The mission of MHASF is to cultivate peer leadership, build community, and advance social justice in mental health.
MHASF staff come from all walks of life, but we're united by our commitment to providing accessible, relevant, and innovative mental health peer support, resources, advocacy, and training at all stages of recovery and across the Bay Area. Below you can find out more about who we are, where we come from, and how we live out MHASF's mission every day.
Mark Salazar, Executive Director
MHASF is pleased to welcome Mark Salazar into the Executive Director role as of July 2018. Previously our Associate Director, Mark is excited to take on the challenge of leading the agency strategic planning, development, and cultural initiatives that make MHASF a robust organization, driven by enduring values of dignity and recovery in mental health.
Before being named Associate Director, Mark was the Director of Operations from July 2015 to June 2017 where he oversaw MHASF's Peer Recovery and Peer Workforce Development departments that included PROPEL, The San Francisco Peer-Run Warm Line, Marin Peer Response Team, and Peer Partners Program. Mark was previously the Program Manager of MHASF’s internationally recognized Institute on Compulsive Hoarding and Cluttering (ICHC), which included peer-to-peer support, service provider education and training, innovative research, and expanded service accessibility. He also served as the Co-chair of the San Francisco Task Force on Hoarding from 2013 to 2015.
Mark is currently pursuing an Executive Master of Health Administration from the University of Southern California. Mark has a BA in Psychology from the University of Hawaii, West Oahu.
[email protected] | (415) 421-2926 ext 317
San Francisco Staff
Elizabeth Barr, Peer Coach
Elizabeth feels privileged to have provided counseling and social services for over 30 years at a variety of community outreach programs including The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Addiction, The Suicide Prevention Hotline, and City College of S.F. Disabled Students and Services Program. She has earned counseling certificates in substance abuse and disability perspectives, and she is certified as a Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) facilitator, a Buried in Treasures facilitator and an Activities Coordinator. Her once crowded home is now liberated from excessive belongings, and as a member of the Peer Response Team, she hopes to inspire others with her journey of recovery. She graduated cum laude with a B.A. in Theatre Arts and is a life-long learner.
Imade Borha, Communications Coordinator
Imade coordinates our social media, marketing, and digital information systems and content production efforts, and brings a wealth of experience in journalism, blogging, social media strategy, and online community management. Coming to us most recently from Idealist in New York City
[email protected] | (415) 421-2926 ext 321
Terri Byrne, Peer Development Manager
Terri Byrne has been working in the mental health field for over 30 years. She has witnessed firsthand the transformation of the mental health system. Over 20 years ago, Terri worked in a Psychiatric Social Rehabilitation agency that valued employing people with lived experience. She has worked in hospitals as a Licensed Psychiatric Technician is a Certified Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioner as well as an Advanced Level WRAP Facilitator. Among the many projects she supports across MHASF, Terri oversees PROPEL, MHASF's peer employment support program, and ARISE, our peer mental health advocacy program. She is excited about working with students who are in / graduated from the Peer Training Programs (RAMS, BestNOW and Community Action Marin) supporting them in obtaining and maintaining employment in the mental health workforce, and helping Bay Area employers become great places for peer staff to work.
[email protected] | (415) 421-2926 ext 306
Kat Chen, Peer Coach
Kat is a Peer Coach for NURTURE, specializing in mindfulness and values-based living. As someone with her own lived experiences with mental health challenges, she champions the collaborative and authentic form of the peer-to-peer process. Her approach is centered around principles of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), along with components of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). She has made her home in the East Bay for over twenty years, and is deeply grateful to exist within the diverse sphere of the Bay Area. She celebrates lifelong learning, neurodiversity, love of animals, and compassion toward ourselves and others.
[email protected] | (415) 341-9514 ext. 314
Sarah Jean Flynn, Warm Line Program Manager
As Warm Line Program Manager, Sarah Jean oversees all aspects of the Warm Line, including training, program development, data collection, reporting, consumer satisfaction, supervision, and support for a staff of over 25 Peer Counselors and Specialists. She enjoys being a leader among peers and strives to embody the values of Mental Health Recovery in her work and life.
Sarah Jean has provided support and leadership in community health programs for nearly 15 years. She has extensive experience working within harm reduction and trauma-informed frameworks, offering support to underserved and marginalized communities. Before stepping into her role as Warm Line Manager at MHASF, Sarah Jean worked as a Warm Line Counselor as well as a Warm Line Specialist. She is deeply committed to peer support and believes it is an essential tool for wellness. Sarah Jean studied Sociology and Gender Studies at Langara College in Vancouver, Canada.
