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National Mental Health Advocates Join Hogg Foundation's Advisory Council

University of Texas at Austin Office of Public Affairs - 10/27/2009

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AUSTIN, Texas Renowned mental health experts and consumer advocates Dr. Daniel Fisher and LaVerne Miller, Esq., have been appointed to the National Advisory Council of the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health.

The 10-member council advises foundation staff on strategic direction and potential funding initiatives. Council members have Texas-based or national expertise in mental health, consumer advocacy, philanthropy and other fields related to the foundation's mission of promoting the mental health of all Texans.

"We are honored and privileged that these prominent, influential and informed leaders have agreed to serve as advisers to the foundation," said Executive Director Dr. Octavio N. Martinez Jr. "Their knowledge and wisdom will help shape the foundation's initiatives and help to promote consumer, youth and family engagement in Texas."

Dr. Daniel FisherFisher is a board-certified practicing psychiatrist and executive director of the National Empowerment Center. He has recovered from schizophrenia, dispelling the myth that people do not recover from mental illness. His recovery and work in the field were recognized by his selection as a member of the White House Commission on Mental Health.

He co-developed the Empowerment Model of Recovery and the PACE/Recovery program to shift the system to a recovery orientation. He conducts workshops, gives keynote addresses, teaches classes, and organizes conferences for consumers/survivors, families and mental health providers to promote recovery of people labeled with mental illness by incorporating the principles of empowerment. He helped organize the National Coalition of Mental Health Consumer/Survivor Organizations, a national network of mental health consumers, and through that role has consulted with the Obama administration.

Fisher is a recipient of the Clifford Beers National Mental Health Association Award and the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law's Advocacy Award. He received his M.D. from George Washington University and completed his residency at Harvard Medical School. He also has a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin and an AB from Princeton University.

LaVerne Miller, Esq.Miller is an attorney and consultant whose career has centered on mental health and social justice. Following years of severe depression, Miller realized that finding meaningful work and peer support were critical for her own recovery as well as for many other consumers.

She works with Policy Research Associates and the federal Center for Mental Health Services to increase consumer, youth and family engagement and involvement in state initiatives and activities supported by federal mental health transformation grants. From 1996 to 2008 she was director of Howie T. Harp Peer Advocacy Center in Harlem, which trains consumers with histories of homelessness, mental illness and incarceration and promotes recruitment, hiring, retention, integration and advancement of consumers in the workforce.

Miller previously was an assistant district attorney in Manhattan, a community organizer and housing advocate in Queens, and co-chair of the New York City Federation for Mental Health, Chemical Dependency, Mental Retardation and Developmentally Disabled. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Northeastern Law School.

The Hogg Foundation was founded in 1940 by the children of former Texas Governor James Hogg to promote improved mental health for the people of Texas. The foundation's grants and programs support mental health consumer services, research, policy analysis and public education projects in Texas. The foundation is part of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at The University of Texas at Austin.