First Impressions

The First Impressions Project is a basic construction and remodeling vocational training program. First Impressions assists Behavioral Health Services (BHS) consumers to learn marketable skills, receive on-the-job training and mentoring, and secure competitive employment in the community. Moreover, First Impressions is a collaboration between MHSA Innovations, Behavioral Health Services (BHS), UCSF’s Citywide Employment Program and Asian Neighborhood Design (AND).


First Impressions offers 10-weeks of classroom training followed by 6-months of paid work experience for consumers of BHS services. The ultimate goal of the program is for consumers to learn marketable skills for the workforce while being a part of the transformation of the BHS Mental Health Care System. Finally, First Impressions aims to create a more welcoming environment in the wait rooms of BHS/DPH clinics that cultural reflect the community it serves.

Enrollment and Referral Process

Step 1 - Consumers that are interested in learning more about the First Impressions program must attend one of the information orientations below at Citywide Case Management (982 Mission Street, San Francisco) - 2:OO P.M. SHARP:
  • Wednesday, August 2, 2017
  • Wednesday, August 9, 2017
  • Wednesday, August 16, 2017
  • Wednesday, August 23, 2017
  • Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Feel free to share the Recruitment Flyer with other who might be interested
Step 2 - Consumers that would like to enroll in First Impressions after attending one of the information orientations must complete the Referral Form which can be downloaded here
(Referrer or Co-signer must have one of these professional credentials: MFT. MD. PsyD or PhD in psychology). Please send signed and completed referrals to Ms. Dickens at Citywide at [email protected] or fax 415-597-8004.


Step 3 - When the signed referral form is received by Citywide the applicant will be invited to an interview to discuss their goals and plans for the future.
Step 4 The final step for enrollment in First Impressions is to complete the T.A.B.E. assessment which will look at math and reading skill levels (this is not a test but an assessment). At the completion of all the enrollment steps consumers will receive a phone call and letter stating their status in the program.
For more information please contact Ms. Daphne Dickens at (415) 597-4950 or email at [email protected]. You can also read First Impressions Frequently Asked Questions 

First Impressions provides participants with:

  • 10-weeks of classroom and hands on training
  • Six-months of supervised work experience paid at minimum wage
  • On-going job placement support, job preparation, resume building, competitive job placement and employment retention services

First Impressions’ hands on training in basic construction and remodeling may include but not limited to:

  • Customer Service
  • Green Building
  • Beginning drywall – installation and repair,
  • Painting,
  • Installation of window treatments
  • Furniture assembly,
  • Flooring – cleaning, repairing and new installation
  • Graffiti abatement
  • Deconstruction

First Impressions’ services are intended to adhere to the Wellness and Recovery Model helping consumers to holistically improve their mental health and wellness. These services are intended to provide meaningful activities that foster a consumer’s independence and increase her/his ability to participate in society in a meaningful way.

Wellness Promotion

  • An increase in consumer engagement in clinic and clinical services
  • An increase in client satisfaction with services
  • An increase in consumers who have learned marketable job skills in basic construction and remodeling.
  • An improvement in general mental health thru employment and esteem building
  • Increase in staff and provider moral