All staff members can be reached at (415) 421-2926, with the exception of the Marin Mobile Crisis Team.
Directors and Senior Staff
Eduardo Vega, M.A.
President and CEO
Eduardo Vega is President and CEO of Mental Health Association of San Francisco and Director of the Center for Dignity, Recovery and Empowerment. Over twenty five years, he has worked in five states as a leader in transformative mental health programs and practices including national, state and regional technical assistance, research and training projects and major policy initiatives in suicide prevention, stigma and discrimination reduction, consumer rights and empowerment, community integration, self-help and peer support for mental health consumers. In his role as president, he is responsible for cultivating the strategic direction and long-term organizational sustainability of MHASF. He serves on the Steering committee of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the Global Anti-Stigma Alliance and the Executive Committee of the US nation Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, through which he founded the first national suicide attempt survivor task force. A person with lived experience of suicide and consumer advocate he helped found the national Destination Dignity! Project, the California Association of Mental Health Peer Run Organizations and other transformative initiatives. Eduardo is former Fulbright Specialist and California State Commissioner for Mental Health. For his work in culturally focused programs, stigma reduction, empowerment and systems change he’s been recognized by the United States Senate, the US Surgeon general and others. He holds an M.A. in Psychology from New School for Social Research
Rachel Del Rossi
Rachel has been a dedicated social service provider for the last 15 years. She has extensive experience working with individuals in crisis, including foster care youth, gang affiliated youth, homeless parents and children, domestic violence survivors, and trauma victims. Before joining the MHASF team, she was the founding director of the Compass Family Resource Center for 9 years, providing direct support to homeless families. She has developed Human Service Agency approved curricula and is a seasoned trainer and group facilitator. Rachel is passionate about education’s ability to empower individuals and change lives.
Luba Botcheva, Ph.D.
Director of Research and Strategic Projects
Luba has more than 15 years of applied research, evaluation and counseling experience in the areas of public/behavioral health and social services. She has worked in the field of mental health intervention and prevention, first as a mental health counselor for culturally diverse populations, and then as a researcher and evaluator of variety of behavioral and mental health programs in community-based organizations, schools, and clinics. Prior to joining MHASF Luba was a Senior Research Associate at Sociometrics Corporation, Los Altos where she led the design and implementation of large NIH funded research to practice initiatives for disseminating evidence based practices among behavioral health professionals.
She was a Program Director at the Children’s Health Council, Palo Alto, a research associate at the Stanford Center of Adolescence, and a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford where she conducted research on youth development in changing social context. Dr. Botcheva holds a Ph.D. degree in developmental psychology from Moscow State University and post-doctoral fellowship from Stanford University Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.
Stephen K. Marks, Ph.D.
Dean of Recovery and Wellness Education
Stephen Keany Marks has been in behavioral health service fields since 1993. Along with a doctorate in Organizational Psychology, he is certified as an Advanced Level WRAP Facilitator (AWLF), and an Anderson and Anderson Certified Anger Management Facilitator (CAMF). Dr. Marks is a substance use peer support specialist; former Regional Partner in the Client Stakeholder Project of the California Association of Mental Health Peer Run Organizations (CAMHPRO) and an active supporter in the California Peer Specialist Certification effort. His professional experience includes organizational development; T-Group Learning; adult learning; development and maintenance of behavioral health public sector websites; training curriculum development; behavioral health program evaluation; and suicide prevention. He has conducted training presentations and consultation for certified peer specialists, psychiatrists, social workers, county and state behavioral health workers, college students, and executives of community-based organizations on a wide variety of topics in specialized areas. He has given conference presentations in several states and Washington D.C. Since joining MHASF in 2012, he has been the prime educator in the MHASF Training Institute and been instrumental in the implementation of several community and statewide endeavors including the trainings and webinar presentations of the Center for Dignity, Recovery and Empowerment, the HOPE project of peer-led support for suicide prevention and the Been There peer support group. A person with lived experience, he is an ardent advocate for mental health recovery and dignity.
Director of Operations and Planning
Mark Salazar is Director of Operations and Planning at the Mental Health Association of San Francisco. He also leads the Institute on Compulsive Hoarding and Cluttering at MHASF and is the current Co-Chair of the San Francisco Task Force on Hoarding and Cluttering. He has been providing education and training on mental health advocacy and community support and services for the last 10 years. He has presented on hoarding and cluttering and MHASF’s innovative ICHC program all over the United States. Mark also consults with various organizations and government agencies from all over the world on establishing service and support programs for individuals with hoarding behaviors.
