Expert Perspectives Contributors

Active Minds

Active Minds is the nation’s leading organization dedicated to empowering students to speak openly about mental health in order to educate others and encourage help seeking. The organization engages thousands of student leaders nationwide through a rapidly growing network of more than 400 campus chapters, promoting a unified national voice for young adults in the mental health awareness movement.

Anne Marie Albano, Ph.D.

Dr. Albano has been a member of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America since 1993 and conducts clinical research, supervises the research and clinical development of postdoctoral fellows in psychology and psychiatry, and is involved in advanced training of senior level clinicians in the application of cognitive behavioral approaches to diagnosis and treatment. She developed a cognitive-behavioral treatment program for adolescents with social phobia and is a co-author of a treatment manual and parent guide for school refusal behavior. With her colleagues, Dr. Albano has also developed cognitive-behavioral treatment programs for social phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, school refusal, and mixed anxiety and depression.

Scott Arbaugh, M.D.

Dr. Arbaugh is a member of the clinical faculty at Washington University and serves as medical Director of the geriatric day treatment programs at Alton Memorial Hospital (Alton, IL), St. Joseph’s Hospital (Highland, IL) and St. Joseph’s Hospital (Breese, IL). He obtained his Doctor of Medicine degree from St. Louis University and completed a psychiatric residency at Washington University.

Andy Baker-White, J.D., M.P.H.

Andy Baker-White, J.D., M.P.H., is a practicing attorney and was awarded a M.P.H. as part of the Community Oriented Public Health Practice (COPHP) program at the University of Washington in 2010. Through the COPHP program, Mr. Baker-White worked on several public health policy issues including emergency preparedness for low-literacy populations, local health department strategic planning, the feasibility of local ordinances for paid sick leave, and the health impact of the implementation of India’s domestic violence law.

David Baron, M.S.Ed., D.O.

Dr. Baron, currently Professor and Vice Chair, and Chief of Psychiatry at University Hospital at Keck School of Medicine, has more than 30 years of clinical experience in sports medicine and sports psychiatry. He also serves as Director of the Global Center for Exercise Psychiatry and Sport at University of Southern California and Chairman of the Section on Exercise, Psychiatry and Sport for the World Psychiatric Association / World Health Organization.

Dr. Tom Berger

Dr. Tom Berger served as a Fleet Marine Force Navy Corpsman with the 3rd Marine Division in Vietnam and is now Executive Director of the Veterans Health Council at Vietnam Veterans of America. VVA’s founding principle is: “Never again shall one generation of American Veterans abandon another.”

Jennifer Bernstein, J.D., M.P.H.

Jennifer Bernstein, J.D., M.P.H., is a senior attorney with the Network for Public Health Law, Mid-States Region at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. As senior attorney, she provides legal technical assistance, training and education on a broad range of public health law topics to public health attorneys, public health practitioners and policymakers. She received a Bachelor of Science in Women’s Studies and a Certificate in LGBT Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She received her Juris Doctor and Master of Public Health degrees from the University of Iowa. She is a member of the State Bar of Texas.

Lori Blumenstein-Bott, MSW, LMSW — Executive Director

Lori comes to the Andrew Kukes Foundation for Social Anxiety (AKFSA) with over 25 years of experience in the mental health non-profit sector. She holds a Masters of Social Work from the University of Michigan, is a State of Michigan Licensed Master Social Worker and has authored several published scholarly articles. After many years as a Chief of Services for Adults with Developmental Disabilities, she accepted the position of Director of Community Supports and Director of New Business Development for the State of Michigan’s largest mental health non-profit. Lori then honed her expertise further as Executive Director at a major metro Detroit synagogue. Her expertise in organizational development and strategic planning helps to guide AKFSA; and her years of work with special populations in public mental health organizations are helping us to reach professionals and organizations to assure that AKFSA’s goal of education is met.

Joseph R. Calabrese, M.D.

Joseph R. Calabrese, M.D. is the recipient of the Bipolar Disorders Research Chair, the director the Bipolar Disorders Research Centre, and the director of the Mood Disorders Program at Case Western Reserve University ( Dr. Calabrese has directed or co-directed three separate research centers dedicated to improving clinical outcomes in under-served populations of bipolar disorder, including those with bipolar depression, rapid cycling, children and adolescents, adults with substance use disorders as well as members of the Reserve Component of the US Department of Defence.

Sen. David Carlucci

Senator David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Westchester) currently represents 38th District in the New York State Senate. In just a short period of time, the Senator has distinguished himself as an influential legislator with a reputation of getting results and delivering for his constituents in the Hudson Valley. As Chairman of the Senate Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Committee, he fought this past legislative session in restoring critical funding to the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWD) and the nonprofit service providers that assist our most vulnerable residents.

