Craig Chepke, MD, FAPA
Medical Director, Excel Psychiatric Associates, Huntersville, NC
Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, SUNY Upstate Medical University
Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Atrium Health

Dr. Craig Chepke is a Board-Certified psychiatrist and a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He attended NYU School of Medicine and completed his residency training at Duke University. Dr. Chepke is the medical director of Excel Psychiatric Associates in Huntersville, NC as well as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at SUNY Upstate Medical University and an Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry for Atrium Health. Dr. Chepke has special interests in Serious Mental Illness, movement disorders, ADHD, and sleep medicine. He employs a person-centered care model to tailor treatments to each individual's needs, balancing pharmacotherapy with psychotherapeutic and physical health and wellness interventions. He is a member of the Huntington Study Group and serves on the board of directors for the CURESZ foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of people living with Schizophrenia.

Leslie Citrome, MD, MPH
Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
New York Medical College

Dr. Citrome is clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at New York Medical College in Valhalla, New York and adjunct clinical professor of psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, New York. In addition to his academic positions, he has a private practice in psychiatry in Pomona, New York and is a volunteer consultant to the Assertive Community Treatment team/Mental Health Association of Rockland County. He is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a Fellow of the American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology where he currently serves as President. 

Dr. Citrome obtained his MD from the McGill University Faculty of Medicine in 1983 and his MPH from the Columbia School of Public Health in 1996. 

Dr. Citrome is a frequent lecturer on the quantitative assessment of clinical trial results, including the metrics of number needed to treat and number needed to harm, and has lectured throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Australasia. His main interests include schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder. He is author or coauthor of over 575 research reports, reviews, and chapters in the scientific literature. Dr. Citrome is editor emeritus, International Journal of Clinical Practice where he was editor-in-chief 2013-2019; psychiatry topic editor for Clinical Therapeutics; editor for the American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology Corner in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry; section editor for psychopharmacology for Current Psychiatry; and also serves as an editorial board member for several other medical journals.

Jill Harkavy-Friedman, PhD
Vice President of Research
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Jill Harkavy-Friedman, PhD is the Vice President of Research and leads the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s research program to advance the field of suicide prevention. AFSP's research program provides funding to research grants, offers workshops and training to researchers and disseminates research findings to increase public awareness and support advocacy in mental health and suicide prevention. With 35 years of experience as a clinician and a researcher, she is passionate about translating research into practice, publishing over 100 peer-reviewed articles. She assists with AFSP’s development of programs and messages that reflect best practices and current research. She works with other national and international research organizations to help set the suicide prevention research agenda and encourage innovative research.

Dr. Harkavy-Friedman earned her B.A. in Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and her PhD. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Florida. She completed her internship at Yale-New Haven Hospital. In 1984, she joined Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine, establishing the Adolescent Depression and Suicide Program. In 1989, she moved to Columbia University/New York State Psychiatric Institute where she is an associate professor in the department of psychiatry.  She joined the staff AFSP in 2011. She maintains a clinical practice in Manhattan.

Rakesh Jain, MD, MPH
Clinical Professor
Department of Psychiatry
Texas Tech University School of Medicine
Austin, Texas

Dr. Rakesh Jain attended medical school at the University of Calcutta in India and attended graduate school at the University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston, where he was awarded the National Institute/CDC Competitive Traineeship. He graduated from the School of Public Health in 1987 with a master of public health (MPH) degree. After graduate school, he was a postdoctoral fellow in research psychiatry, under the Gerontology Center of the University of Texas Mental Sciences Institute in Houston, where he received a national research service award for the support of the postdoctoral fellowship. After this, he served a three-year residency in psychiatry at the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston, and two years of child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship.

Dr. Jain is currently involved in multiple research projects studying the effects of medications on short-term and long-term treatment of depression, anxiety, pain/mood overlap disorders, and psychosis in adult and child/adolescent populations. He is also the author of several articles on the issue of mood and pain conditions. He was recently named Public Citizen of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers, Gulf Coast Chapter, in recognition of community and peer education and championing of mental health issues.

Saundra Jain, MA, PsyD, LPC
Adjunct Clinical Affiliate
University of Texas at Austin
School of Nursing
Austin, Texas

Dr. Saundra Jain is executive director of the Mental Aerobics Project, focused on wellness and the impact of positive psychology on client outcomes. Dr. Jain provides workshops to healthcare practitioners, organizations, businesses, and individuals interested in learning more about the power of wellness. In 1992, she launched a private practice of psychotherapy, where she currently provides services for a wide range of mental health issues.

