affected service providers in the Greater Toronto Area. PROTECH builds on lessons learned from the SARS pandemic and focuses on the following key activities: Providing an online resource hub to provide accurate information on COVID-19 and practical coping strategies, with live chat support; Providing an online training to promote mental health resilience for directly affected communities and health service providers; Engage in community mobilization to address stigma and racism, and to respond to unmet and emerging needs. With the recent launch of the PROTECH website (www.projectprotech.ca), we need your help getting the word out to your friends, family, and social media connections to ensure that people who need mental health support can access it in timely manner. Furthermore, we need your help to recruit MORE VOLUNTEERS. As the project builds up, there is an increased need for additional volunteers, including live-chat support agents. This is not only a great way to give back and support an important cause, but it can be something you put [...]

ACAS WEEKLY REPORT!

As ACAS is working remotely to provide you services at this time, we wanted to give you updates on what is happening at our agency. If you'd like to be a part of any future programming please don't hesitate getting in touch! Email info@acas.org or any of the program coordinators! At the last movie night we had with AQUA on May 2nd, 2020 we watched the release of the movie The Half of It. ACAS and AQUA chose this new movie that put a queer Asian to the forefront. We watched together with around 10 participants as we reacted and laughed in the group text chat! Stay tuned for the next movie!  

ACAS presents Poster at CAHR2020

Due to the current health situation, the CAHR 2020 (Canadian Association for HIV Research) conference was held virtually on May 1 and 2, 2020. This years theme was Hope, Victories and Perseverance beyond 2020. ACAS proudly presented a research poster this year and we proudly share it here. A Sip of C.A.R.E was a successful and valued project that helped engage people living with HIV, that had positive outcomes in those that participated.  This project was funded and supported by ViiV Healthcare and Crimson Teas. We would also like to acknowledge Dr. Josephine Wong and Bloom Siriwattakanon for helping with the program. SSP8.13 A Sip of C.A.R.E. for Marginalized East and Southeast Asian Communities in Toronto   Other CAHR 2020 posters can be found at https://www.cahr-acrv.ca/virtual-conferences/posters/

Toronto Public Health Poster on Safer Sex during COVID 19

We wanted to share Toronto Public Health's e-poster on Safer Sex during COVID 19, so you can have safer and healthier sex while staying at home! https://www.toronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/976c-Safer_sex_during_COVID-19.pdf Also featured is an infographic version from our City Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam! www.kristynwongtam.ca/covid19  

Handcrafted Non-Medical Mask Drive For ACAS Support Program

Please help us raise funds for our Support Program’s PHA (person/people living with HIV/AIDS) Funds. This Covid19 pandemic has definitely affected a number of not-for-profit agencies and charities including ACAS. A line up of our events since March 2020 that help us fundraise and support some of our programs and services have been postponed and/or canceled indefinitely. With your generosity, it will help us maintain and stabilize funds allocated for our Support Program’s PHA Funds. These funds are accessed by our clients in need particularly during this unprecedented time. https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/asian-community-aids-services/events/please-help-acas-support-programs-pha-funds/ With this fundraiser, we are offering 4 donation tiers. Before selecting your option for a donation type, we invite you to read the following information: 35.00 - 1 mask & $20 donation tax receipt 70.00 - 2 masks & $40 donation tax receipt 150.00 - 4 masks & $90 donation tax receipt 200.00 - 8 masks & $120 donation tax receipt *Shipping and handling is included within Canada / USA*After checkout, please email volunteer@acas.org to let us know of your mask selection. The masks styles we have currently in stock are labeled M1-M12. **Additionally, you can choose to gift this mask to someone. With this option, please email volunteer@acas.org and provide the recipient's name. At this time, we can only send your specially packaged mask(s) gift to 1 shipping address.  THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING THIS FUNDRAISING DRIVE FOR OUR SUPPORT PROGRAM!      

Thank you Volunteers! It’s your week!