Anita H. Clayton, MD

Anita H. Clayton, M.D., is the David C. Wilson Professor of Psychiatry, Chair of Psychiatry & Neurobehavioral Sciences, and Professor of Clinical Obstetrics & Gynecology at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA. Dr. Clayton has focused her research on major depressive disorder, mood disorders associated with reproductive-life events in women, sexual dysfunction related to illness and medications, and treatment of primary sexual disorders. She has published over 175 peer-reviewed papers, and developed and validated several measurement tools including the Changes in Sexual Functioning Questionnaire (CSFQ), the Sexual Interest and Desire Inventory (SIDI), and the Decreased Sexual Desire Screener (DSDS).  She co-edited Women’s Mental Health: A Comprehensive Textbook, and is the author of Satisfaction: Women, Sex, and the Quest for Intimacy for the general public.  She has served as President of the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health (ISSWSH), as Vice-Chair for Women’s Sexual Health for the 3rd and 4th International Consultation on Sexual Medicine in 2009 and 2015, and on the Board of Directors and Scientific Program Committee of the American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology and ISSWSH.

Valerie Cordero, PhD

Valerie Cordero, Ph.D., is Co-Executive Director of Families for Depression Awareness, the premier organization educating, supporting, and advocating for family caregivers of people living with depression or bipolar disorder. She has been with the organization since 2010 and works out of FFDA’s Nashville office.

William Coryell, MD

William Coryell, MD, is a board-certified psychiatrist and the George Winokur Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. He received his medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia and completed his psychiatry residency at Washington University. He serves as co-chair of the National Network of Depression Centers Suicide Prevention Task Force and is the recipient of an American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Distinguished Investigator Grant.

Mark J. Covall

Mark J. Covall is president and CEO of the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems (NAPHS). Founded in 1933, NAPHS advocates for behavioral health and represents provider systems that are committed to the delivery of responsive, accountable, and clinically effective prevention, treatment, and care for children, adolescents, adults, and older adults with mental and substance use disorders.

John DeVincent, Psy.D.

Dr. John DeVincent has been working with Coaching Into Care since February 2012. Previously, he worked in community mental health programs for older adults and other populations. Dr. DeVincent trained at Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services and completed his doctoral training at California Graduate Institute.

AJ French

AJ French serves as Executive Director of Sacred Creations, an Illinois statewide organization which empowers persons living with mental health conditions. She also works as an Associate Director for Pathways to Promise, a national interfaith organization which provides technical assistance to faith communities regarding mental health. AJ has provided mental health recovery education for diverse national audiences and occasionally writes mental health commentaries for mainstream media.

Paul Gionfriddo

Paul Gionfriddo was named President and CEO of Mental Health America on May 1, 2014. He has worked in a variety of health and mental-health related positions during a career spanning over thirty years. In 2013, he was appointed by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to a four-year term on the 12-member National Advisory Council to the SAMHSA Center for Mental Health Services. Prior to joining MHA, he was a consultant, speaker, and writer, and author of a popular weekly health policy blog entitled Our Health Policy Matters.

Kathryn Goetzke

Kathryn Goetzke is the founder of iFred (the International Foundation for Research and Education on Depression), dedicated to encouraging research on depression and reducing the stigma associated with the disease. Kathryn serves on the Global Mental Health Advisory Board, and has presented on the need to rebrand depression around the world for NGOs and nonprofits. She is an entrepreneur and innovator of product lines associated with cause marketing campaigns for depression and is the CEO of The Mood Factory.

Mary Grealy

Mary Grealy is president of the Healthcare Leadership Council, a coalition of chief executives of the nation’s leading healthcare companies and organizations. Ms. Grealy has an extensive background in healthcare policy. She has led important initiatives on the uninsured, improving patient safety and quality, protecting the privacy of patient medical information and reforming the medical liability laws. She testifies frequently before Congress and federal regulatory agencies.

Dr. John Greden

Dr. John Greden is Executive Director of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Depression Center, the Rachel Upjohn Professor of Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences in the Department of Psychiatry, and Research Professor in the Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience Institute. He joined the faculty at the Medical School in 1974 and served as Chair of the Department of Psychiatry from 1985 to 2007.