Dr. Jain is very active in the area of peer-to-peer education, especially in the disease states of depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, and ADHD. Another strong clinical and educational interest involves differential diagnosis of major psychiatric disorders. She is the co-creator and co-presenter of a novel and extremely well-received interactive workshop/program addressing the challenges of dealing with psychiatric comorbidities through the use of psychiatric scales and screeners. This program reached a national audience, and according to many attendees changed the way they practice medicine. She has been instrumental in developing several other innovative tools/programs to fill current gaps in this area. She is the co-creator and co-presenter featured on an interactive DVD titled Differentiating Bipolar Depression from Unipolar Depression. Recently, Dr. Jain served as the co-host of Depression in Relationships, a medical education program broadcast in 20 major cities in the United States on several major television networks (NBC, ABC, CBS, and FOX) and the Voice of America national news and talk radio system. She is also senior co-author of two very well-received books that were written for clients: Unleashed: Transforming My Battle With Depression and Unleashed: 12-Weeks to Total Mental Fitness, both directed toward the needs of patients struggling with mental health issues.

She obtained her master's degree from the University of Houston-Clear Lake and a doctoral degree from Southern California University for Professional Studies. She demonstrated her professional versatility by obtaining an MBA from Texas Woman’s University. She is a licensed professional counselor and a clinical member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. She has extensive clinical training in multiple sites, covering the gamut of childhood, adolescent and adult experiences in the private and the public sectors. She was selected for a postgraduate clinical fellowship at the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, where she trained in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Vladimir Maletic, MD, MS
Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science
University of South Carolina School of Medicine
Greenville, South Carolina

Dr. Vladimir Maletic is clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral science at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine in Columbia. He received his MD in 1981 and his MS in neurobiology in 1985, both at the University of Belgrade in Yugoslavia. He went on to serve a residency in psychiatry at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, followed by a residency in child psychiatry at Duke University. Dr. Maletic is a member of several professional organizations, including the Southern Psychiatric Association and American College of Psychiatrists. In addition, he has published numerous articles and has participated in various national and international meetings and congresses. His special areas of interest include neurobiology of mood disorders, pain, schizophrenia, ADHD, and regulation of sleep and wakefulness. Dr. Maletic is board-certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

Greg Mattingly, MD
Associate Clinical Professor, Washington University in St. Louis
President, Midwest Research Group
Board of Directors, APSARD
Editorial Board, Journal of Attention Disorders, St.Charles Psychiatric Associates

Dr. Mattingly is a physician and principal investigator in clinical trials for Midwest Research Group. He is also a founding partner of St. Charles Psychiatric Associates where he treats children, adolescents and adults. A St Louis native, he earned his medical degree and received a Fulbright scholarship while attending Washington University. Dr. Mattingly is board certified in adult and adolescent psychiatry and is a Diplomat of the National Board of Medical Examiners. He is an Associate Clinical Professor at Washington University where he teaches psychopharmacology courses for the 3rd year medical students. Dr. Mattingly has been a principal investigator in over 200 clinical trials focusing on ADHD, anxiety disorders, major depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Having served on numerous national and international advisory panels, Dr. Mattingly has received awards and distinctions for clinical leadership and neuroscience research. Dr. Mattingly currently serves as the President Elect for APSARD-The American Professional Society of ADHD and Related Disorders and is a certified evaluator for the NFL regarding ADHD and head concussions. He also serves on the board of Headway House, a community support program for individuals with chronic mental illness. An avid runner and outdoorsman, Dr. Mattingly believes mind, body and spirit are important qualities for him and his family.

Lesley McCuaig
Counselling Therapist Intern
The Peoples' Counselling Clinic

Lesley McCuaig grew up in a village outside of Halifax, Nova Scotia, where she lived with her parents and two older brothers. Her dream was to ski, and she placed 3rd in a Canadian National Competition in Banff, Alberta during high school. Lesley later became a skiing instructor.

Lesley attended the first independent high school in Canada, Kings-Edgehill School, where she won the 2000 Bronze Millennium Governor Generals Medal. She also learned Irish step dancing and studied at the Gaelic College.

After high school completed her Bachelor’s degree at Acadia University in Kinesiology in 2006.

From 2007 to 2013, Lesley worked successfully for a real estate and insurance company as an accounting technician. However, in 2013, she began to suffer from a growing addiction to alcohol. She attended a residential treatment facility for alcoholism in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, in the spring of 2014 and has remained in recovery to date.

In 2015, Lesley’s mother had a heart failure and was in a coma fighting for her life. The stress was difficult for Lesley. Soon after, during her mother’s recovery, she experienced her first symptoms of schizophrenia, hearing voices in her mind. After two weeks, the voices worsened. She was unable to sleep for days at a time and finally checked into a hospital. She was released quickly with no diagnosis and no medication.

When Lesley returned home, she experienced paranoia. She changed all the light bulbs in her house, believing someone was spying on her through the glass. She experienced delusions that her neighbors were conspiring against her, and she called the police on them multiple times.

After her first hospitalization, Lesley left home, wandering the nearby neighborhood, and eventually slept on the ground. When police found her sleeping rough in a public place, confused, she was retaken to a hospital. She would be hospitalized several more times in the summer of 2015 for behavior relating to auditory hallucinations.

