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, Executive Director
Mark Salazar became the Executive Director in 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 Support & Recovery and Peer Workforce Development departments that included PROPEL, The Peer-Run Warm Line, and Clinically Integrated Peer Services. 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 serves as the Chair of the San Francisco Task Force on Hoarding.
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
Terri Byrne, Peer Support 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 the Peer Support Manager, working with a team of dedicated people with lived experience.
[email protected] | (415) 421-2926 ext 306
Meaghan O'Brien, Peer Workforce Programs Manager
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 Manager. 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.
[email protected] | (415) 421-2926 ext 310
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
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.
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
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 protected] | (415) 341-9528 ext. 328
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
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.
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.
[email protected] | (415) 421-2926 ext 321
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.
[email protected] | (415) 421-2926 ext 313
Marin County Staff
Erik Henriques, Peer Provider Manager
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.
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 through 12- 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.
Irish Krings, Peer Provider
Irish has been at MHASF since November 2018. She has worked in a non-profit agency in Santa Rosa for two years as a counselor where she had served family and children, individuals who are experiencing homelessness or at-risk of homelessness and had also served people with disabilities. She most recently worked as a rehabilitation counselor at a secured behavioral health hospital in Sonoma County. Irish also served as a Warm Line Volunteer with NAMI in Santa Rosa months after the October fire in Northern California. Irish graduated with honors from Sonoma State University with a B.A. in Psychology, and she also graduated with honors from Santa Rosa Junior College with A.A. in Human Services Advocacy and with an A.A. in Social and Behavioral Sciences.
Irish is a cancer survivor and also a suicide witness-survivor of her soulmate’s suicide in January 2017, two semesters before she graduated from Sonoma State.
Irish is an avid practitioner of Tai-Chi, a moving meditation which has helped her cope with her traumas and PTSD. She also highly prioritizes time for family and for self-reflection. Irish is a single-parent of two young adult children. Irish never thought of a career path in mental health, but her passion has always been in the helping profession. Reaching out to others and helping them recognize their strength has always been her passion.