#Out4MentalHealth Task Forces support local community members and organizations with engaging in LGBTQ Mental Health Advocacy at the county, state, and federal level. Each Task Force is led by local community members and organizations and open to anyone and everyone interested in advocating for LGBTQ Mental Health Equity.
Task Forces meet regularly to work collaboratively on mental health policy change. Policy objectives are identified by local LGBTQ mental health stakeholders and based on the needs of their specific community. Task force leads and members are supported with exploring current county system resources and policies, identifying decision makers, and finding opportunities for change. Click below to see each County Task Force and find information about upcoming meetings, their mission, and more!
Shasta County Task Force
Meeting schedule: Third Tuesdays of each month from 2 – 3 PM
NorCal OUTreach Project’s mission is to support and unite the LGBTQ+ community and its many Allies by providing social connection, public events, support groups, and educational training. We strive to be inclusive of all genders and sexualities, celebrate the diversity within our community, practice cultural humility and foster health and wellbeing of the people we serve. We seek to improve the lives of everyone by increasing understanding, acknowledgment, visibility and appreciation of the LGBTQ+ community, thereby making rural northern California a safer and more accepting place for all.
Task Force Lead: David Wharton, firstname.lastname@example.org
David Wharton, Co-Founder of NorCal OUTreach Project has been active as a volunteer and advocate for the LGBTQ+ and HIV communities since moving to Redding in 2003. In 2008, David joined a small group of grass root visionaries that had a passion for creating a safe place for LGBTQ+ folks in far northern California. As Board President for 5 years, David provided leadership, secured its’ non-profit status, helped to put on NCOP’s first Pride Celebration in 2009, collaborated with others to start its’ first support group, and built relationships with like-minded organizations to provide resources for the community.
After a short break, David came back to lead the #Out4MentalHealth Task Force, focused on LGBTQ+ policy change in local mental health systems. The project is working with our schools as well as county officials to provide education and inclusion in policy that supports and affirms the community.
In 2019 David re-joined the Board of Directors to help support a transition in leadership and support the organizations vision for the future of NCOP. David is beyond grateful to be a proactive part of the Centers’ progress at such a crucial and exciting time.
He enjoys volunteering for LGBTQ+ activist causes, working with the HIV community, public speaking, collecting antiques, playing the piano, family, and spending time with his fur baby “Sadie”. He grew up in the California Central Valley and lived in SF and LA before moving to Redding in 2003.
Alameda County Task Force
Meetings schedule: Last Fridays of each month from 5-6:30 PM
The Oakland LGBTQ Community Center is dedicated to enhancing and sustaining the well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) individuals, our families and allies, by providing educational, social, and health related activities, programs and services.
Task Force Lead: Lania Watkins, email@example.com
Lania Watkins is a West Oakland Native who’s work in Oakland has been primarily with youth and adults from all walks of life. Her experiences have been working with community members engaged in sex work, current and former foster care youth, the re-entry population, MSM and the un-housed community. Lania has spoken nationally on various panels and podcast on the topics such as : Aging out of sex work and cisgendered Woman & PrEP. She is a river guide and volunteers providing river trips to people living with HIV. Her passion has been to build appropriate programming for community members.
San Fernando Valley Task Force
Meeting Schedule: Last Tuesdays of each month from 5 PM – 6 PM
Somos Familia Valle is our local San Fernando Valley community organization led by trans queer people of color dedicated to support, empower, train, and mobilize our families, and allies for racial, gender, environmental, and economic justice. We organize for intersectional LGBTQ+ justice and liberation through transformative dialogue, advocacy, and civic engagement. We promote LGBTQ-affirming homes, safer schools, and healthier communities through our values: a commitment to being our authentic selves, community compassion and integration, family courage, bilingual health education, intersectionality, and cultural humility.
Task Force Lead: Kevin Perez, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin Al Perez is a Queer Guatemalan organizer born and raised in San Fernando Valley, M.S School Counseling, and is the President and Co-Founder of Somos Familia Valle. Currently, Kevin serves in the Los Angeles Unified Human Relations Commission for diversity and equity and part of the Resist Foundation 2022 Grant Making Panel Cohort.
Los Angeles TGI Task Force
Meeting schedule: TBD
Gender Justice LA (GJLA) is a grassroots social justice organization led by and for gender non-conforming, two spirit, trans, Black, Indigenous, people of color. GJLA organizes, holds space, provides resources, and collaborates with others so that our communities can: resist oppression, develop community responses to violence, heal from present & historical trauma, and come together in ways that feel brave & affirming.
