Mental Health America Elects John A. Morris, M.S.W., as New Chair of Board of Directors
Integration of Mental and Overall Health Care To Be Top Priority
Contact: Eileen Sexton, 703-837-4783 or firstname.lastname@example.org
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (June 9, 2008)-Mental Health America (formerly the National Mental Health Association) has elected John Morris, M.S.W. as the new Chair of its Board of Directors beginning in June 2008. In this role, Morris will provide direction and leadership to the organization - which celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2009 - and its more than 320 affiliates nationwide. Among the many issues he plans to take on as Chair, Morris' primary interest is the integration of mental health into general health care practice. He is the Director of the Human Services Practice of the Technical Assistance Collaborative, Inc. and Executive Director of the Annapolis Coalition on the Behavioral Health Workforce.
"It is a great honor to serve as Chair of Mental Health America's Board of Directors, and it is a special pleasure to do so during the centennial year of our founding by Clifford Beers," said Morris. "We are building on the past century of service and advocacy as we seek to change the conversation about America's health status; we know there can be no fullness of health without good mental health. With our staff, volunteers and over 320 affiliates nationwide, we intend to redouble our efforts until mental health is an integral part of mainstream healthcare."
Morris is an avid leader in the mental health community, having spent more than 25 years in the public behavioral health field as a clinician, administrator, researcher, and educator. In 2007, he retired as Professor and Director of Health Policy Studies in the Department of Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, where he retains a clinical professorship.
"It's a pleasure having such a talented and impassioned leader as the head of Mental Health America's Board of Directors," said David L. Shern, Ph.D., president and CEO of MHA. "We're very excited to have John on board during this pivotal time in Mental Health America's history and we eagerly anticipate working with him and our partners across the country to advance our mission of improving the mental health and well-being of all people."
Morris graduated from St. Mary's Seminary and University in 1968 with a Bachelor of Arts and continued his education at The George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis, where he graduated in 1978 with a Master of Social Work. In 1996, Morris was named a Washington University Distinguished Alumnus. In 2006, the American College of Mental Health Administration, of which he is a past-President, awarded him with the Saul Feldman Lifetime Achievement Award, ACMHA's highest honor.
He is a member of the MacArthur Foundation's Mental Health Policy Research Network and is a consultant to MacArthur's Models for Change juvenile justice reform effort. He is a past-President of the South Carolina Action Council for Cross Cultural Mental Health and Human Services. He is a member of the National Advisory Council to the Georgetown University Technical Assistance Center for Children's Mental Health, the Texas Health Institute's National Advisory Board for Community Collaboratives, the National Leadership Forum on Mental Health and Criminal Justice, the editorial board of Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, a member of the National Board of Editors of the College of Direct Support (University of Minnesota) and is a reviewer for Psychiatric Services and PsyCRITIQUES. He also serves as Senior Policy Consultant with Comprehensive NeuroScience, Inc. (CNS) and was the founding editor of Prescriptions for Progress.
Mental Health America is the country's leading nonprofit dedicated to helping ALL people live mentally healthier lives. With our more than 320 affiliates nationwide, we represent a growing movement of Americans who promote mental wellness for the health and well-being of the nation - everyday and in times of crisis.