LaTanya RunnellsProgram Manager
LaTanya is the Program Manager for the Mental Health First Aid Training Program with Mental Health America. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services with an emphasis on Community and Youth Development, Masters in Public Administration and Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership and Management. Over the past 25 years she has spent most of her career working with at-risk and out-of-school youth; providing them with education, employment, community service and leadership trainings’ that enhanced their skills and prepared them to become self-sufficient and productive citizens.
Racquel serves as Program Coordinator for Mental Health First Aid, a program of Mental Health America of San Diego County. She has been with MHASD for almost 12 years, providing trainings regarding mental wellness to individuals of various backgrounds. An avid world traveler, she loves to learn about different cultures, spirituality and history. Her retirement dream is to one day live on an island, and run a bed and breakfast, with her four-legged family members.
NancyBilingual Mental Health First Aid Instructor
Nancy has been a Certified Mental Health First Aid Bilingual Instructor since 2017. She loves to work with people and believes the Metal Health First Aid trainings can save lives! She has been recognized and awarded as one of the top MHFA trainers Nationwide by Mental Health First Aid USA and the National Council for Behavioral Health. Nancy has worked as an international trainer building drug-free communities for the last 5 years. She is also currently pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a certification on psycho-oncology. Outside of work, Nancy enjoys spending time with her family! She also loves traveling and salsa dancing!
TonyMental Health First Aid Instructor
Tony is a certified Instructor teaching Mental Health First Aid to the general Community, Law Enforcement, Fire/EMS First Responders, Higher Education, and the Military/Veterans. Additionally, he teaches criminal justice courses as a consultant to various law enforcement agencies; and he is an adjunct instructor at San Diego State University’s College of Extended Studies. Tony is a United States Army veteran, holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from California State University-Sacramento (1993); a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice from Kaplan/Purdue University (2015), and in progress with his doctoral studies in Psychology at Northcentral University. He is also retired from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation where he was employed as a correctional officer and parole agent. In regard to Tony’s self-care he is a practitioner of both Tai Chi and Krav Maga martial arts, and he likes to cook.
MariahMental Health First Aid Instructor
Mariah has been at Mental Health American as a Mental Health First Aid Instructor since 2019. She loves educating people through training and teaching! Even though it is the same curriculum for every class, she enjoys the diversity in each classes and feels it really makes it so much more fun! She is currently finishing her Master’s in Public Health, with two specializations: Health Education and Mental Health. She is also currently a volunteer with American Red Cross Disaster services! Outside of work Mariah enjoys traveling and spending time with her family. She also loves to be creative and makes custom leis for all occasions!
KatMental Health First Aid Instructor
Rev. Kat Katsanis-Semel, M.A. has been engaged in community building and organization, for nearly twenty years. And she has been engaged in public health education for over twenty years, as she first began training, as a peer health educator, in high school! She has a passion for serving others through advocacy and education; one of the greatest honors of her career was receiving the “Outstanding Trainer of the Year Award” in 2019, from the Suicide Prevention Council of Community Health Improvement Partners. Kat offers Mental Health First Aid trainings through Mental Health America of San Diego, and Question, Persuade, Refer trainings (on her own time), through the Suicide Prevention Council. She has felt privileged to train at multiple community-based agencies, faith-based organizations, and academic institutions in our county, including San Diego State University, CAL State San Marcos and the University of California San Diego. In her spare time, Kat enjoys connecting with nature and an involvement in church activities.
JoshMental Health First Aid Instructor
Joshua has over 18 years of Public Service/Advocacy with a plethora of Lived Experience and specializes in Trauma Informed Care. Having served Five years as a Firefighter, Two seasons as a Lifeguard and over Fifteen years in the Mental/Behavioral health field serving TAY populations, underserved communities, victims of violent crimes as well as community/youth advocacy, Joshua has experienced the many faces of trauma and the stigmas on mental health. In 2017, Joshua became a Mental Health First Aider to serve both adults and youth to help further his work. He was so impacted by these two trainings that in 2019, Joshua became a Mental Health First Aid Instructor. Joshua currently holds classes for adults in English and Spanish as well as our Fire/EMS community. Outside of work, Joshua is a talented painter, he has been painting for over 25 years. You can see several of his murals around San Diego! He also enjoys cars, racing and saltwater fishing.
Andrea has been at Mental Health America as an Administrative Assistant since 2019. She enjoys supporting all the Mental Health First Aid instructors so that they can best facilitate their trainings! She truly enjoys being a part of a team helping bring awareness to mental health! Andrea is a Navy veteran, having been stationed in both Japan and San Diego. She also holds a Master of Business Administration degree. In her free time, Andrea enjoys spending time with her husband, children, and dog! She also enjoys hiking and many outdoors activities! She lived in Alaska for 7 years and enjoyed the abundance of outdoor opportunities; she hopes to visit again one day soon!
CarrieMental Health First Aid Instructor
Carrie has been a Mental Health First Aid Instructor since 2015. She loves that she gets to provide educational trainings to San Diegans ensuring everyone, regardless of zip code, has access to care. Carrie knows that her trainings are powerful experiences that can catapult people towards that ‘light bulb’ moment in life. She believes that these moments can cause ripples in the communities she serves. Carrie has been awarded and recognized as one of the top MHFA trainers in the Nation by Mental Health First Aid USA and the National Council for Behavioral Health! Outside of work, she spends her time art making and bringing creativity into everything she does! She also enjoys DIY landscaping projects with succulents, cactus, and rocks. She loves her family (pets included) and community. And she likes tacos!