Prior to MHASF, Mark was the Operations Manager at Mental Health America of Hawaii where he served on Hawaii’s Statewide Children’s Mental Health Day Committee and the Mental Health Court Advisory Board. Mark received a Bachelor of Social Sciences in Psychology from the University of Hawaii – West Oahu and is a member of Psi Chi National Honor Society in Psychology.
Warm Line Program Manager
Dilhara graduated from University of California Davis with Bachelors of Science in Human Development and Bachelors of Arts in Sociology with specialization in Organizational Studies. After graduating she began her career at Mental Health America of Northern California in Sacramento and worked as a Warm Line Assistant Program Coordinator and as a Warm Line Program Coordinator.
As the Warm Line Program Manager at MHASF Dilhara oversees the program and its continued implementation efforts. She is also working on her Masters Degree in Education from Saint Mary’s College.
In her free time Dilhara loves hiking and discovering new cuisines.
Mental Health Recovery Programs 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 the Project Manager for PROPEL, which is the the Bay Area Peer Professional Network. 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.
Institute on Compulsive Hoarding and Cluttering Program Manager
Peer Response Team Program Manager
John Franklin is a career adult educator for progressive groups and causes. He is co-founder and former Executive Director of Educational Development Group, Inc. (EDG, Inc.), an educational non-profit in Boston. He moved to SF in 2007 and is currently Project Coordinator of the Peer Hoarding and Cluttering Response Team. John holds an M.A. in Drama from University of Toronto.
Warm Line Assistant Program Manager
With 20 years of lived experience of mental health challenges, Will Kamin is dedicated to the advancement of peer-based recovery resources, with a focus on increasing the accessibility of pre-crisis support. Will began their employment with MHASF in August 2014 as Peer Specialist at the Mental Health Peer-Run Warm Line, where they have collaborated on training curriculum development, referral database creation, and community outreach, as well as providing peer support as a phone counselor.
As Warm Line Assistant Manager, Will now oversees the day-to-day operations of the Warm Line and is especially invested in staff development and promoting a wellness-focused workplace culture. They believe strongly in using their personal experience with early trauma and dissociation to open dialogue with peers about overcoming silencing and isolation. Will has a B.A. in Philosophy and a certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies from SUNY-Stony Brook, and has been known to use video games as a personal wellness tool.
Nicollette identifies herself as a peer, a consumer of mental health services, a survivor of sexual assault, an advocate for mental health and social justice. Nicollette has a BA in Psychology and double minor in Counseling and Asian American Studies from San Francisco State University. Nicollette has been involved with MHASF for past three years, first as a SOLVE speaker, then as the SOLVE Peer Facilitator and now the Community Advocate. The Community Advocate is responsible for community organizing and advocacy involving individuals with mental health conditions within MHASF programs, the San Francisco County mental health system, and other community based programs. Nicollette is also a rape crisis counselor at San Francisco Women Against Rape and currently in the MFT Counseling Psychology MA Program at the University of San Francisco. The community work she has done in her early adult life has motivated her to work in field of mental health and mental health advocacy. She strives to continue to serve her community as the Community Advocate here at MHASF, as a Peer Educator, as a Peer Counselor and is motivated to pursue a career as a clinician.
Monica holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from San Francisco State University. Upon graduation she was the research assistant for Yo Puedo, an NIH funded pilot intervention study with Mission District youth 16-21. At MHASF, she coordinated the 3-year program, Promising Practices, that focused on identifying and evaluating the effectiveness of cultural and community defined practices in mental health prevention and early intervention. Monica has experience in applied research and evaluation in cultural and community based practices. Currently, she provides community based participatory research and culturally responsive technical assistance to cultural wellness programs serving African American, Cambodian, Hmong, Laotian, Latino, Native American and Vietnamese communities throughout California. Her interests in research are focused on reducing health disparities among disadvantaged populations, particularly youth, women, and racial and ethnic minorities.
Information and Referrals Specialist
Katie Mills joined the MHASF team in 2015 shortly after completing her graduate degree. After spending some time at the Warm Line, she is thrilled to contribute to MHASF’s mission as the Information and Referrals Specialist. She is deeply committed to engaging in social justice advocacy, particularly in the areas of mental health and LGBTQ advocacy. With a background in social science research and program evaluation, community development, and web development and information technology, Katie brings a variety of skills and experiences to MHASF. She holds an M.A. in Sociology as well as bachelor’s degrees in Sociology and Physical Sciences from Humboldt State University.