Task Force Lead: Sonia Guiñansaca, email@example.com
Sonia Guiñansaca is an international award winning queer non-binary migrant poet, cultural organizer and social justice activist. They emerged as a national leader in the migrant artistic and political communities where they coordinated and participated in groundbreaking civil disobedience actions. Guiñansaca helped build some of the largest undocumented organizations in the U.S, including co-founding some of the first artistic projects by and for undocumented writers and artists. Sonia has worked for over a decade in both policy and cultural efforts building equitable infrastructures for migrant artists. They have been awarded residencies and fellowships from Voices of Our Nation Arts Foundation, Poetry Foundation, British Council, Creative Time, and the Hemispheric Institute for Performance & Politics. Guiñansaca has performed at the Met, the NYC Public Theater, Lehmann Maupin Gallery and has been featured on PEN American, Interview Magazine, Ms.Magazine, Teen Vogue, Diva Magazine UK, CNN, NBC, and PBS to name a few. Their migration and cultural equity work has also taken them to London and Mexico City to advise on migrant policy and arts programming. They consult and advise national social justice organizations, cultural institutions, and foundations on artists convening, cultural activations, advocacy and civic engagement. They are Kichwa Kañari from Ecuador. In 2021 they joined Gender Justice LA as Director of Outreach to support the organization’s efforts to fight for racial, gender, and economic justice for TGNC communities in LA. More info : soniaguinansaca.com IG @theSoniag
Imperial County Task Force
Meeting schedule: 1st Thursdays of the month at 6:00 PM
Our mission is “To create a safe place and empower the LGBT community by connecting them to essential resources,” The Imperial Valley LGBT Resource Center was founded in April 2015 by Rosa Diaz, an Imperial Valley native, retired youth correctional counselor and retired social worker. Rosa experienced first-hand the lack of LGBT-safe and friendly spaces when she lost her position as a church leader after coming out as lesbian. Her passion for improving the quality of life for the LGBT population and her desire to make a difference led her to establish a LGBT center to address the needs through drug abuse education, HIV testing, individual and family counseling, domestic violence groups, anger management, youth engagement programs, and community events.
Task Force Lead: Joey Espinoza, firstname.lastname@example.org
Joey is a community organizer, advocate and writer from Calexico, CA. Joey graduated from UCR in 2022 with a double B.A. in Psychology and Education with a concentration in Social Justice, Policy & Community Leadership. In 2020 Joey co-founded a grassroots organization to help the homeless population in Calexico, CA and currently works as the Outreach Supervisor at the Imperial Valley LGBT Resource Center helping the community get connected to mental health and financial resources.
Bi+ Mental Health Justice Coalition
Meeting Schedule: Fourth Thursdays of each month from 12-1 PM
Still Bisexual is a 501(c)(3) bisexual education and health advocacy organization representing folks across the nation who identify as bisexual, pansexual, fluid or queer—or prefer to use no label at all to define their attraction to multiple genders. Launched as a social media video campaign in 2015 in which participants told their personal stories of how they came to accept their bi+ identity, Still Bisexual expanded into an organization that raises awareness about the bi+ identity not just through social media but through trainings and an educational curriculum currently in use by Los Angeles Unified School District. Still Bisexual addresses the unique mental health needs of the bi+ community through its work with the #Out4MentalHealth project and the Los Angeles Department of Mental Health’s LGBTQIA2-S underserved cultural committee.
Task Force Lead: Nicole Kristal, email@example.com
Nicole Kristal has advocated for the bisexual community for the past 20 years. She co-authored The Bisexual’s Guide to the Universe, which won a Lambda Literary Award in 2006, but is best known for launching the #StillBisexual campaign in 2015, a video project in which bi+ people of all races, ages and gender identities shared their stories of bi-erasure and self-acceptance. The campaign received nationwide coverage from NBC News, Cosmopolitan, Bustle, Huffington Post, Towleroad, The Daily Beast, and was listed by the Human Rights Campaign as one of seven “must-have” resources for bisexual health. Still Bisexual became a 501(c)(3) organization in 2019 and its LGBTQ+ education curriculum videos, which Nicole created, are used by Planned Parenthood L.A.’s sex education program to train peer advocates who reach 15,000+ students at LAUSD each year. In 2019, Still Bisexual helped organize the world’s largest-ever Bi Pride parade and festival in the City of West Hollywood. Nicole currently co-leads the San Fernando Valley Task Force for the #Out4MentalHealth project as a subcontractor for the California LGBTQ Health & Human Services Network, and recently became chair of the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health’s LGBTQIA2-S Underserviced Cultural Committee since 2019.