THANK YOU VOLUNTEERS! It's National Volunteer Week 2020! April 19-25, 2020 -It’s time to applaud this country’s volunteers. Let’s all cheer for Canada’s volunteers! We are still accepting new volunteers during this time. If you are interested in helping to organize events/workshops, please contact us. We can work together to continue creating safer spaces online for our Asian LGBTQ community Almost 13 million Canadian volunteers deserve our coast-to-coast-to-coast cheers for their dedication and generosity. Let’s all join together to applaud their immense contribution to our country, our communities and millions of our lives during National Volunteer Week (NVW). National Volunteer Week details: https://www.volunteer.ca/nvw2017  

Health promotion Tips during CoVid19 x

Please see some tips from ACAS Health Promotion Team Tips for Stress Management to manage stress and your mental health during self isolation:  Accept that some anxiety and fear is normal COVID-19 is a new virus and we are still learning about it. The uncertainty about the virus and the changes that are unfolding can make most people feel a bit anxious. Anxiety is normal and natural, it can help motivate us to take action to protect ourselves and others, and to learn more about the pandemic. Anxiety motivates us to assess the potential dangers to ourselves or loved ones and to take the necessary steps to assure safety. Find a balance: Know what is going on, but know when to take a break While staying informed is helpful, having information overload will not provide extra benefit. Limit checking sources to once per day or set a limit that is right for you. This includes reading or listening to news stories about COVID-19. Even though things are shifting rapidly, daily changes are not likely to affect how you should manage your risk. How to deal with self isolation: Being isolated can be very lonely. Remember though to continue to isolate from your friends and family, to ensure the virus does not spread to others. People placed in quarantine or self-isolation may experience a wide range of feelings, including fear, anger, sadness, irritability, guilt or confusion. They may find it hard to sleep. Some people might feel relieved. Humans are social creatures and need connection to others to thrive, which can make isolation challenging. The following suggestions may help you through this challenging time: Keep busy Create and stick to a schedule for work, leisure, chores, meals, physical activity and sleep. It is important to maintain some sort of routine, however if [...]

LATEST FROM MEDICAL OFFICER OF HEALTH

Dr Eileen De Villa, Medical Officer of Health, ordered the following measures that will take effect immediately April 1st for up to 12 weeks. All those confirmed positive are to stay home under the Health Protection and Promotion Act for 14 days. All those who have had close contact with someone confirmed positive are to stay home for 14 days. Everyone who is not sick or has not travelled is “strongly directed” to stay home except for the following essential needs: accessing healthcare or medication, groceries once a week, walking pets and daily exercise, while maintaining social distancing protocols. Residents returning home from international travel are to stay home, as directed by a federal order. Anyone over the age of 70 is encouraged to stay home as much as possible. The city is looking to increase support for those experiencing homelessness in regard to self-isolation. Only businesses deemed essential should remain open but are to practice maintaining social distancing protocols, infection prevention and control practices and limit in-person access. Businesses are also asked to increase cleaning and active screening of employees at all businesses. https://globalnews.ca/news/6761181/coronavirus-toronto-covid-19-health-april-1/ REMINDER FROM ACAS Due to the coronavirus outbreak, ACAS office will be closed to the public until further notice. The decision was made in order to ensure health of our staff, participants, and communities. In-person services and program delivery are suspended with most staff working from home. We will respond to your phones, emails remotely and Support program staff will offer in-person assistance only on crucial services. Find out how you can reach us at http://acas.orgacas-offices-closed/ KEEP WELL.  

ACAS Offices Closed

Hello ACAS members, Please be advised that upon careful consideration, ACAS has decided to close the office as well as suspend all in-person services and program delivery until further notice.  The decision was made in order to support the health of our staff, participants, and communities.  Support program staff will offer services virtually, and in-person assistance only for crucial services. You can still reach staff by phone or email.  If you wish to contact specific staff members by phone, you will find their names and extension numbers below. ACAS 416-963-4300 Support (Men's) - Alex 222 Support (Women's) - Amutha 223 Admin - Mina 100 ED - Noulmook 227 Health Promo - Kenneth 231 Accountant 231 Men's Ryan 235 Men's - Greg 236 Men's - Zack 254 QTAY/Youth - Gabriel 229 CHAMP - Trisha 232 Int'l Students - Kai 234 Thank you for your understanding and please feel free to reach out if you have any questions. Take care of yourselves and others! Be well until we get to see you again next!

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