Teena Brooks has worked in behavioral health for over a decade. Presently, Teena is the Assistant Director of the Office of Consumer Affairs (OCA) – NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. OCA works to ensure that the consumer/peer perspective informs the Divisions work in mental health, substance use and developmental disabilities. In this position she regularly collaborates with senior leadership, with the primary responsibility of representing the peer perspective in planning, policy development, advocacy, and innovative service development activities within the Division. In addition to assisting in research, policy design and implementation, she also works to further the Department’s outreach and engagement efforts through the planning of forums, conferences, and other community education activities.
Before joining the Department in 2014, She worked for the Urban Justice Center (UJC) for thirteen year. While working at the Mental Health Project Ms. Brooks worked to enforce section 29.15 of the Mental Hygiene Law and was also an active community organizer working on issues such as improving relations between the New York City Police Department and the mental health community, increased supportive housing, and the abolition of solitary confinement for inmates with psychiatric disabilities. She has testified before City Council and the New York State Assembly on a variety of topics. As a supervising Social Worker at the Human Rights Project at (UJC) she provided social work supervision to MSW interns.
During her tenure at the New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services (NYAPRS) Ms. Brooks assumed a variety of responsibilities including President of the Board of Directors (2006-2008), Regional Organizer (2001-2006), and was an active member of the public policy and cultural competence committees (2001-2008). She also worked as a consultant at NYAPRS from(2009-2014).
Ms. Brooks has taught social welfare policy at Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service and is currently a doctoral student at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York in the Social Welfare program. She is researching faith-based coping among African American women with psychiatric disabilities and type 2 diabetes.