[email protected] | (415) 421-2926 ext 327
Ana B. Gutiérrez
Ana B. Gutiérrez has been a member of the MHASF Peer Response Team since its beginning in 2011, and her special messages include stigma reduction and healing. She is currently creating and facilitating workshops for hoarding behaviors. Ana B. has been an avid advocate and activist in faith-based organizations for over 15 years, addressing diverse populations and issues including health care, domestic violence, homelessness, education and immigration. She is from Nicaragua and has resided in San Francisco for over 40 years. She is the loving mother of two and grandmother of eight.
Dewonna Howard, Peer Coach
Dewonna Howard, started at MHASF as a Warmline Counselor in 2016 sharing her experience, strength, and hope with many. She is now a Peer Coach for the Wellness Program and is passionate about peer to peer support, stigma, recovery, and wellness. She has Peer specialist training from the BEST NOW program, a deep and personal understanding of Co-Occurring disorders and is also a certified HIV/AIDS awareness peer specialist. She is a native of San Francisco and has lived in the East Bay for many years.
dewonn[email protected] | (415) 341-9528 ext. 328
Will Kamin, Operations Manager
Will is accountable for MHASF’s day-to-day operations, coordinating the efficient, consistent, and planful use of time, tools, and resources toward program deliverables and mission-driven goals. Will collaborates with departments across the agency and has a hand in numerous projects spanning from database management and program reporting to HR administration and procedure development, Board support, inventory control, equipment resourcing, and fixing whatever breaks.
Will has been with MHASF since 2014, when they joined the original Warm Line team as a program specialist and quickly shifted into the Assistant Manager role for that program, providing critical leadership in training, curriculum design, procedure development, scheduling, and information & referral software management. Subsequently, Will became the Mental Health Recovery Programs Assistant Manager, offering program delivery support and guidance for PROPEL, the Warm Line, and Peer Partners before taking on their current role in early 2017. Will received a bachelor's degree summa cum laude in Philosophy from Greenville University and attended the Stony Brook University master's program in Philosophy and Aesthetics.
[email protected] | (415) 421-2926 ext 337
Stephen Leader, Peer Support Coordinator
As the Peer Support Coordinator, Stephen ensures the delivery of quality peer-led supports to the greater Bay Area consumer population. He directly supervises MHASF's SUPPORT and NURTURE programs, which offer one-on-one and group peer support for a variety of topics, including collecting behaviors (also known as hoarding and cluttering), mindfulness, and nutrition, and supports our Training Institute by facilitating trainings on holistic wellness and collecting behaviors.
Stephen has been with MHASF since 2015, when he joined the Warm Line as a peer counselor providing empathetic live phone and instant messaging support. Prior to MHASF, Stephen volunteered at Healing Waters Wilderness Adventures, where he introduced people to nature and white water rafting. Stephen was educated at New York University, where he earned a BFA in Television. He was born and raised in London and in 1991 realized his dream of moving to San Francisco where he currently lives.
[email protected] | (415) 421-2926 ext 316
Robyn McGrath, Peer Coach
Drawing from her own lived experience with Hoarding Disorder, Robyn strives to help others through empathy, understanding and a gentle hands-on approach. Growing up on the East Coast, Robyn graduated with a BS in Natural Resources from Cornell University. Living in San Francisco for 19 years, Robyn is a teacher, a mother raising two young girls, and a professional organizer who specializes in helping those with collecting behaviors. She is passionate about helping all members of the community who experience Hoarding Disorder and feels fortunate to be part of the staff at MHASF.
[email protected] | (415) 341-9528 ext 328
Meaghan O'Brien, Peer Programs Coordinator
Meaghan has been with MHASF since 2016, starting as a Warm Line Counselor, moving into a leadership role as a Warm Line Specialist, and now is the current Peer Programs Coordinator. Meaghan has a BA in Psychology from San Diego State University with a double minor in Child and Family Development and Counseling and Social Change. She is currently working on her Master's in Education with a concentration in Equity and Social Justice. Meaghan has worked under Dr. Stephen Hinshaw's research lab at UC Berkeley working on stigma elimination in high schools as well as other studies involving ADHD. She has also worked on other research in ADHD and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders under Dr. Sarah Mattson at San Diego State University.
Meaghan currently coordinates a multitude of programs under Peer Programs, such as ARISE, the Mentoring Program, MHSA Awards Ceremony, and PROPEL. Meaghan is passionate about mental health advocacy and is eager to continue educating others on how to be their own best advocate.
