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GABHS for Gals

Gender Appropriate Behavior Health Services for Women and Girls

Mission Statement: GABHS for Gals aims to improve the mental health of women and children in San Francisco through assessment of the current system and advocacy for changes that support a gender appropriate approach to the provision of behavioral health services for all.

What is GABHS for Gals: A group of clinicians, managers, civil servants, mental health workers, health educators, administrators, and consumers committed to advocating for appropriate services for women and girls in San Francisco's behavioral health system.

Please Join Us!

  • Every 3rd Monday of the month
  • 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
  • Room 451, 1380 Howard Street





Monthly meeting



 GABHS Networking Reception
 You are invited - "Women, Girls, and Behavior Health: Where Do We Go From Here?"

  • A Reception and Networking Event
  • Guest speakers: Assemblywoman Fiona Ma & Deputy Chief Catherine Dodd
  • Thursday, June 11, 2009
  • Women's Building: 3543 18th Street, San Francisco, CA Refreshments will be served



Monthly meeting




Monthly meeting




No meeting in August




Monthly meeting




Monthly meeting




Monthly meeting




Monthly meeting




Two Tiers of Membership:

  1. Tier One: Members who are able to attend monthly meetings and participate in subcommittees, as time permits.
  2. Tier Two: Members who are unable to attend monthly meetings but who are available to provide feedback via email.


Three Main Goals:

  1. Assess current state of services and identify needs for quality gender appropriate behavioral health services in San Francisco for women and girls.
  2. Explore best practices in gender appropriate behavioral health services at a city, county, state, and national level.
  3. Increase access to quality gender appropriate behavioral health services in San Francisco for women and girls.


Definition of Gender Appropriate Services:

Gender Appropriate Behavioral Health Services is the umbrella term used to describe behavioral health services that both consider and meet the unique needs of women, men, girls, boys, and transgender people. These services may or may not include gender specific services, where services are provided in a setting with only one gender present. The primary goal of Gender Appropriate Behavioral Health Services is to encourage providers to become aware of the biological differences between genders and the distinct social and cultural issues experienced by each gender that may influence behavioral health needs. Providers are encouraged to be gender sensitive to the complex interactions between biological, social, psychosocial, and cultural factors when serving each individual. A neutral approach, where the same services are provided to everyone without regard for gender, neglects the crucial impact of gender on client needs.

All health services should be both culturally competent and gender appropriate. An assessment or treatment plan should consider an individual's unique gender needs alongside his or her cultural and language needs. Clinicians should feel comfortable assessing for these needs. To provide the most comprehensive, holistic treatment, providers should encourage their staff to seek training on gender topics, in addition to culture, language, and ethnicity topics. San Francisco's Department of Health Community Programs (and specifically Community Behavioral Health Services) will continue to bring varied training opportunities on gender, diversity, and cultural awareness to its providers.

To join or with any questions, contact
Sarah Accomazzo at or 415-255-3473


Women and Girls' Resources: