Ida started at Sunrays of Hope, Inc. as a transporter, which lead to Operations Manager, Executive Director and now CFO of the organization. Which she has been able to create seven hourly paid position for peers within the center. As well as provide many learning opportunities and trainings to help empower peer/community members with in Modoc County. She is still very much a part in the operations of Sunrays of Hope, Inc. and supervises peer supporters. She sits on the Modoc County Behavioral Health Quality Improvement Committee, Safety Committee, Prevention Collaborative Committee, and Cultural Competency Committee. She started out as an Office Assistant III with Modoc County Behavioral Health Services and is now an Administrative Assistant. Ida’s passion is helping others achieve overall whole health and wellness through the support of local services and peer support whenever needed. Ida is always striving to learn new ways and opportunities to help peers and community members achieve their overall goals in life and wellness.
Angela Brand is a project manager with the Center for Applied Research Solutions (CARS). She has extensive experience in mental health programming focused on community engagement, advocacy, training, and workforce development, having worked in both the public and private sector. Prior to joining CARS, she was with NAMI California, the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission and United Advocates for Children and Families. She is passionate about family and consumer-led system transformation and the inclusion of consumers and family members in all aspects and levels of decision making. Her areas of special interest include peer support, trauma informed care, prevention, early intervention, and youth/student mental health. Her work is driven by a passion to support systems that improve access to care through community based and recovery focused programs that are reflective of and responsive to the needs of diverse un/underserved populations. Ms. Brand holds a degree in Sociology from Arizona State University, with emphasis on how the intersection of race, class, and gender impact social justice issues.
Ashley aged out of the foster care system as a parent with her own daughter to raise, never expecting to have to experience the child welfare system again - she was wrong. Her journey in advocacy began in 2018 with Parents Anonymous®, Inc. and has brought her to many instrumental decision-making meetings throughout California and America as a whole. Ashley believes any decision that affects parents, children, and youth should include their meaningful involvement in the process.
My name is Carrie J. Manning; I have worked in the human services field for twenty-three years. I have been in recovery for twenty-six years for substance use and mental health injury. I have a bachelor’s degree in human services. My first position was as a certified substance abuse counselor for 15 years. Currently I have been in the role of MHSA Team Leader for three years, for Lake County Behavioral Health Services. As the MHSA Team Leader, I supervise four peer support centers and the MHSA prevention services. In this position I am able to utilize my life experience and education to ensure that the centers offer the services that our community needs to become healthier. I am also able to ensure that our peer support specialists are treated with respect, are able to grow in their positions, and support their desire to obtain certification. I love my current position and have an amazing team.
My name is David Bain and I am the Executive Director of NAMI Sacramento, the local affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. I have been with NAMI Sacramento for eleven years, first as a board member then as the ED. I am someone who lives with a mental health condition.
Clarene is a well- seasoned visionary entrepreneur embracing her faith and a kingdom business model to help to transform lives. She has a 35- year history of serving as non-profit servant leader, consultant, substance use disorder and Behavioral Health Counselor, and chef. She is a person with lived experience serving as an advocate for Healing, food, disability, and mental health justice. For the past three years she has served as a California Access Ambassador actively engaging in the promotion of the value of Peer specialist certification, call to action for statewide unified certification policies and access to affordable training. Clarene holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling and a Bachelor's degree in Business administration with emphasis in Organizational Leadership. She is a BBS registered Associate Professional Clinical Counselor and a National Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. She is committed to life -long learning, growing spiritually, and professionally. She is certified in Women’s Ministry Specialist, Peer Specialist Supervision, Wellness Recovery Action Plan facilitator, Mental Health First Aid Responder, and Military Counseling. Clarene’s passion is spending time with those she shares a mutual relationship with, cooking, and reading.
Iris Allen-Willis became a provider to those struggling with homelessness and mental illness shortly after she came to Marin County in 2013 through unexpected, less than ideal circumstances. Shortly after having entered the County’s homeless shelter system, she quickly found work as a peer mental health provider within the behavioral health system. Simultaneous to participating in advocacy for the SB803 legislation to be put on the ballot, Iris was able to connect many community members with serious mental health issues to services, as well as having been able to connect many of these to housing while she was yet in the shelter system herself. After serving for years in positions of increasing responsibility (including leading a peer mental health team) while increasing involvement and participation in the mental health community, Iris is excited to finally get to participate in the meaningful implementation of a cause all of us have fought so hard for.
