Board Members 2003-2005

Board Profiles

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Patt Franciosi, WFMH President 2003-2005, has served as President of the National Mental Health Association in the United States, and Chair of the U.S. National Prevention Coalition. She has received two Presidential appointments: one to the National Institute for Mental Health Advisory Council, and the other to the United States Health and Human Services Secretary’s Council on Promotion and Disease Prevention. She has received numerous awards for her mental health advocacy work, particularly in the area of children’s mental health. In 1990 she mobilized a national effort for improved care and treatment of children with mental and emotional problems, which resulted in substantial increases in government funding for research and services for children. She has worked as a psychologist with young adults at Marquette University.

President Elect Shona Sturgeon is the Senior Lecturer in the Department of Social Development at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. She is also National President of the South African Federation for Mental Health, Chairperson of the Cape Mental Health Society, Vice President of the Family and Marriage Society of South Africa, Director of St. Luke’s Hospice, and an executive committee member of Parents’ Center. Mrs. Sturgeon has a particular interest in empowerment, diversity and cross-cultural issues.

Immediate Past President Pirkko Lahti is the Executive Director of the Finnish Mental Health Association, which delivers a comprehensive program of services in all parts of Finland. She was President of WFMH from 2001 to 2003, and also served as interim Secretary General. She has been active with Mental Health Europe since 1984, and was its President from 1997 to 1999. Her background includes a longstanding concern with prison and detention conditions in European countries.

Treasurer Edward Pennington is General Director of the National Office of the Canadian Mental Health Association. He is co-Chair of the Executive Board of the Health Charities Council of Canada, 2002-2003, and former treasurer of the National Voluntary Organizations of Canada. He was WFMH Regional Vice President for North America in 1999-2003.

Honorary Secretary Janet Meagher is the Manager of Research and Rehabilitation Services for the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association in Australia. She is the Consumer Chairperson of the National Consumer & Carer Forum, and Patron (and a founding member) of the Australian Mental Health Consumers Network. She is involved in many educational activities and is the author of “Partnership or Pretence,” a book on empowerment and participation.

Board Members at Large

Paulo Alterwain, a psychiatrist and psychotherapist, has served as Uruguay’s Director of the National Mental Health Program since 1987. He has also been President of the National Committee for Disability, and an Associate Professor at the School of Nursing run by the Ministry of Public Health. As WFMH Regional Vice President for South America from 1999 to 2003 he maintained a network of contacts, particularly in the countries of the Southern Cone.

Maan A. Barry, a psychologist, was head of the Department of Behavioral Sciences in the Department of Medicine at Aden University, Yemen, from 1999 to 2001. In 2001-2003 he was WFMH Regional Vice President for the Eastern Mediterranean. He was Secretary General of the Yemeni Psychological Association in 1990-1993, President of the Yemeni Mental Health Association in 1998, and is a member of several Arab psychological organizations.

Chueh Chang is President of the Mental Health Association in Taiwan, and an Associate Professor in the Institute of Health Policy & Management at the National Taiwan University. She is a Board member of the R.O.C. Consumers Foundation. She has organized many international conferences in Taiwan focusing on women’s issues, workplace mental health, and consumers’ and carers’ concerns.

Anthony Fowke brings a carer’s perspective to the WFMH Board. He is a lawyer member of the West Australian Mental Health Review Board, and Carer Chairperson (co-Chair with fellow Board member Janet Meagher) of the Australian National Consumer and Carer Forum under the auspices of the Mental Health Council of Australia. He is also a Vice President of the Australian National Association for Mental Health, and active with many groups in West Australia.

Brian Howard is Chief Executive Officer of Mental Health Ireland, the country’s largest voluntary body representing the interests of persons with psychiatric disorders. It is also actively engaged in the promotion of positive mental health. Previously, Mr. Howard worked in the Government Department of Health and Children, where he had responsibilities for the development of community care and for new mental health legislation.

Beverly Long was WFMH President in 1995-97 and is currently chair of the Federation’s International Consortium on Prevention. She has served as President of the U.S. National Mental Health Association (1979-80), and chaired the National Commission on the Prevention of Mental and Emotional Disabilities from 1983 to 1995. Earlier, she was a member of President Jimmy Carter’s Commission on Mental Health.

