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 San Francisco 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, MHA
Mark Salazar is the Executive Director of MHASF. 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.
Mark was also the Director of Operations from July 2015 to June 2017 where he oversaw MHASF's Peer Support & Recovery and Peer Workforce Development departments that included The California Peer-Run Warm Line, Clinically Integrated Peer Services, and Peer Support. Prior becoming a Director Mark served as Senior Project Manager and Program Manager throughout MHASF including its internationally recognized and award winning 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 serves as the Chair of the San Francisco Task Force on Hoarding.
Mark earned his Masters of Health Administration from the University of Southern California and Bachelor in Social Sciences from the University of Hawaii, West Oahu.
firstname.lastname@example.org | (415) 421-2926 ext 317
San Francisco Staff
Managers and Coordinators
Terri Byrne, Training 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. Terri is currently our Training Manager, providing peer-informed trainings to organizations, teams, and individuals in recovery, empowerment, self-care, and other mental health topics.
email@example.com | (415) 421-2926 ext 306
Meaghan O'Brien, Director of Peer Programs
Meaghan has been with MHASF since 2016, starting as a Warm Line Counselor, moving into a leadership role as a Warm Line Specialist, and is now the current Director of Peer Programs. 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 manages a multitude of 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.
firstname.lastname@example.org | (415) 421-2926 ext 310
Sarah Jean Flynn, Director of the California Peer Run Warm Line
As the Director of the California Peer Run Warm Line, Sarah Jean oversees the delivery of service and the expansion and vision of MHASF’s peer-to-peer telephonic services. She is passionate about supporting peers in their professional growth and takes great pride in the excellence of the California Peer Run Warm Line’s unique and vital service to the community. She enjoys being a leader on a team of over 40 peers and strives to embody the values of Mental Health Recovery in her work and life every day.
Sarah Jean has provided support and leadership in community health programs for over 15 years. She has extensive experience working within harm reduction and trauma-informed frameworks, offering support that centers underserved and marginalized communities. Before stepping into her role as Director of the California Peer Run Warm Line at MHASF, Sarah Jean worked as Manager of the California Peer Run Warm Line. She is deeply committed to peer support and believes it is an essential tool for wellness.
email@example.com | (415) 421-2926 ext 327
Sherrel Cross, Manager of the California Warm Line
Sherrel began her time with the Mental Health Association of San Francisco in 2016. She started off as a Counselor on the Warm Line, before progressing into the Program Coordinator and Program Assistant Manager roles. As the California Peer-Run Warm Line Program Manager, Sherrel oversees program hiring and training processes, as well as offers direct support to the Warm Line Leadership team. Sherrel is excited to be an active part of the program’s expansion. She looks forward to enhancing her own professional growth, as well as the growth of her peers.
Juan Acosta, Assistant Manager of the California Warm Line
Juan Acosta is a Mental Health and LGBTQ+ advocate and national speaker. Born in Jalisco, MX, Juan has dedicated his life to the community and advocacy. He began doing community service at age 13 and raked up more than 200+ community service hours by age 15, receiving recognition from non-profits and government agencies. Since then, Juan has collaborated with numerous organizations including Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation on their Channel Kindness Platform, California's Mental Health Services Oversight & Accountability Commission, and Mental Health America. In addition, Juan drafted a historic LGBTQ+ proclamation for the city of Woodland CA, served as Assistant Director of the Queer Alliance Club at San Francisco State, where he graduated with a Bachelor's in Psychology. Juan is currently an Assistant Manager for the California Warm Line and Program Intern for Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation. He is also one of the upcoming authors in Born This Way Foundation & Lady Gaga's new book, "Channel Kindness."
Isabelle Fenn, Assistant Manager of the California Warm Line
Isabelle Fenn has a background in psychology and peer support. She joined MHASF after moving to the Bay Area from New York. Previously she's worked in eating disorder treatment, as well as community organizing. She studied Counseling and Psychology at UC Berkeley, and is passionate about the value of peer support. She began working at MHASF as a Warm Line Coordinator. Isabelle is excited to help oversee the California Peer Run Warm Line on the management team, as well as help enable the phenomenal team of counselors do the best work they can!
Kat Chen, Program Coordinator
Kat is a Peer Coordinator for our Peer Support Programs. Kat also works as coach on our Peer Wellness Team, 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.
firstname.lastname@example.org | (415) 341-9514 ext. 314
Katarina Vidal Cueva, Website & Social Media Coordinator
Katarina's biggest passion is mental health awareness. Her personal mental health recovery journey fostered her interest in advocacy. Katarina believes mental health has shaped her as an individual and a professional. It is this passion that drove her to pursue a career with some sort of connection to the field of mental health. In Fall 2019, Katarina graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Southern California with an M.S. in Digital & Social Media and a B.A. in Psychology. While a student at USC, she volunteered with a few non-profit organizations: Project Heal, the Thrive in Joy Foundation, and the USC Caruso Catholic Center, as a social justice and homeless ministry co-leader. Katarina also began her own peer mental health support group for USC students.
Katarina joined MHASF in March 2019 as the Website & Social Media Coordinator. Through this role, she uses creative strategies, communication skills, and her personal mental health recovery experience to support and connect with the MHASF community from a digital perspective.
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.
Ana B. Gutiérrez, Peer Coach
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.
email@example.com | (415) 341-9528 ext. 328
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.
Finance & Office Management
Shukri Shiraz, Fiscal Analyst
Shukri has been the Bookkeeper of the Mental Health Association of San Francisco since 2011, until taking on the Fiscal Analyst role mid-2018. 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.
firstname.lastname@example.org | (415) 421-2926 ext 313
Marin County Staff
Erik Henriques, Director of Peer Services
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 Peer Provider Manager 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.