Jason Robison is the Chief Program Officer for SHARE! the Self-Help And Recovery Exchange. Jason serves on the Board of Directors for CAMHPRO and is the Co-Chair of the National Recovery Month Steering Committee. He has worked in Non-profit management for 17 years, focusing on Peer Services, education, recovery, housing, and health. SHARE! provides safe places for people to recover, including two self-help recovery centers which host 130 self-help support groups each week, a Peer-run Respite Home, SHARE! Collaborative Housing - affordable, resident-run houses and referrals to more than 12,000 self-help support groups in Los Angeles County. Jason helped design SHARE!’s Advanced Peer Specialist Training which has trained and placed over 500 Peers in Peer Specialist positions in 28 California since 2016. SHARE worked with OSHPD, SAMHSA and the University of Texas El Paso to implement the Supervision of the Peer Workforce Project which trained supervisors of Peer Services.
Karin Lettau, MS, is a person with lived experience of over 30 years in recovery from trauma, substance use and mental health issues. She works asthe Director of Training at the California Association of Mental Health Peer-Run Organizations (CAMHPRO) and Project Director of the SAMHSA CA State Consumer Network grant witha BA from UC San Diego in Chinese Studies and a MS from San Diego State University in Psychiatric Rehabilitation Counseling. An enduring passion for social justice led her to transition from a 20 year successful career in sales and management, to work in public mental health. Karin is a consumer and family member and has worked as a training, advocacy and psychiatric rehabilitation professional in community mental health for over ten years. Ms. Lettau is committed to a recovery, resiliency and wellness-focused service system. She built stakeholder collaboration throughout California to advance consumer and family member workforce development in public mental health under the former Working Well Together (WWT) Collaborative and has championed efforts towards State Certification of Peer/Family Support Specialists. Ms. Lettau has experience in curriculum development, training, and facilitation at an agency, county, regional and state level.
Kimberly Murphy has always been committed to social and economic justice for at risk children and families within the community. As a human service professional, Kimberly has dedicated over 25 years to supporting and advocating for at-risk children, adolescence, and families from culturally, socio-economically, and ethnically diverse populations. Kimberly has always supported and advocated for families in contact with the Child Welfare System, first as a family advocate in a family preservation program and now as a Director of Social Services Programs within A Better Way.
Kevin Freitas, ITE, is a Peer Support Specialist with Butte County Behavioral Health Mobile Crisis Team, co-responding with clinical staff and law enforcement to 911 emergency calls involving persons in emotional distress, or psychological/psychiatric crisis. In the 1970s, Kevin became involved with the human potential movement as an active participant and volunteer. Kevin’s commitment to service includes training and professional experience in mental health education, substance abuse treatment and prevention, group leading, HIV prevention, and rape crisis intervention. He received his ITE (I’m The Evidence) through Crestwood Peer Personnel training in 2021. With over twenty years’ recovery and resilience from clinical depression and substance use, Kevin now supports others’ living experience, recovery, resilience, and pursuit of greater potential through his work, volunteerism, fundraising, and advocacy. Kevin is dedicated to the pursuit of A World That Works for Everyone With No One Left Out.
I have had the privilege of serving others in San Bernardino County Behavioral Health for over 15 years in a variety of roles. In my work for over a decade I have had the honor of overseeing the peer-run clubhouses. I know the power of peer support! No matter what position I am in, I never forget the experiences that allowed me to reach others and for them to reach and support me. In our program, lived experience is a requirement of ALL roles! I have spent the last few years helping to develop the Consumer Evaluation Council, a group of powerful peers who provide feedback and guidance to all programming, policy and evaluation efforts in our department. This profession is personal and that is what makes me so passionate and determined to assist each individual that comes my way until they get to where they choose to be.
