Paolo del Vecchio, M.S.W., Director, Center for Mental Health Services, SAMHSA
Paolo del Vecchio is the Director of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Center for Mental Health Services (SAMHSA). Paolo was the first Consumer Affairs Specialist hired in 1995 by SAMHSA. In this capacity, he promoted consumer participation in all aspects of the Center's policies and operations ranging from public education to developing evidence based practices to address the needs of persons with mental illnesses. A self-identified mental health consumer, trauma survivor, and person in recovery from addictions, Paolo has been involved for over 40 years in behavioral health as a consumer, family member, provider, advocate, and policy maker.
Chacku Mathai, Associate Executive Director, New York Association of Psychiatric Rehibilitation Services (NYAPRS)
Chacku Mathai is an Indian-American, born in Kuwait, who has over 25 years of experience in mental health and addiction community based services in a wide variety of roles including peer advocate, peer support meeting facilitator, self-help educator, community organizer, and educator. Chacku’s personal experiences as a youth and young adult consumer/survivor/ex-patient of mental health and addiction services in New York launched Chacku and his family toward a number of efforts to advocate for improved services and alternative supports in the community.
William Kellibrew IV, William Kellibrew Foundation
At age 10, William Kellibrew watched helplessly as his mother and 12 year old brother were shot in their living room by his mother’s ex-boyfriend. At age 13, William attempted suicide and was hospitalized more than nine times. He spent many of his teenage years homeless and wandering the streets in a life of despair. Today, William is an internationally recognized trainer, speaker, and advocate on trauma and healing from violence. He has been featured on MSNBC, CNN, HLN, BBC Worldwide, the Washington Post, and countless news media outlets and publications.
Marty Hadge, Trainer, Western Mass Recovery Learning Community (RLC)
Marty Hadge is a person in recovery from substance abuse as well as mental health issues, hearing voices, trauma, and poverty. After years of receiving traditional mental health services, Marty began working her way through the experience of hearing voices and extreme states by becoming active in the Western Mass Recovery Learning Community and attending Hearing Voices Groups. She has found meaning and value in this experience. Marty is now working with people transitioning out of psychiatric hospitalization and training Hearing Voices Group facilitators.