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As MHA’s Chief Research Officer, Theresa (she/her) leads MHA’s Center for Research and Innovation. In this role, Theresa works to improve access to mental health care through data and digital-based innovations. Her areas of special interest include prevention, early intervention, education, and building a full recovery-oriented mental health system of care. Theresa oversees MHA’s National Screening and Prevention Program and an array of groundbreaking reports, including The State of Mental Health in America. In addition, she leads MHA’s research that explores the integration of peers into mental health care, the use of technology to support people in the earliest stages of recovery, and how large-scale data provides insight into gaps in support systems across the country. As a licensed clinical social worker, she has over 20 years of experience in mental health as a clinician, educator, and advocate. Her clinical experience focused on working with children and adults with serious mental illness, those experiencing homelessness, dual diagnosis treatment, and early intervention of psychosis. As an advocate, she works to build a consumer-based mental health workforce, improve access to treatment through community-based and recovery-oriented mental health programs, and address the needs of underserved communities. She is an adjunct professor in California and has taught courses covering mental health recovery, psychosocial rehabilitation, and social welfare policy. Before joining MHA National, Theresa worked at MHALA (Los Angeles) and MHAOC (Orange County, California). Theresa is also currently a Board Member of Project Return Peer Support Network, a member of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee Mental Health Taskforce, a member of the Mental Health Research Network Advisory Committee, and a PCORI Ambassador. 

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