Alison M. Heru, MD

Alison M. Heru, MD, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Colorado Denver, practices psychiatry in the NES (non-epileptic or non-electrical seizures) program at University of Colorado. She is the author of several books: Working
with Families of Psychiatric Inpatients
(with Laura Drury); Couples and Family Therapy in Clinical Practice, 5th
. (with Ira Glick, Douglas Rait, and Michael Ascher); Clinical Manual of Couples and Family Therapy (with Gabor
Keitner and Ira Glick); and Working with Families in Medical Settings: A Multidisciplinary Guide for
Psychiatrists and Other Health Professionals
(editor). Dr. Heru is treasurer of the Association of Family Psychiatrists.

Charles Ingoglia

With more than 20 years of experience in behavioral health, Charles Ingoglia has worked as a provider, advocate, and educator for government and public sector organizations. Ingoglia directs the federal and state affairs function of the National Council for Behavioral Health, and oversees practice improvement and technical assistance programs offered to more than 500,000 behavioral health professionals across the U.S. His efforts have centered on key issues such as parity, healthcare reform, and improving the experience of mental health and addictions care and treatment engagement.

Prior to joining the National Council, Ingoglia provided policy and program design guidance to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. He also has directed state government relations and service system improvement projects for the National Mental Health Association, served as a policy analyst for the National Association of Social Workers, and designed educational programs for mental health and addictions professionals at the Association of Ambulatory Behavioral Healthcare. He has worked in a transitional shelter with homeless persons and provided individual, group, and couples counseling at the Whitman-Walker Clinic in Washington, DC. Ingoglia is adjunct faculty at the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management.

He is also Executive Director of the Partnership for Part D Access.

Vivian H. Jackson, Ph.D., ACSW, LICSW

Vivian Jackson is Assistant Professor in the National Center for Cultural Competence and the National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Mental Health at Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development, where she provides technical assistance and consultation related to cultural and linguistic competence for the SAMHSA Children’s Mental Health Initiative.

Molly Jenkins

Molly Jenkins is a graduate of Wesleyan University where she co-founded an Active Minds chapter. Today Ms. Jenkins serves on the Junior Board of Mental Health America Illinois and is co-chair of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance Young Adult Council. Ms. Jenkins has spoken about mental health issues at the Patriots for Parity Chicago Field hearing and the Illinois Statewide Youth Suicide Prevention Conference.

Cheryl King, PhD

Cheryl King, PhD is a licensed clinical psychologist and professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Psychology at the University of Michigan where she also directs the Institute for Human Adjustment. She is one of the nation’s foremost authorities on youth and young adult suicide risk assessment and prevention. Her research focuses on improving screening, assessment, and intervention strategies for young people at elevated risk for suicide.

Alison Malmon

Alison Malmon is founder and executive director of Active Minds Inc., the nation’s leading organization dedicated to empowering college-age students to speak openly about mental health in order to educate others and encourage help seeking. The organization engages thousands of student leaders nationwide through more than 400 campus chapters, promoting a unified national voice for young adults in the mental health awareness movement.

Ron Manderscheid, Ph.D.

Ron Manderscheid, Ph.D., serves as the Executive Director of the National Association of County Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability Directors. The association represents county and local authorities in Washington, D.C., and provides a national program of technical assistance and support. Concurrently, he is Adjunct Professor at the Department of Mental Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, and President of ACMHA—The College for Behavioral Health Leadership. He has served in several federal leadership roles in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Throughout his career, he has emphasized and promoted peer and family concerns.

Carol McDaid

Carol McDaid serves as Principal at Capitol Decisions, Inc. which has special expertise in addiction and mental health policy. With 25 years of Federal legislative experience in Washington, Ms. McDaid provides clients with public affairs consulting on issues that span the breadth of health care, including behavioral health, Medicare, Medicaid, and private sector reimbursement issues, and comparative effectiveness research.

Clare Miller

Clare Miller is the director of the Partnership for Workplace Mental Health, a program of the American Psychiatric Foundation which collaborates with employers to advance effective approaches to mental health. The Partnership promotes the business case for investing in quality mental healthcare, including early recognition, access to care and effective treatment which allows people to live healthy and productive lives.

Melody Moezzi

Melody Moezzi is an Iranian-American writer, activist, attorney and award-winning author. Her book, Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life is a memoir that interweaves her experiences with both clinical and cultural bipolarity. Moezzi is a United Nations Global Expert with the UN Alliance of Civilizations. Her first book, War on Error: Real Stories of American Muslims, earned her a Georgia Author of the Year Award and a Gustavus Myers Center for Bigotry and Human Rights Honorable Mention.

Kimberly Morrow

Kimberly Morrow is a licensed clinical social worker with over 20 years of experience in private practice, training professionals, and presenting workshops both locally and nationally. An expert in anxiety, she received the 2012 Clinician Outreach Award for the Anxiety and Depressive Disorders Association of America, and is the author of Face It and Feel It: 10 Simple (But Not Easy) Ways to Live Well with Anxiety. Kimberly is a member of the National Association of Social Workers, the Obsessive Compulsive Foundation – Scientific Advisory Board of Northwestern Pennsylvania Chapter and Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA) – Professional Education Committee.

