About UsOur mission is to ensure that no- and very low-income, socioeconomically disadvantaged, at-risk African-Americans across all ages and genders, have access to high-quality, culturally-humble and appropriate mental health services and supports free of charge in their local neighborhoods.
Greater Options and Assistance for Lifelong Success (G.O.A.L.S.) in Sac, is a program of G.O.A.L.S. For Women, a 501c3 public benefit nonprofit specializing in grassroots, ethnic (Black) mental health services and supports to no and very low income individuals, families and groups. G.O.A.L.S. For Women was founded in South Los Angeles, California in 1997 by Gwen Wilson as an outgrowth of a small peer support group for African American/Black women who found a need for more culturally sensitive and responsive mental health services that addressed their contextual needs (e.g. poverty, traumatic childhoods and other historical trauma-related incidents, chronic illnesses, depression, anxiety, severe and toxic stress environments, etc.) A collective shared experience of the women was perceived blocked opportunities for them and/or their children to reach their full potential because of racism, discrimination and other forces of oppression). The adverse conditions wrecked havoc on their overall health and sense of self. These women came together to support each other because of difficulty finding help from traditional mental health professionals who did not seem to understand or know how to address their context of needs.
G.O.A.L.S. relocated to Northern, CA in 2002 and to-date has supported thousands of no and low-income African Americans across all ages, genders and sexual orientations through an array of services. Originally launching peer support groups, G.O.A.L.S. expanded to clinical mental health services, cross-cultural clinical case management, prevention/early intervention services and community resilience-building peer support groups, culturally-focused outreach and engagement strategies, supportive employment internships for individuals moving from welfare to work who experienced mental health related barriers to employment, and community building by working in partnership with others interested peer counseling and peer support group facilitation. More recent expansion of services include community-based research working through community member/CBO/University Participatory Action Research partnership studies. The latter is our effort to inform decision makers about issues relevant to and valued by the community members we serve. Through this work, we strive to make recommendations to advance and support equitable public health and human service policy changes, and add to the knowledge base of social work practice.
At G.O.A.L.S. For Women our commitment is to do no harm through our services. This requires being respectful, transparent and engaged in awareness-resilience building through searching the literature and sharing knowledge/information and making linkages/connections to a variety of resources. We talk a lot of evidence based practices in many helping professions. We understand and view evidence based practices from a commitment to staying the evidence informed, community-defined practice informed and sharing that existing and emerging evidence with the community members we serve and support. Community members need to know their options, and what is known and not known and why about available treatments, etc., in order to make decisions about their health and wellness that are of value to them and their families. In order to provide such information we view our work as being a learning organization committed to improving the work we do as helper We are deeply committed to elimination of prolonged suffering, reducing risks for suicide, and encouraging people to choose life as well as resilience opportunities through gaining skills and social supports needed for pursuing self- and collective efficacy. Equally important, we encourage people to get involved in civic participation and opportunities to help improve conditions in their communities by sharing their concerns and having their voices heard by decision and policy makers. We welcome opportunities to be of service and be support the people of Sacramento, as we are to the people of California statewide.
Work Force Development Specialist: Contra Costa County and interim Board Chair