Julian has worked in peer-run mental health for nearly a decade as an educator, advocate, storyteller, and recovery coach. His lived experience as queer and transgender and his 30+ year history of mental health challenges inform his knowledge of stigma and his deeply-held belief in the transformative power of recovery.
As PEERS’ Interim Executive Director, Jules is responsible for providing organizational oversight and leadership. Working closely with the Board of Directors, staff, and the community, he is also responsible for sustaining mental health and wellness programs that align with our mission of hope and recovery. Additionally, he is committed to the overall growth and success of the peer-run mental health movement.
Before coming to PEERS, Jules worked extensively with peer-led supports for hoarding and cluttering as an original member of the Mental Health Association of San Francisco’s innovative Peer Response Team on Hoarding and Cluttering. He supervised the Peer arm of the 3-year Help for Hoarding study, in partnership with UCSF and funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). At PEERS, he started the Buried in Treasures de-cluttering support pilot project, using an evidence-based, peer-led curriculum that research has shown to be therapeutically equivalent to clinical treatment for clutter challenges.
Jules has put his talent for communication to work as a trainer and public speaker. He is the creator of a variety of recovery-focused trainings, including Language Matters, a nationally-acclaimed and replicated training on changing the way we think about mental health by changing the way we talk about it. He has trained hundreds of Bay Area community members in supportive response to mental health crisis without police intervention, and he was honored by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 2015 for his supportive crisis response work. He has also shared his personal story of mental health challenges, homelessness, and recovery with audiences throughout the Bay Area and with media publications including Al Jazeera America, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Believer magazine, and more. Jules has used his experience with storytelling and training to expand PEERS’ Lift Every Voice and Speak (LEVS) speakers bureau curriculum, and trained speakers from LEVS and BLack Men Speak on how to take their stories from good to great.
Jules lives in Oakland with his partner, Will, and their cat, Steve.