Did you know that in general, Latinos are less likely to report mental illness?
Too few Latinos seek help for mental illness. Latina magazine released an article in October 2015 that shared among Latinos with a mental disorder, “fewer than one in 11 contact a mental health specialist, and fewer than one in five contact a general health care provider, according to the American Psychiatric Association’s Office of Minority and National Affairs“.
Mental health has remained taboo for too long in our community. We need to talk about mental health and we need to start making a difference where we can.
How Can You Make A Difference?
The San Francisco Mental Health Board is currently in the search to fill three open positions: 2 family member seats and 1 public interest seat. All seats are appointed by the Board of Supervisors. The City serves a significant number of people from the Latino Community but they currently have no Latino representation on their board or any member who speaks Spanish. This is a great opportunity for people interested in shaping policy and programs to serve the community mental health and substance abuse needs.
You don’t have to have lots of policy experience to be a valuable member. What matters is that you care deeply about making sure that the best possible services get to everyone who needs them. New members get lots of support from veteran members and current staff in addition to meeting a lot of great people.
Mental Health Board Mission:
The Mental Health Board of San Francisco represents and ensures the inclusion of the diverse voices of consumers, citizens, and stakeholders in advising how mental health services and substance abuse services are administered and provided.
Through its State and City mandates, the Mental Health Board advises, reviews, advocates and educates; with the aim of having that advice integrated, incorporated, and reflected in implementation of mental health policy; with the ultimate goal of ensuring quality mental health services.
You Can Help Improve the Mental Health System!
The Mental Health Board of San Francisco is seeking applicants for Family Member and Public Interest seats on the Board. For a Family Member Seat, you must have a close family member with a serious mental illness. For a Public Interest Seat, you must have experience and knowledge of the mental health system representing the public interest. For all seats, you must be a resident of San Francisco, a citizen of the United States, over 18 years old, and you cannot work for Behavioral Health Services or one of its contractors.
Appointments will be made by the Board of Supervisors in San Francisco. As a Board member you would:
1. Attend the Board meeting on the third Wednesday evening of each month, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at City Hall, One Carlton Goodlett Place, 2nd Floor, Room 278. Serve on a committee of the Board and attend committee meetings one time a month.
2. Participate in at least one program review each year.
3. Attend the Annual Retreat.
If you are interested in applying to the Board, please call Helynna Brooke or Loy Proffitt at the Mental Health Board office at 415/255-3474. They welcome your questions, and will send an application packet to you.
www.mhbsf.org or www.sfgov.org/mental_health