Rooting Young Adult Mental Health Services in Culturally Sustaining Values & Practices

This program is centered on services and supports for youth and young adults of transition age. Co-facilitated by the Pacific Southwest MHTTC’s Youth & Young Adult Program Team Lead, Oriana Ides, and Falilah Bilal, this four-part series offers a forum for dialogue to deepen practitioner’s ability to provide healing care to transitional-aged young people who access mental health and community-based services in Region 9 and beyond.

Through generative conversation, expert panel discussions, active learning experiences, and the exploration of tangible action steps, we will expand our existing orientation to the work we do with transitional aged youth to encompass a more culturally sustaining and affirming approach. Pulling from the powerful work of Shawn Ginwright, we will amplify the ways in which a healing-centered approach dismantles the notion that trauma is simply an individual, isolated experience, while highlighting the ways trauma and healing are experienced collectively.  This series will also draw from the valuable scholarship and practice of Rodrick Watts, Virgil Morehead, Monique Morris and Gloria Lansing Billings.

Program Goals 

  1. Counter the impacts of vicarious trauma and burn out by creating a safe and responsive learning community for the YYA workforce to be heard and seen in their efforts to support the holistic needs of their clientele. 
  2. Build an understanding of healing centered engagement and approaches to youth development and case management that strengthens service provision for transition-aged youth.
  3. Expand our organizational and individual capacity to support young adult holistic wellness, critical consciousness development, and collective healing.


All community-based organizations, institutions, and mental health professionals, including peer support specialists, therapists, psychologists, counselors, and others who support the mental health and wellness of transition-aged youth.

Series Sequence 

Each session is held from 3:00 - 4:30 p.m. PT, fourth Wednesdays of the month, from February to May, 2024.

Wednesday, February 28
Trauma-Informed Care Meets Healing-Centered Care

> Register now for Session 1

Wednesday, March 27
Challenging Oppression in Healing Work

> Register now for Session 2

Wednesday, April 24
Uplifting Culturally Sustaining Practices in Substance Use Prevention

> Register now for Session 3

Wednesday, May 22
Honoring and Supporting Peer Support in Healing-Centered Approaches

> Register now for Session 4

Meet the Co-Facilitators & Faculty 

Oriana Ides, MA, APCC, PPS (she/hers)

Oriana Ides is a School Mental Health Training Specialist at CARS (the Center for Applied Research Solutions) and approaches healing the wounds of trauma and oppression as core elements of social justice. She has worked with young people across the life course from elementary school to college, and has served as teacher-leader, school counselor, classroom educator and program director. She is committed to generating equity within school structures and policies by focusing on evidence-based mental health techniques and institutional design.

Falilah “Aisha” Bilal (she/her)

Falilah “Aisha” Bilal has worked joyously for over 30 years creating innovative, relevant evidence-based strategies to transform, empower and develop individuals, systems, organizations and contemporary thought.

Ms. Bilal’s work is centered in healing practices, empowering youth and families, and self-discovery.  Ms. Bilal specializes in the field of youth development, healing informed organizational development, and strategic fundraising consultation.

Currently Ms. Bilal serves as the Chief of Staff for the Black Organizing Project as well as directs her own consulting company where she provides trainings, curriculum development, healing experiences, coaching, and executive leadership to local and national agencies, companies and programs. Previously, Ms. Bilal served as a Senior Trainer with the National Black Women’s Justice Institute and a Radical Healer with Flourish Agenda.  She served as the Executive Director for M.I.S.S.S.E.Y. raising over 2 million dollars in funds to support sexually exploited children and young adults.   She has worked for numerous Bay Area agencies including World Trust, Alameda County Sheriff’s Department, Oakland Bay Area CARES Mentoring Movement, GirlSource, Office of Family, Children and Youth, City of Oakland, and the Young Women’s Freedom Center.

Ms. Bilal holds a M.A. in Counseling Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies and a B.A. in Theater Arts and Child Psychology from San Francisco State University.

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