Ben Nevers

State Senator Ben Nevers (District 12) came to the Louisiana Senate from the House of Representatives. Nevers, who served in the United States Army, is a businessman who has a clear understanding of the vital link between education and a healthy economy. Senator Nevers is committed to advancing the causes health care, agriculture and economic development.

Heather O’Donnell, Vice President of Public Policy and Advocacy at Thresholds.

Heather leads Thresholds’ public policy and advocacy efforts and also spearheads an advocacy coalition of over 150 mental and behavioral health organizations across Illinois. She has extensive experience in healthcare policy. She most recently served as Director of Planning for Health Care Reform at CJE SeniorLife, where she designed a federal health care reform demonstration program that included three major Chicago area hospitals and numerous healthcare providers. She served as the Policy Director for Health Care and Human Services at the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability with a focus on public healthcare finance for over six years. Prior to that, Heather practiced corporate and tax law for eight years. Heather holds a J.D. from the South Texas College of Law and a LL.M. in Taxation from the John Marshall Law School.

Mark Pollack, M.D.

Dr. Pollack is the Grainger Professor and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Rush University Medical Center and president of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. His areas of clinical and research interest include the acute and long-term course, pathophysiology, and treatment of patients with anxiety disorders and associated comorbidities; development of novel pharmacologic agents for mood and anxiety disorders; uses of combined cognitive-behavioral and pharmacologic therapies for treatment refractory patients; presentation and treatment of anxiety in the medical setting; and the pathophysiology and treatment of substance abuse.

David Precise

David Precise, the Executive Director of NAMI Louisiana has previous experience as the Coordinator of Student Leadership at the University of Alabama at Birmingham organizing programs to involve college students in service and civic activities. David later became the Director of the UAB Benevolent Fund. He has served as National Director of Development for the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, and served on the Board of Directors for Hands on Birmingham, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Community Health Charities of Alabama.

Sanjai Rao, MD

Dr. Rao received his medical degree from the University of California, San Diego, and is board certified in general psychiatry and psychosomatic medicine. His primary clinical role is inpatient attending psychiatrist at the VA Medical Center in San Diego. Dr. Rao currently serves as both an Associate Training Director and the Site Director at the VA Medical Center for the UCSD Psychiatry Residency and Co-Chair of the NNDC’s Military, Veterans and Families task group. Dr. Rao coordinates large parts of the residency curriculum, and has received a number of teaching awards based on his clinical and academic work. His current research activities include serving as the San Diego Site Investigator for VAST-D, a multi-site VA Cooperative study on treatment of depression in patients who have failed at least one antidepressant. He has also conducted research on improving the assessment and treatment of depression and delirium in the palliative care setting. Dr. Rao has published in several areas, including depression and delirium in palliative care, anxious depression, side effects of antipsychotic medications, and residency training.

Harvey Rosenthal

Harvey Rosenthal has over 38 years of experience working to promote public mental health services and policies that advance the recovery, rehabilitation, rights and community inclusion of people with psychiatric disabilities. Since 1993, he has served as the first executive director for the New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services (NYAPRS), a statewide peer led partnership of consumers and providers dedicated to improving services, social conditions and policies for people with psychiatric disabilities by advancing their recovery, rehabilitation, rights and community inclusion.

Steven Sayers, Ph.D.

Dr. Steven Sayers is the founding Director of Coaching Into Care. He is also a psychologist at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center and Associate Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry, Perlman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. He received his Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in 1990 and has worked with couples and families during his entire career. He has worked with Veterans and their families since 2000.

Leslie Secrest, MD

Dr. Secrest serves as Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas and is a Professor at UT Southwestern Medical School. He has been a member of UT Southwestern Faculty since 1974. Dr. Secrest’s clinical expertise is in the areas of psychoanalysis, geropsych and adult and addictions. He was recognized as a Fellow of American Psychiatric Association.

Lloyd Sederer, M.D.

Lloyd Sederer, M.D., is Adjunct Professor at the Columbia/Mailman School of Public Health and Medical Editor for Mental Health for the Huffington Post/AOL. His latest books, both released in April 2013, are The Family Guide to Mental Health Care and The Diagnostic Manual of Mishegas (with Jay Neugeboren and Michael Friedman). His website is The opinions expressed here are solely those of Dr. Sederer as a psychiatrist and public health advocate. He receives no support from any pharmaceutical or device company.