[email protected] | (415) 421-2926 ext 310
Gillian Howell, Peer Programs Coordinator
Gillian Howell is the Peer Programs Coordinator for SOLVE, TAY programs, and Do Send a Card at MHASF. She began her involvement with MHASF in 2012 as a SOLVE Peer Educator. From 2014 to 2017, Gillian worked as Research Assistant for the PCORI study on collecting behaviors, collaborating with UCSF. She has been Program Coordinator with SOLVE since 2016. Gillian has volunteer experience at 826 Valencia as a tutor, Access Institute for Psychological Services in administrative work, and currently volunteers her time for the Beat Within, teaching writing workshops in juvenile detention centers. She graduated with honors from San Francisco State University with a BA in English. Gillian is revising her first full-length novel – now in its fifth draft. She is passionate about her work in the mental health field, storytelling, and tying the two together to fight stigma surrounding mental health challenges.
[email protected] | (415) 421-2926 ext 309
Varian Pierce, Peer Coach
Varian is walking the path of the Wounded Healer in this lifetime, using his fifty-plus years of lived experience of mental health challenges to help others experiencing similar challenges. He felt the call to serve others as a member of the Peer Response Team in December of 2012. Since that time, he has shared his personal story of mental health discovery with many audiences, facilitated multiple classes and support groups, and worked with numerous Finder/Keepers on a one-on-one basis.
Varian is a Certified Massage Therapist, a Certified Integrity Counselor, and a Certified Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) Facilitator. He is committed to doing everything in his power to reduce the stigma around both mental health challenges and HIV/AIDS. Varian is a passionate activist for LGBTI rights and currently facilitates Clearing House, a clutter support group for LGBT seniors 55-plus.
Julian Plumadore, Community Engagement Manager
Jules joined MHASF in 2011 as an original member of the innovative Peer Response Team on Hoarding and Cluttering. Since then, he has served MHASF and the San Francisco mental health community in the roles of Community Advocate, SOLVE Program Manager, and his current position as Community Engagement Manager. He currently oversees and coordinates MHASF's Training Institute.
Jules has shared his lived experience of mental health challenges through media outlets like Al Jazeera America, the San Francisco Chronicle, and The Believer magazine. He has led the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) Awards process since 2013, and in 2015, he was honored by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors for his work with Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training for the San Francisco Police Department. He is the co-creator with colleague Terri Byrne of the acclaimed MHASF training Language Matters, which has been featured at recovery conferences throughout the US, including WRAP Around the World and Alternatives.
[email protected] | (415) 421-2926 ext 315
Shukri Shiraz, Bookkeeper
Shukri has been the bookkeeper of the Mental Health Association of San Francisco since 2011. Shukri has worked in accounting for many nonprofits including Huckleberry Youth Programs and People Organized to Win Employment Rights (POWER). He is currently pursuing his bachelor's in accounting, and lives in Richmond with his wife and 6 kids.
[email protected] | (415) 421-2926 ext 313
Marin County Staff
Maxwell Ali-Kinney, Triage Peer Provider
I have lived with co-occurring mental health conditions for all my life, recently in August in 2014 I got clean and sober and have used my tools through12- step and other coping agents skills to maintain sobriety mentally and emotionally. Also at the age of 31 medications ( antidepressants) were implanted in order to sustain my mental wellness, as with my conditions they can send me into crisis, back in 2010 I had attempted and learned the importance of self- care and routine. With lived experiences with traumas, co-occurring conditions, and substance abuse disorder I have lived 2 different quality's of life, one side being slippery, hard, and relentless. The other bountiful, abundant, and free. Through asking for help and taking healthy suggestions, and leg-work my recovery is integrated spiritually, mentally, and physically. Now I am an advocate, peer provider case manager, and certificated in WRAP Planning.
Erik Henriques, Supervising Peer Specialist
Erik Henriques originally began working at MHASF in October of 2014 as a Warm Line Counselor and was promoted to the role of Warm Line Specialist in April 2015. Erik began serving in his current position, as the Supervising Peer Specialist for the Marin Team, in May 2016.
Erik has extensive lived experience as consumer of mental health services. He was initially diagnosed with a serious mental illness at the age of 17. During his 20s, Erik was hospitalized numerous times in psychiatric facilities. These experiences have led to Erik being a passionate advocate for others living with mental health challenges.
In 1999, Erik graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Metropolitan State University of Denver with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. Erik has also completed a year-and-a-half of MSW studies at San Francisco State University.
Erik brings to the Marin Team many years of case management and supervisory experience in the social service field.