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Mental Health Association of San Francisco

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Mental Health, Mental Health Associations

Mission: The mission of MHASF is to cultivate peer leadership, build community, and advance social justice in mental health.

Target demographics: San Franciscans, with a focus on low-income individuals who face the highest barriers in accessing mental health care

Direct beneficiaries per year: MHA-SF directly serves 1,500 San Franciscans every year and thousands indirectly.

Geographic areas served: San Francisco Bay Area

Programs: The programs that the Mental Health Association of San Francisco provide include: referral and education services to consumers, family members, people who work with consumers, and public policy makers; consumer support groups and trainings; public depression screenings; the creation of leadership and employment opportunities for mental health consumers;and advocacy for the needs of mental health adults and children on policy issues such as housing. MHASF also holds conferences and produces educational materials to provide information about mental health to consumers and their families as well as policy makers and the larger community. Current programs include: 1) Community Education; 2) Consumer Leadership Training; 3) Homeless and Eviction Prevention; and 4) Employment Support and Job Creation.

Community Stories

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I completed a three month internship with the Mental Health Association of San Francisco and I am incredibly pleased with my internship experience. My internship provided me the opportunity to learn a wealth of information in regards to the mental health system. I had the chance to bridge my psychology background to a working environment to enact change. One of the things I enjoyed the most about my internship experience was that I felt I made a contribution to the organization. As the event planning intern, most of my responsibilities centered on the 2008 Hoarding and Cluttering Conference. The responsibilities I was given were not vacuous assignments as I had the chance to make an impact from the beginning. The aspect of my internship that really helped shape my experience was the great staff. They were incredibly receptive to any questions and concerns I raised and gave me the opportunity to voice my opinion. I couldn’t have asked for more welcoming and passionate co-workers and fellow interns. The smaller working environment provided a great opportunity to learn from one another, collaborate and share in our experiences. I was extremely impressed with the organization as it works with consumers as well as mental health agencies. To be part of a dedicated organization striving to improve the lives of the residents of San Francisco through its advocacy and policy work in addition to the educational programs has been wonderful.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience this summer as the Mental Health Association of San Francisco’s Fundraising and Communications intern was nothing short of an excellent experience. I was treated with a lot of respect, and not for a moment did I feel inferior among my peers. My duties were chosen according to my skills, but were challenging enough for me to demonstrate growth and progress. I worked on tasks for the annual Hoarding and Cluttering Conference, devised new ways to further generate funds for the organization, as well as partook in weekly meetings and smaller projects. I worked closely with members of the staff, who from the start, made me feel comfortable in a fast-paced environment where work does not cease to exist. The staff is very dedicated in their endeavors to change the way that mental illness is portrayed and dealt with in a society where it is often overlooked. Though MHA-SF acts as a middleman between consumers and service agencies, they are more than a tool for resources; they are advocates and friends for people who seek help. I am thankful to have been a contributor to an organization so devoted to creating a well-informed, mentally healthy San Francisco.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was a summer intern at the Mental Health Association of San Francisco, and I loved the whole experience. I was the Education Intern so a lot of the work I did involved MHA-SF's Institute on Compulsive Hoarding and Cluttering. I went to many hoarding trainings around San Francisco and learned how devastating the effects of compulsive hoarding and cluttering can be on people and their families. One of my favorite things about my internship was the wide range of tasks and jobs I was given. For example, one day I would be sitting at my desk working on some kind of excel spreadsheet project and the next day I would be handing out mental health information at a Tenderloin health fair. I really support MHA-SF's work to help mental health consumers become advocates for themselves and for others with mental illness, because I think giving people the tools they need to help themselves is the best thing an organization like MHA-SF can do. Everyone I worked with at MHA-SF was great and I learned something from every member of the staff. Everyone was treated fairly and with respect, so it was a really nice environment to work in. Working at MHA-SF has inspired me to pursue a career in social work in the future.

10 lucyjonas

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I did a 3 month public policy internship at the Mental Health Association of San Francisco and had a truly wonderful experience there. MHA-SF staff are extremely caring, compassionate individuals who dedicate themselves to creating positive changes in the mental health system. What especially impressed me about the MHA-SF was their commitment to including mental health consumers in their processes for producing change. Rather than functioning as a top-down agency that decides what is best for consumers without actually taking consumers' input into consideration, the MHA-SF serves as an integrated organization that works with consumers and other mental health service agencies to push for social change; in other words, the MHA-SF, through its educational programs and public policy and advocacy work, plays a pivotal role in the social movement for improving mental health.