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USF Professor Dr. Robert Friedman Addresses President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health

On April 29, 2002, President Bush followed through with his pledge to support the 54 million Americans with mental and physical disabilities, establishing the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health. With a goal of advising the President on the United States mental health service delivery system, the Commission will meet monthly to provide recommendations and improvements that will enable adults with serious mental illnesses and children with serious emotional disturbances to live, work, learn, and participate fully in their communities

Priorities and processes for the Commission's work were established June 18 & 19 at a meeting in Pentagon City, Virginia. The first monthly scheduled meeting occurs July 17 –19 2002 in Washington DC, and CFS Chair Robert Friedman has been asked to provide an overview of the mental health issues for the nation’s children. Nationally recognized as an expert in the field of children’s mental health, Dr. Friedman contributed to the first ever Surgeon’s Generals Report on Mental Health, which is being used as background material for the Commission.

Dr. Friedman is Professor and Chair of the Department of Child and Family Studies, a multi-disciplinary department that strives to improve the well-being of families and children through applied research, training and education, evaluation, and dissemination of information. It is one of three academic departments at the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute at the University of South Florida in Tampa.

Since 1984 Dr. Friedman has also served as Director of the Research and Training Center for Children’s Mental Health, one of two such centers in the U.S. He has published and presented more than 140 papers and articles.

Dr. Friedman is co-author with Beth Stroul of, "A System of Care for Children and Youth with Severe Emotional Disturbances," a monograph which has been widely used across the country to plan service delivery systems. He is also co-editor of a Paul H. Brookes book series on systems of care, co-editor of several special journals on children’s mental health, and co-editor of a book entitled, "Advocacy on Behalf of Children with Serious Emotional Problems."

Dr. Friedman has served on many national committees including the Planning Board for the Surgeon General’s Report on Mental Health, has chaired task forces and review panels for the federal government, and has provided Congressional testimony on several occasions. He served as Co-Chair for the Children’s Workgroup of the Florida Commission on Mental Health and Substance Abuse in 2000, and recently produced a report capturing themes from similar commissions from 13 states.

In addition to his national work, Dr. Friedman has served on many local, state, and university committees. He currently serves as co-chair of the steering committee for the USF Collaborative for Children, Families, and Communities.

For additional information, Dr. Friedman can be reached at 974-4640 or through email at friedman@fmhi.usf.edu. Additional information on the President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health can be found at
Website: http://www.mentalhealthcommission.gov/contactus.html
Phone: 301-443-1545
Mail: President`s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health
5600 Fishers Lane, Room 13C-26
Rockville, Maryland 20857

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