Community Engagement Manager
As Community Engagement Manager, Julian Plumadore draws on his 30+ years of lived experience as a mental health peer to create opportunities for community dialogue and peer professional development. Jules provides peer facilitation supervision for the Help For Hoarding study with UCSF; leads the organization of the annual Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) Awards Ceremony; oversees the Sharing Our Lives, Voices, and Experiences (SOLVE) Speakers Bureau; and is the co-creator of Language Matters, a training on changing the way we think about mental health challenges by changing the way we talk about them. He has been a featured presenter at mental health recovery conferences throughout the US (including Alternatives, WRAP Around the World, and the International Conference on Hoarding and Cluttering) and has been recognized by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors for his contributions to Crisis Interventions Team (CIT) Training with the San Francisco Police Department. Jules is passionate about creating accessible connections between peers, communities, and ideas.
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 Daly City with his wife and 2 kids.
PROPEL San Francisco Project Coordinator
Julie Mae Thies is a trauma survivor with over 30 years of lived experience in mental health. For years she was criminalized for her struggles, eventually ending up homeless in San Francisco in 2008, desperate for services that could meet her needs. After an encounter with a member of the San Francisco Homeless Outreach Team steered her toward behavior therapy, her road to recovery began. She started volunteering as a tenant’s rights advocate in 2013 and graduated from the Community Mental Health certificate program in 2014. Around that same time she became involved with MHASF as a Sound Out for Life speaker publicly sharing her experience with, and recovery from, several suicide attempts. She has spoken about this several times, including SFPD Crisis Intervention Trainings. Near the end of 2014 Julie began working as a peer counselor on MHASF’s Peer-run Warmline and one year later she was offered the position of Project Coordinator for PROPELSF. She spends her free time as a digital artist.
Peer Response Team
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 earned counseling certificates on substance abuse and disability perspectives, plus she is certified as a Wellness Recovery Action Plan 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. Gutierrez
Ana B. Gutierrez 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.
Sharon Scott Kish
Sharon has been a member of the Peer Response Team since 2012. A graduate of the University of Colorado, she has lived in San Francisco since 1965. Her priorities include family care, elder care, and adult literacy. Her goals are to destigmatize hoarding and cluttering and put a face on it – hers. At present, she provides finds great fulfillment in giving public lectures and also leads a follow-up support group “Unburied in Treasures.”
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.
Marin Peer Responders
Peer Mobile Crisis Worker
Triage Family Worker
Triage Worker – Peer Provider
Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute Team
PCORI Peer Facilitator
With a background in technology, education and psychology, David brings a wide range of skills to MHASF. Having lived in San Francisco since 1984, he has experienced many changes in the city not the least of which the increased costs that so seriously impacts many of our clients. Since coming to work at MHASF, he has continually led groups teaching CBT techniques to individuals dealing with hoarding behaviors as part of the joint study with UCSF. In addition, he has spoken at multiple conferences, developed and delivered training courses, and done multiple presentations to community groups on the topic of hoarding disorder. David holds a MS in Education from Southeast Missouri State University and has done other post-graduate work in psychology.
PCORI Research Assistant
Gillian is a certified mental health peer specialist. She has volunteered at several mental health agencies in the Bay Area, including administrative support for Access Institute for Psychological Services and facilitating young adult groups for the Depression Bipolar Support Alliance. She began her involvement with MHASF in 2012 as a SOLVE peer educator. Gillian has a Bachelor of Arts in English from San Francisco State University.
PCORI Peer Facilitator
Sandra worked as a Payroll Professional for 23 years in the financial industry. She moved to San Francisco from New York City in 1982 and worked as Payroll Supervisor for Dean Witter Reynolds and then Payroll Supervisor for the Pacific Stock Exchange. After undergoing rigorous treatment for breast cancer, which included fighting for a procedure and advocating for insurance reform on KRON and Bay TV, she worked as Publicity Chair for the annual Integrative Medicine Conference for two years.
As an attendee of MHA’s Drop-in Support Group for Clutter since 2007, Sandra wanted to help fight the stigma associated with hoarding. She was hired as one of the original Peer Responders for the Peer Response Team. She has shared her story over the years, including as the Keynote Speaker with the other Peer Responders at one of MHA’s annual conference for Hoarding and Cluttering. She also facilitated a Buried in Treasures (BiT) group and started facilitation of the Unburied from Treasures support group for graduates of BiT and the therapist-led Treatment groups. She joined the PCORI Study for Hoarding Disorder in 2014 as a trained Peer Facilitator for the BiT workshops.