Asked Questions
SF Health Network
Our Programs

Mental Health Services Act (MHSA)


Workforce, Development, Education and Training (WDET)

Addresses the shortage of qualified individuals who provide services in San Francisco’s public mental health system. This includes developing and maintaining a culturally competent workforce that includes individuals with client and family member experience who are capable of providing client- and family-driven services that promote wellness, recovery, and resiliency.  This service category includes the Mental Health Career Pathways Program, Training and Technical Assistance, Residency and Internship Programs, Financial Incentive Programs, and Workforce Staffing Support.

Health Career Pathway Programs

The Mental Health Career Pathways Program focuses on developing a workforce pipeline that will usher in the next generation of mental health and behavioral health practitioners and include members of underserved and underrepresented communities.

Lead Agency



Richmond Area Multi-Services, Inc. (RAMS)


Summer Bridge

Teaches high school students about behavioral health fields and encourages them to explore their interests in behavioral health careers

Richmond Area
Multi-Services, Inc. (RAMS)


Peer Specialist
Mental Health Certificate

Provides a 12-week program, in collaboration with San Francisco State University’s Department of Counseling, for consumers and family members. Focuses on preparation for entry-level employment in behavioral and mental health fields. 

City College of San Francisco


Mental Health
Worker Certificate

Trains a diverse group of frontline health workers to provide culturally responsive mental health and recovery services to clients.  This 16-unit program is based on the mental health wellness and recovery model that is focused on the process of recovery through consumer-directed goal setting and collaboration between consumers and providers.

California Institute for
Integral Studies (CIIS)



Expands student support services within CIIS’s School of Professional Psychology (SPP) program to increase recruitment and retention of students from underrepresented groups through a variety of activities (e.g., trainings, individualized educational plans, workshops on time management, referrals)

Training and Technical Assistance

The MHSA supports staff trainings on topics such as wellness and recovery, family support, intensive case management, and the integration of primary care and mental health services.  Mental health service consultation is also provided.  Consultation focuses on recovery-based methods and emphasizes the inclusion of individuals in implementing organizational and service provision change.  See Exhibit 32 for a summary of trainings and technical assistance.

Lead Agency



San Francisco
Department of Public Health


Seeking Safety

To increase service providers’ knowledge of a psychotherapy treatment model for PTSD and substance abuse that emphasizes safety, integrated treatment, case management, and attention to therapists’ processes


Illness Management and Recovery Program

To help those who have experienced psychiatric symptoms develop personalized strategies for managing their illness

Adolescent Health
Working Group


Adolescent health issues

To conduct community research, public policy, advocacy, and trainings in order to advance the health and well-being of youth and young adults in San Francisco

City College of San Francisco


Medicinal Drumming Apprenticeship Pilot Project

To provide a forum for communities to explore their traditional healing ways and support them in reintegrating these into their praxis

Residency and Internship Programs

In order to address San Francisco’s behavioral health workforce shortages and supplement its existing workforce, the MHSA funds psychiatric residency and internship programs leading to licensure.

Lead Agency



San Francisco
Department of Public Health

Fellowship Program for
Public Psychiatry in the
Adult System of Care

To further develop fellows’ knowledge and skills in  behavioral health research (e.g., smoking cessation for Asians, health care utilization by LGBTQ individuals) and services for adults diagnosed with severe mental illness

UCSF Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute


Child & Adolescent
Psychiatry Fellowship Program

To further develop fellows’ knowledge and skills in psychiatric evaluations and services for children ages 4 to 18, the Community Behavioral Health system, and working with diverse populations

Financial Incentive Programs

Statewide MHSA funding supports stipends, scholarships, and loan forgiveness programs that serve as financial incentives to recruit and retain both prospective and current mental health employees.  The Mental Health Loan Assumption Program (MHLAP) is one resource that encourages mental health providers to practice in underserved locations in California by authorizing a plan for repayment of some or all of their educational loans in exchange for their service in a designated hard-to-fill/retain position in the public mental health system.