The mission of the Mental Health Association of San Francisco is to cultivate peer leadership, build community, and advance social justice in mental health.
For 70 years, MHASF has reflected the forward-thinking vision San Francisco is known for. We fought stigma and discrimination in mental health across diverse communities and changed policy, perception, and ultimately people. Looking ahead, as a peer-run organization, we know that systems change comes when those affected by the issues are centered in the solutions. Mental health care is changing rapidly, and a more integrated, holistic approach is the expectation for the future, peer workers are at the center of the next evolution of the mental health system, and MHASF is at the forefront.
Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. - 43.8 million, or 18.5% - experience mental health challenges in a given year. *
Peer Support Works
Improved engagement and satisfaction with services
Reduced Overall Cost of Services
Improved Whole Health Including Chronic Illnesses
Leaving more resources, support, and connection in the community. **
People Working with Peers Report: **
Improved quality of life
Better relationships with providers
Reduced substance use
Higher rates of employment
* Source: Nguyen, Teresa, et al, State of Mental Health 2018, Mental Health America, 2017. http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/issues/state-mental-health-america
2016 - 2017 Fiscal Year
Thank you to our supporters for making this important work possible.
26,067Hours of Peer Support Provided
(That's more than 70 hours a day, 365 days a year)
Would recommend our services to others
Individuals Received Education or Training
Served Through Individual Peer Support
Individuals Engaged in Community Building Events
Our programs are made possible by your generous contributions.
The Mental Health Bell
During the early days of mental health treatment, asylums would restrain people who had mental illnesses with iron chains and shackles around their ankles and wrists. With better understanding and treatments, this cruel practice eventually stopped.
In the early 1950s, Mental Health America issued a call to asylums across the country for their discarded chains and shackles. On April 13, 1953, at the McShane Bell Foundry in Baltimore, Md., Mental Health America melted down these inhumane bindings and recast them into a sign of hope: the Mental Health Bell.
Now the symbol of Mental Health America, the 300-pound Bell serves as a powerful reminder that the invisible chains of misunderstanding and discrimination continue to bind people with mental illnesses. Today, the Mental Health Bell rings out hope for improving mental health and achieving victory over mental illnesses.
Over the years, national mental health leaders and other prominent individuals have rung the Bell to mark the continued progress in the fight for victory over mental illnesses.