Janet Paleo is the Chair of the Consumer Council of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) in the USA. In addition, she is Chair of the NAMI Texas Consumer Council, and Consumer Director of the NAMI Texas Board of Directors. She is a member of the Citizens Planning Advisory Committee, and of the Mental Health Task Force, Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation.

Richard Studer has spent 40 years in the business world of mental health and the pharmaceutical industry. He is on the Board of Directors of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, and has served on the Board of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America. For several years he has provided pro bono consultation services to WFMH.

Deborah Wan has been Chief Executive of the New Life Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association in Hong Kong since 1981. She is also Rehabilitation International’s Chair of the Commission on Work and Employment (Asia & Pacific Region), and the Hong Kong representative to the Asian/Pacific Network of Work Centers for Disabled Persons. Ms. Wan has been involved with the Mental Health Review Tribunal and the Social Work Training Fund.

Regional Vice Presidents

Elizabeth Matare is the Director of the Zimbabwe Mental Health Association and the Honorary Secretary of the WFMH African Regional Council for Mental Health. She is an executive member of her country’s National Association for Non-Governmental Organizations, and the Vice-Chairperson of the National Association of Societies for the Care of the Handicapped. She has been appointed to the Zimbabwe Private Voluntary Organization Board which is responsible for registering and monitoring welfare organizations.

Eastern Mediterranean
Ahmed Abou El Azayem was the WFMH President in 1999-2001, and is Director of the Abou El-Azayem Psychiatric Hospital. He is a member of Egypt’s Presidential Committee for Health, and received an award from the Minister of Health in 2000 for his services to the country’s health policy development. He is the President of the WFMH Eastern Mediterranean Regional Council, of the Ismailia Mental Health Association and of the Egyptian Association for Family and Social Conflict Resolution. He is also a director of the Giza Mental Health Association.

Leo deGraaf is the current President of Mental Health Europe. A psychiatrist, he became one of the Directors of De Gelderse Roos in The Netherlands in 1990. He has served as a Representative in the Provincial Parliament of Gelderland. He took early retirement last year, but continues to do work with delinquent juveniles. Early in his career he worked as a doctor in Africa.

Mexico & Central America
Virginia Gonzalez Torreshas worked in Mexico for 25 years on behalf of human rights for people with mental illness. In 1980 she helped to establish the Mexican Foundation for the Rehabilitation of People with Mental Illness. Currently, she works in partnership with the governments of various states in Mexico to implement the Modelo Hidalgo for Mental Health project, a program established through federal legislation to provide a quality network of services to consumers.

North America & Caribbean
Cynthia Wainscott is the Chair Elect of the National Mental Health Association in the USA. She was the Executive Director of the National Mental Health Association of Georgia from 1990 to 2001. She was also a founding member and Chair from 1999 to 2001 of the Georgia Prevention Credentialing Consortium. She is the Secretary of the Center for Mental Health Services’ National Mental Health Advisory Council.

Peter McGeorge is a psychiatrist and Director of Mental Health Services for the Capital and Coast District Health Board in Wellington, New Zealand. He is the past Chair of the New Zealand Mental Health Foundation, an umbrella NGO that focuses on mental health promotion. He has also chaired the Youth Horizons Trust, an NGO specializing in the delivery of programs for young people with Conduct Disorder. He has a professional interest in child and adolescent psychiatry.

South America
Miguel R. Jorge is Associate Professor and Head of the Clinical Psychiatry Section at Paulista School of Medicine, Federal University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. He was President of the Brazilian Association of Psychiatry from 1996 to 2001, and has worked closely with the Pan American Health Organization on many issues. He is an advisor to the World Psychiatric Association’s Brazilian program on fighting stigma and discrimination related to schizophrenia.

Southeast Asia
Regina de Jesus has served as National Executive Director of the Philippine Mental Health Association for the past fourteen years, and has been engaged in developing work programs for disadvantaged people. She is a psychiatric social worker by profession, and serves on the Board of the Philippine Council for NGO Certification. She is also a Board member and past president of the Community Craft Association of the Philippines.

Western Pacific
Kazuyoshi Yamamoto is a senior psychiatrist in the Department of Neuropsychiatry of Ryukyu University Hospital. He is also an Assistant Professor in Community Psychiatry and Social Psychiatry at the University of the Ryukyus. Dr. Yamamoto is the Secretary General of the Ryukyu Asia-Pacific Medical Exchange Association, and a Board member of both the Japanese Society of Transcultural Psychiatry and the Japanese Society of Social Psychiatry.