Hannah Sentenac

Hannah Sentenac is a writer, journalist, and Happiness Advocate. Her journey out of depression and anxiety and into a happier, healthier life inspired her to help others get happier. She speaks, hosts workshops, embarks on happiness-focused projects, and writes about happiness, positive psychology, and mental health for her blog,, as well as publications including the Huffington Post,, and Live Happy magazine. Her latest project, The Happy Wall, is a giant, interactive chalkboard art installation that asks people to answer the question, “What makes YOU happy?”

Greg Simon, MD, MPH

Greg Simon, MD, MPH, is a psychiatrist and researcher at Group Health Cooperative at the Center for Health Studies in Seattle. His research focuses on improving the quality and availability of mental health services for people living with mood disorders, and he has a specific interest in activating consumers to expect and demand more effective mental health care.

Rebecca Palpant Skimkets, M.S.

Rebecca Palpant Shimkets, M.S., is the assistant director for The Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism of the Carter Center’s Mental Health Program. Each year, The Carter Center awards stipends to professional journalists in the United States, Colombia, and Romania to produce substantial reporting on mental health or illness.

Andrew Sperling

Andrew Sperling is the Director of Federal Legislative Advocacy for NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, where he leads NAMI’s legislative advocacy initiatives in Congress and before federal agencies. Mr. Sperling works on issues affecting the mental health community with a focus on improving the lives of people with severe mental illnesses.

Pata Suyemoto

Pata Suyemoto an independent feminist scholar, writer, educator, and mental health activist. She has a Ph.D. in education from the University of Pennsylvania where she did her research on multicultural education and issues of race and racism. She has spoken and written about her struggles with depression. She is a volunteer for Families for Depression Awareness and in March 2009 she was profiled in an article in Psychology Today about managing one’s depression. When not doing scholarly work, Pata is an artist, Reiki healer, avid cyclist, and bicycle riding instructor.

Michael E. Thase, MD

Dr. Thase joined the faculty of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in 2007 as Professor of Psychiatry and Chief of the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Section after more than 27 years at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic. Dr. Thase’s research focuses on the assessment and treatment of mood disorders, including studies of the differential therapeutics of both depression and bipolar affective disorder.

A 1979 graduate of the Ohio State University College of Medicine, Dr. Thase is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, a Founding Fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy, President-Elect of the American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology, and a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the National Network of Depression Centers. He has been elected to the membership of the American College of Psychiatrists and is a Fellow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology.

Kelly Vaillancourt PhD, NCSP

Kelly Vaillancourt PhD, NCSP, is the Director of Government Relations for the National Association of School Psychologists, where she works collaboratively with public policy makers, professional organizations, educational and health professionals, and elected officials to advocate for the importance and value of school psychology, school psychologists, and school psychological services. She also represents NASP on a number of coalitions working to advocate for public policies that support NASP’s mission.

Paolo del Vecchio, M.S.W.

Paolo del Vecchio, M.S.W., is the director of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)’s Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS). SAMHSA is the lead federal agency designed to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities. Previously, Paolo was the CMHS Associate Director for Consumer Affairs, where he managed SAMHSA’s precedent-setting activities in addressing consumer participation and education, issues of discrimination and stigma, consumer rights, wellness, recovery, trauma, and others.

Dar Walker

Dar Walker, MBA, is Executive Director of NAMI St. Louis, which provides several educational and support programs for individuals living with mental illness and their parents, family caregivers, partners, and friends. Learn about NAMI St. Louis at

Amber Walser, Psy.D.

Dr. Amber Walser has been working with Coaching Into Care since May, 2014. Previously, she completed her postdoctoral training at the Center for Neurotherapy, working with children and adolescents on the autism spectrum. Dr. Walser has previously trained at the Hampton Roads VA Medical Center, Eastern Virginia Medical School Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and at Kaiser Permanent Psychiatry Department, in Los Angeles.

John W. Williams, Jr., MD

John W. Williams Jr., MD, is Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry at Duke University. He received his bachelor and MD degrees from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and completed residency training in Internal Medicine at the University of Iowa and a research fellowship at Duke University. He is Director of the Durham VA Evidence Synthesis Program; Scientific Editor of the NC Medical Journal; co-Director for Duke’s Clinical Research Training Program; and a faculty member in the Center for Health Services Research in Primary Care at the Durham VAMC. He also co-directed the MacArthur Initiative on Depression and Primary Care. Dr. Williams received a Generalist Physician Faculty Scholar Award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and an Advanced Career Development Award from the VA Health Services Research Program. Dr. Williams is board certified in Internal Medicine and active in resident physician education.