Board Members and Staff
Leah Harris, Director
Leah Harris, M.A., is a mother, advocate, writer, a trauma survivor, and a person with a psychiatric history, whose lived experience is her greatest expertise. She has written and spoken widely about her own experiences of trauma, addiction, suicide, severe mental health challenges, and recovery, and as the daughter of two parents who were diagnosed with severe mental illness, both of whom died very young as a result of their disabilities. This depth of personal experience fuels Leah’s unstoppable commitment to ensuring a meaningful life in the community and civil/human rights for people with mental health conditions, addictions, and trauma histories.
She is a suicide attempt survivor and expert who consults on new innovations in suicide prevention with the Center for Dignity, Recovery, and Empowerment serves on the Suicide Attempt Survivor Task Force of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, and on the Zero Suicide Advisory Group. She is also the co-founder of a newly-developing advocacy, research, resource, and support network created by and for people with lived experience of suicide attempts and suicidal thoughts/feelings.
She is an Emotional CPR facilitator, and promotes a range of trauma-informed approaches to supporting individuals through distress and crisis and into recovery.
Raymond L. Bridge, Director of Public Policy
Ray is a person in recovery from depression who became an advocate because of his own experiences and those of his family members. He is passionate about empowerment and justice. Beginning in 1990 he helped to found and lead three mental health consumer organizations: the Northern Virginia Mental Health Consumers Association, VOCAL, and the Laurie Mitchell Employment Center in Northern Virginia. Ray has been active in advocacy and transformation of Virginia’s public mental health system at the state, regional and local level. He served as president of the state Mental Health Planning Council for three years, was a member of an Olmstead Oversight Committee, and helped to design Virginia’s Medicaid Buy-in program. In 2008, Ray played a leading role in creating seven recovery projects in Northern Virginia that were funded as part of the Governor’s mental health transformation initiative. Ray comes to NCMHR from Mental Health America, where he was a writer and consumer advocate. He spent a career in government communications.
NCMHR Board of Directors
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