All staff members can be reached at (415) 421-2926. Their extensions are listed below.
DIRECTORS & SENIOR STAFF
Eduardo Vega, M.A.
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.
Training and Evaluation Director
Stephen Marks Ph.D has been working in health-service-related fields since 1993. Among other things he is an Advanced Level WRAP Facilitator, an Anderson and Anderson Certified Anger Management Facilitator (CAMF) and a substance abuse peer support specialist. His professional experience includes organizational development (OD); T-Group Learning; program evaluation; adult learning; training curriculum development; grass roots community organizing; songwriting and musical arrangement; and domestic and community violence reduction and prevention. He has been enjoying his own recovery and wellness for many years. He is currently at work on a novel based on his lived experience as an adolescent living in state hospitals.
Director for Operations and Planning
Mark Salazar is Director for 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.
Project Manager, Bay Area Peer Professional Network
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.
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.
Special Projects Manager
Erin comes to MHASF with national and local-level policy and programming experience from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, SAMHSA, the Mental Health Association of New York City, and the City of New York’s Department of Small Business Services. She has also worked in direct clinical services, HIV/AIDS policy advocacy, and education policy. Erin is strongly dedicated to advancing mental health policy and working toward achieving health equity and promotion, as well as social and economic justice.
Erin holds a B.A. in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University of New York with a concentration in Policy Practice in the field of Health, Mental Health, and Disabilities.
Warm Line Program Manager
Melodee oversees the development and service deliveries of the San Francisco Mental Health Peer-Run Warm Line. The Warm Line is staffed entirely by people with lived experience of mental health challenges and provides peer support within a wellness, recovery, and social justice framework. Melodee’s previous experience includes managing the administrative and training aspects of the crisis line program at San Francisco Suicide Prevention. Melodee received her BA in Interdisciplinary Studies at the California Institute of Integral Studies, where she is currently a candidate for an MA in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Community Mental Health.
Warm Line Assistant 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 an advocate for 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 Senior 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, supportive housing sites, and other community based programs. Nicollette is also a rape crisis counselor at San Francisco Women Against Rape and the Co-creator/Co-Director of the mental health campaign- Project Awareness SF. 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 has her 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. 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.
Katie serves on the board of directors for Community Crossroads of Mendocino County, a nonprofit organization in Mendocino County serving homeless populations. She is currently developing an online directory of LGBTQ activist organizations, due to be launched in 2015. Katie holds an M.A. in Sociology as well as bachelor’s degrees in Sociology and Physical Sciences from Humboldt State University.
SOLVE Program Manager
Julian Plumadore manages the SOLVE Speakers Bureau for MHASF. In his previous position as Community Advocate, he drew on his years of lived experience as a mental health consumer to take an active role in discussions affecting San Francisco’s mental health community, including hearings on AB 1421 (Laura’s Law) and the SFPD’s Taser Proposal. In addition to offering peer support and facilitating recovery-oriented support groups, Julian has worked extensively with the Institute on Compulsive Hoarding and Cluttering (ICHC) and is the co-creator of Language Matters, a training on how using recovery-oriented language can change the way we think about mental health challenges. Julian has 4 years of academic training in Humanities from the University of Oregon, and 30 years of lived experience as a mental health consumer.
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.
PEER RESPONSE TEAM
Sharon Scott Kish
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. David has lived in San Francisco since 1984, and has experienced the challenges and changes in the city and the LGBT community over time. His introduction to the mental health community in San Francisco began with an internship at the former Tenderloin Mental Health Clinic as a PhD student in clinical psychology. His training and work in HIV education with the Federal government has prepared him to work with a diverse client base, as he advances the treatment of hoarding and cluttering and removes the stigma associated with finding and keeping. David holds a MS in Education from Southeast Missouri State University.
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.