Maria Arteaga is the Cultural Competency/ Diversity/ Ethnic Services/Peer Empowerment Manager for Santa Barbara County. Prior to being contracted by Santa Barbara County, Maria worked in the public service field since 1992 and the mental health field for Ventura County since 2000 performing various roles, such as Mental Health Associate, Peer and Family Advocate, Policy and Procedure/Mandatory Training Manager and Health Equity/Ethnics Services Manager. Through Maria’s current and past employments, she has advocated and made developments for peer service programming, cultural competency trainings, underrepresented and marginalized communities of color and helped reduce mental health and drug service disparities.
Ms. Martha Contreras is the proud and dedicated mother of three. As a parent, she encountered the need to navigate the Developmental Disability Department, Department of Children and Family Services, Special Education, and Mental Health systems. Martha was nominated by her daughter for Mother of the Year and received first place as the “Univision Outstanding Latina Mother of the Year Award. She made the decision to go public with her parenting life experiences and soon after began providing volunteer peer support for the Down Syndrome Association. Since 2006, Ms. Contreras has worked as a Parent Partner with The Sycamores, a mental health agency providing intensive mental health care coordinated services. During this time, she has witnessed the healing of thousands of families from multiple ethnic backgrounds across Los Angeles County. In addition, Ms. Contreras actively collaborates with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health Parent Partner Training Academy.
Min Suh is a person in recovery and a macro social worker who works as MHSA Coordination Assistant and Peer Workforce Liaison for the County of Orange. Min has been promoting peer support and advocating for its certification, while pushing for recovery oriented public mental health system since entering the behavioral health field as a peer support specialist in 2012. Min has formerly served on the state’s Mental Health Services Oversight & Accountability Commission's Client & Family Leadership Committee and on a local level, he leads the Peer Employee Advisory Committee (PEACe), which is a peer advisory committee to the county behavioral health director. Min strives to ensure that perspectives and wisdom of those with lived-experience inform the system and inspire the community to believe that recovery is possible.
I have worked as a peer in my communities for over 30 years as an advocate for the underserved in both dual diagnosed and the infrastructure for which they live. My passion lays within this community for the fact I was homeless for four years due to PTSD and have fought for my recovery so that I may have a better quality of life since then. Now it is my turn to give back through ensuring that other peers have a a professional qualified trained peer support specialist working for them. I work with OCD, ADHD as a child to date, BPD as an adolescent to date, PTSD as an adult to date. Thirty-two years of SUD recovery and twenty-five years of MH recovery.
Rayshell Chambers is a black community leader from Oakland, CA that has dedicated her personal and professional pursuits to designing and advocating for comprehensive health and human service programs that enhance the human condition of the most vulnerable populations. Rayshell holds a bachelor degree in Sociology and Masters of Public Policy & Administration and utilizes both her cultural experiences and lived mental health challenges, as a peer, to design culturally-responsive programs.
Roberto Roman’s journey of recovery from mental health challenges began as a transition age youth in the mid 1990’s. Emerging from trauma that included the premature deaths of his parents, he received public mental health services for 15 years before graduating as valedictorian in 2010 from Contra Costa County’s Service Provider Individualized Recovery Intensive Training (SPIRIT) program. Since shortly thereafter, he has worked as a Community Support Worker in the Office for Consumer Empowerment, an administrative unit of Contra Costa Behavioral Health Services dedicated to promoting the peer voice as a transformative force in the system of care. Roberto’s duties include facilitating monthly community engagement meetings focused on stigma and discrimination reduction and promoting cultural responsiveness. Roberto supports community program planning as a member of the Contra Costa County Mental Health Services Act Consolidated Planning and Advisory Workgroup. Emphasizing the vital role of faith and spirituality in his recovery, he strives to foster openness to the many pathways of wellness available to peers today.
Ms. Long joined Self-Help Enterprises (SHE) in 1999 and has held a variety of positions within the organization. Starting as an Administrative Analyst in the Partner Services Division, she was responsible for grant writing, administration, program development, and environmental reviews. As the Manager over the Homebuyer Assistance Program, she was responsible for the implementation of the Affirmative Fair Marketing Plan, community outreach, final eligibility determinations, overseeing all activities related to loan approvals and office systems, as well as serving as the liaison between lenders, title companies, and other program partners. In addition, as Homebuyer Manager, Ms. Long developed and started SHE’s Homeownership Counseling and Education Program.