January 2020 News & Updates
Stay connected!
Visit our website & sign up for ARISE events and meetings!
Hope to see you soon!
Join us on our Facebook Page! This is a space for members to share advocacy information around mental health in San Francisco, pose questions to each other, and collaborate.

ARISE will be starting up again in January 2020. We will meet on Wednesday, January 15th and Saturday, January 18th. New member orientation is from 1 PM to 2 PM; meeting for everyone from 2 PM to 3:30 PM.

Thank you for your support and interest in advocacy and ARISE!
Mayor and Board Of Supervisors Approve Unfunded Compromise Mental Health SF
Photo Credit: Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner

After months of disagreement between Mayor London Breed and Supervisors Matt Haney and Hillary Ronen over Mental Health SF legislation including the potential for dueling ballot initiatives, the Board Of Supervisors unanimously passed a compromise plan in early December, 2019.

Mental Health SF will include a 24/7 mental health service and a 24/7 crisis response team. However, the Board of Supervisors did not allocate any funding for this new program, which may require voter approval of new bonds or taxes, no earlier than the November 2020 election.

You can read more about the latest details from the SF Examiner.
PROPEL Winter Peer Convening
held on December 18, 2019.

We had a great turnout for this winter celebration and enjoyed the festive atmosphere, camaraderie, and learning about the benefits and opportunities of clinical consultations presented by Kristen Dempsey, EdD, and MHASF's own Kat Chen. Wellness Stations, yoga and nutritious food were other highlights.

Thank you to everyone who expressed interest in ARISE. Please join us in January 2020 for our next meetings.
SF Examiner Publishes Op-Ed Publicly Introducing Mad Mob SF

We are reposting the column here with an updated meeting date:

The debate over mental health policy needs to include those who use city services

By Eddie Stiel, Fancher Larson and Peter J. Sampson

San Francisco’s long running community mental health crisis has become more visible as catastrophically high rents and evictions have forced many lower income people into homelessness, exacerbating their mental health issues.

As mental health “consumers,” we know that we are almost entirely absent from efforts to address this community mental health crisis. In response, a group of us has organized to speak out and advocate for ourselves. We are Mad Mob SF.

The City’s response to this crisis has been largely to criminalize homeless people with mental health challenges. Rather than implement and fund voter approved treatment on demand, the Board of Supervisors chose to expand conservatorships authorized by Senate Bill 1045 and Senate Bill 40, which will lead to long-term forced institutionalizations of conservatees. The Board of Supervisors’ Budget and Legislative Analyst report on conservatorships documents that 23% of conservatorships last five to 10 years and 37% last more than 10 years.

City Hall is deeply dysfunctional in dealing with our community mental health crisis. Some examples of this dysfunction are the recent (thankfully reversed) effort to convert long-term psychiatric beds into short-term navigation center beds at the Adult Residential Facility of the Behavioral Health Center and the attempt to expand community mental health access through legislation that creates a Mental Health San Francisco program after an unfortunate City Hall battle between dueling potential ballot initiatives.

The struggle between Mayor London Breed and Supervisors Matt Haney and Hillary Ronen to arrive at mutually agreeable Mental Health San Francisco legislation drained resources from underfunded, stretched advocacy groups with little involvement from mental health “consumers.” Although this compromise Mental Health San Francisco proposes a lower threshold 24/7/365 mental health clinic rather than the present reliance on law enforcement and emergency rooms, it remains unfunded.

The voices, involvement and ideas from mental health “consumers” are almost completely missing from these policy decisions, discussions and initiatives. Once again, that is why we formed Mad Mob SF.
In just a few meetings, Mad Mob SF has identified major shortcomings in the community mental health system, including a major deficit of psychiatric beds in San Francisco and a lack of equitable access to new treatments and to consistent therapy. We understand that early voluntary services, like trauma-based, peer-driven recovery services, can prevent mental illness from getting worse. And, of course, underlying mental health challenges is the lack of truly affordable housing.

We invite peers and mental health “consumers” to join Mad Mob SF to demand and get sufficient mental health care and services. Our next meeting is January 10, 2020 at Senior and Disability Action, 1360 Mission Street #400, San Francisco, CA 94103 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Please contact Raia Small of Senior and Disability Action for more information, raia@sdaction.org, or 415-546-1333 x308.

Eddie Stiel is a founding member of Mad Mob SF. A Mission District resident of 28 years, Stiel has struggled with anxiety and depression for many years, including two hospitalizations in 1991 and in May 2019. Fancher Larson is a former patient and client and now a patients’ rights advocate. Peter J. Sampson is a longtime depression survivor and a San Francisco resident since 1995.
Voluntary Services First Coalition

The Voluntary Services First Coalition formed to oppose San Francisco's effort to expand the criteria for losing one’s civil liberties through conservatorships.

Please attend the next meeting of the Voluntary Services First Coalition:

Friday, January 31, 2019, 2 PM to 3:30 PM
Senior and Disability Action
1360 Mission Street, Suite 400 (between 9th and 10th Streets)
ARISE Members In The Community
Photo Credit: CW Johnson

MHASF Board Vice-President, and ARISE Member, David Elliott Lewis, addresses the crowd at the Boeddeker Park Tree Lighting Ceremony on December 17, 2019.
January Free Events
January is a great month to enjoy free events in San Francisco. Here are some suggestions:

January 18th, 11:00 AM 3:00 PM, SF City Hall Plaza: Women's March San Francisco 2020 Rally and March
January 13th to 20th, Martin Luther King Celebrations

January 20th, 11:00 AM, Caltrain Station, 4th & King, MLK2020 March
Work or Volunteer with MHASF!
Mental Health Association of San Francisco has multiple job, volunteering, and internship opportunities available. Please check our website, linked below, if you are interested!
The Warm Line
Warm Line Hours Are 24 Hours Per Day
Everyday of the Week!

Visit our website for more job openings and to apply:
Research Study Opportunity!!!
Peer Inspiration
Mimi Mier-Rosales
Mimi Mier-Rosales is this month's Peer Inspiration!

Mimi became a staff member at MHASF in December, 2019. She is a Peer Program Associate, working with various MHASF programs including PROPEL and ARISE.

Mimi's journey to employment in the Mental Health field started with an inpatient stay at Edgewood Center for Children and Families, continued with the RAMS Youth 2 Youth Peer Certificate Training Program during her senior year at Independence High School and an
internship with MHASF from June to December, 2019.

Mimi is using her experience as a peer and in her recovery to bring joy and expertise to peer programs, especially those that serve transitional age youth.

Congratulations, Mimi, on your personal and professional development and thank you for all your great work!
Mental Health Association of San Francisco | 415-421-2926| 415-421-2928| info@mentalhealthsf.org| Website