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National Coalition of Mental Health Consumer/Survivor Organizations Hires Director of Government Relations

Saturday, September 19, 2009 General News J E 4
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Dr. Thomas Bryant Brings Hill Experience, Commitment to Consumer/Survivor Empowerment

WASHINGTON, July 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Coalition of Mental Health Consumer/Survivor Organizations is pleased to announce the hiring of Thomas Bryant, MD, JD, as its first-ever Director of Government Relations. Dr. Bryant, a longtime leader in the mental health field, states: "I'm excited to join the staff of the National Coalition. The most important innovations in the mental health field come from consumer/survivors and it is time for us to take our rightful place at the head table, where decisions are made."

Bryant has a distinguished career in public service and identifies publicly as a person with lived experience of mental health challenges and recovery. Throughout his career he has had extensive interaction with members of Congress and their staffs. Under President Johnson, he served as the Director of Health Affairs at the Office of Economic Opportunity. In the Carter Administration he served as the Chairman of the President's Commission on Mental Health, which was co-chaired by First Lady Rosalynn Carter. He has spent 30 years as a member of the Carter Center's Mental Health Task Force. He founded the Public Committee on Mental Health and formed the Friends of the National Library of Medicine with former Congressman Paul Rogers. He formed the National Foundation for Mental Health, which advocates for mental health research funding.

He has worked for the Ford Foundation, and is the founder of the National Drug Abuse Council. Prior to accepting the position with the National Coalition, he was employed at the New York law firm of Webster and Sheffield, for which he opened a Washington, DC, office. He has both a law degree and a medical degree from Emory University.

Bryant will work closely with Lauren Spiro, Director of the National Coalition. Says Spiro, "Thomas Bryant is a terrific addition to our staff. With his knowledge of Capitol Hill and passion to advance the mission of the National Coalition, we will have a more visible and powerful impact in shaping the public policies that affect us."

For more information, call the National Coalition of Mental Health Consumer/Survivor Organizations, 877-246-9058, or email info@ncmhcso.org.

SOURCE National Coalition of Mental Health Consumer/Survivor Organizations
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