Amador County Task Force
Meeting Schedule: 1st & 3rd Sundays of each month at 5: 30 PM via Zoom
Amador Arts Council is partnering with the TriCounty LGBT Alliance to meet the needs of our rural LGBTQ+ community. We are building on two years of collaboration between organizations resulting in a successful LGBTQ+ Youth Group and annual Safe Space Art Show. Established in 1982, Amador County Arts Council (“AmadorArts”) is a 501(c)3 non-profit and is the designated State Local Partner (SLP) to the California Arts Council, a state agency. Our mission is to encourage, support, and promote The Arts in our schools and community. The mission of the TriCounty LGBTQ alliance to provide a safe and secure network for the LGBT community through community education and networking opportunities throughout our rural region.
Task Force Lead: Tyx Pulskamp, firstname.lastname@example.org
Social justice advocacy is the artful manifestation of human services. It is in this place of playful resistance that you will find me, Tyx Xyt Abel Pulskamp “Ty excitable pulse camp” holding space for the expression of life through light, color, sound, sensation, dance, contemplation… I prioritize accessibility in my work and believe in the collective decision-making process. I am grateful for the empowerment opportunities I received as a rural Queer youth organizer twenty-two years ago and am committed to ensuring that LGBTQ+ youth in our rural region are awarded every opportunity available to them to thrive.
Tulare County Task Force
Meeting Schedule: 3rd Wednesdays of each month from 4-5:30 PM
The Source LGBT+ Center is a community and resource center serving Tulare, Kings, and Fresno Counties. Since 2016, our mission is to provide spaces in our communities for LGBTQ+ people to learn, grow, belong, transform, question, and support. Through peer support, education, and advocacy we carve out safe spaces where LGBTQ+ people can cultivate community and thrive.
Task Force Lead: Brian Poth, email@example.com
Brian Poth (he/him) identifies as queer and non-binary. He is the co-founder and Executive Director of The Source LGBT+ Center. Since 2016, Brian has worked within local systems to improve outcomes for LGBTQ+ folks who access care in Tulare and Kings Counties. In partnership with Out4Mental Health, MHSA, Tulare County Mental Health, and Kings County Behavioral Health, The Source has secured funding for programs that address mental health, suicide prevention and intervention, cultural humility, and SOGI data collection– improving outcomes for queer and trans folks who rely on county mental health services.
Riverside County Task Force
Meeting Schedule: 4th Tuesday of each month from 2:30 – 4 PM
Task Force Lead: Reverend Benita, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rev Benita Ramsey is the project lead and wears many hats servicing the San Bernardino and Riverside counties in LGBTQ+ community work.
San Diego County Task Force
Meeting Schedule: 2nd Thursday of each month from 2 – 3 PM
Task Force Lead: Wendy Schatler, Wendy.email@example.com
Wendy Schlater is a 2 Spirit dual citizen of the La Jolla Band of Luiseno Indians and the U.S. In March 2019, Wendy was elected Vice Chairwoman for her Tribe, her third term as an elected tribal leader. Wendy also serves as Program Director of La Jolla’s Avellaka Program addressing safety for Native women on her Reservation. In this capacity, she organized the La Jolla Native Women’s Advisory Committee to host the first annual Inter-Tribal Sexual Assault Awareness Walk in 2010, which continues today traveling from reservation to reservation. One of Wendy’s passions is to assert and utilize tribal sovereignty to bring much needed services to her people. Wendy is also a member of the San Diego County Sexual Assault Response Team Committee and a Tribal Subcommittee member of the Violence Against Women Act Committee. Wendy is a founding Board member of a non-profit tribal coalition, the Strong Hearted Native Women’s Coalition and the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, for which she currently serves as NIWRC’s Board of Directors’ Treasurer. NIWRC is a national tribal nonprofit dedicated to restoring tribal sovereignty to increase Native women’s safety. Throughout her career, she has advocated for Native LGBTQ/2Spirit youth and adults, tribal youth, health, education, land, environmental issues and safety for Native women, developing innovative ways to create Tribal responses and programs respective of her people’s customs and traditions.