In an effort to uncover the biochemical basis of mental illness, I obtained a PhD
and carried out neurochemical research at NIMH. I uncovered the mechanisms of dopamine
and serotonin biosynthesis. However, during that research, the reductionist approach to
life it was based upon caused me great despair. As a result, at the age of 25, I withdrew
into my own world. I was diagnosed with schizophrenia and hospitalized on 3 occasions.
During the next 5 years, I recovered from what is described as schizophrenia, and
developed a vision of humanizing the mental health system. To fulfill that dream, I
earned a MD, and completed psychiatric training at Harvard Medical School. I have
practiced as a board-certified, community psychiatrist for 30 years. 

My passion has been to bring the hope to all who suffer that they can recover a life and
become experts by experience. To transform national mental health policies from fear to
hope, Judi Chamberlin, Pat Deegan, Laurie Ahern, and I co-founded the National
Empowerment Center. I was a member of the New Freedom Commission on Mental Health
(2002-03) and through that position was able to bring hope and recovery to national
awareness. Then I helped organize the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery, to
make recovery a reality. Through that Coalition I have been working with a large national
team on a SAMHSA contract called BRSS TACS, or Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale
Technical Assistance Center. 

Recently I have been promoting peer-run crisis respite alternatives to hospitalization. I
have also helped develop emotional CPR, a program for teaching community members how help
each other through an emotional crisis. 

Articles

Link

Connectedness and citizenship: redefining social integration (with Norma C. Ware, Kim Hopper, Toni Tugenberg, and Barbara Dickey), Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.) (2007)
 

Link

How the pace program builds a recovery-transformed system: results from a national survey (with James H. Zahniser and Laurie Ahern), Psychiatric rehabilitation journal (2005)
 

Link

Personal Assistance in Community Existence (PACE): An Alternative to PACT (with Laurie Ahern), Ethical Human Sciences and Services (2000)
 

Contributions to Books

Link

Politics, Handbook of Service User Involvement in Mental Health Research (2009)
 

Link

Promoting Recovery, Learning about Mental Health Practice (2008)
 

Other

PDF

Building Global Citizenship through Network Leadership (with Anne Beales), Center for Mental Health Services Research Publications and Presentations (2010)
 

PDF

From Relief to Recovery: Peer Support by Consumers Relieves the Traumas of Disasters and Facilitates Recovery from Mental Illness (with Kay Rote, LaVerne Miller, David Romprey, and Beth Filson), Center for Mental Health Services Research Publications and Presentations (2006)