Finally, in 2016, Lesley became honest with a mental health nurse about her auditory hallucinations and began regularly seeing a psychiatrist.

In 2016, Lesley celebrated a year and a half of sobriety, and also several months of remission from schizophrenia. That same year, Lesley decided to found a non-profit organization in British Columbia called the Connected through Sports Society. The Connected through Sports Society is a non-profit entity designed to provide a safe environment for people in recovery from addictions to participate anonymously in community sport.

She also founded her own for-profit business, Lesley McCuaig Consulting and Research, and was successfully self-employed.

As Lesley continued to thrive personally and professionally, she decided to make a career change and pursue a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology. She began her Master’s degree program in January of 2019. Today, she studies full time and also works full time in an accounting firm in Halifax.

Today, Lesley still skis, plays the piano, fiddle, and guitar, and enjoys photography. She has many close friends and loves to spend time with her family.

Her advice to anyone who has schizophrenia is “be honest about the voices, to have the most success working with your doctor, from the very beginning.”

Charles Raison, MD
Mary Sue and Mike Shannon Distinguished Chair for Healthy Minds, Children & Families
Professor, Human Development and Family Studies, School of Human Ecology
Professor, Department of Psychiatry
School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin
Madison, Wisconsin

Charles Raison, MD, is the first Mary Sue and Mike Shannon Chair for Healthy Minds, Children, and Families and Professor, School of Human Ecology, and Professor, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin. Prior to this, he was Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, and the Barry and Janet Lang Professor of Integrative Mental Health at the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Arizona.

Dr. Raison is internationally recognized for his studies examining novel mechanisms involved in the development and treatment of major depression and other stress-related emotional and physical conditions, as well as for his work examining the physical and behavioral effects of compassion training. The recipient of several teaching awards, Dr. Raison has received research funding from the National Institute of Mental Health, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2014, Dr. Raison received the Raymond Pearl Memorial Award from the Human Biology Association “in recognition of his contributions to our understanding of evolutionary biocultural origins of mental health and illness.”

Dr. Raison serves as the Founding Director of the Center for Compassion Studies in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Arizona and is on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Usona Institute. He is the mental health expert for CNN.com.

Carlos Tirado, MD, MPH
Founder and Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Tirado is board certified in general and addiction psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and is a fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. He is the Chief Medical Officer of CARMAhealth and MAP Health Management based in Austin, Texas. Dr. Tirado attended medical school at The McGivern Medical School in Houston, completed his residency in general psychiatry at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. Dr. Tirado received specialty training in addiction psychiatry and research at the Center for Studies on Addiction at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Tirado is trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Motivational Interviewing.

Dr. Tirado is a recognized expert and thought leader in medication-assisted therapy for addiction, primary care integration and collaborative care, virtual peer-recovery support, and blending traditional abstinence-based and harm reduction approaches to recovery. 

Ipsit Vahia, MD
Medical Director, Geriatric Psychiatry Outpatient Services
Medical Director, McLean Institute for Technology in Psychiatry
Director, Technology and Aging Laboratory, McLean Hospital
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
Boston, Massachusetts

Ipsit Vahia, MD, is a geriatric psychiatrist, clinician, and researcher. He is medical director of the Geriatric Psychiatry Outpatient Services at McLean Hospital and the McLean Institute for Technology in Psychiatry. He is also director of the Technology and Aging Laboratory. His research focuses on the use of technology and informatics in the assessment and management of older adults and currently, he oversees a clinical and research program on aging, behavior, and technology. He has published extensively in major international journals and textbooks.

Dr. Vahia serves on the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Council on Geriatric Psychiatry and the Geriatric Psychiatry Committee of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He has served on the board of directors of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry (AAGP) and on the editorial boards of five journals including his current role as social media editor of the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. He is a recipient of several prestigious awards including the 2016 AAGP Barry Lebowitz Award and the 2014 APA Hartford Jeste Award.

Vanessa Joy Walker
Coach, Communicator, and Advocate
Living After Crisis Inc.

Author, Speaker, Patient Advocate, Consultant, and Adversity Coach Vanessa Joy Walker is an expert at navigating mental and physical health crises. Her lived experience includes; abandonment, adoption, cancer, infertility, early onset menopause, anxiety and depression conditions, plus plenty of grief. As a featured speaker and contributor for outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The American Cancer Society, K-Love Radio, Motherly, Rise Together Podcast, and The Psych Congress Vanessa has shared her perspective on perseverance and joy with thousands of people worldwide. Vanessa is passionate about collaborating with people and organizations to help them achieve their highest missions. Currently, she is most proud of her partnerships with HMP Global’s Psych Congress as a member of the steering committee; Caelum Diagnostic Solutions as a strategic advisor; Ambassador, and content contributor for the UK publication Menopause Today; and her long term collaboration with the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion educational firm Point Made Learning. Vanessa currently resides in NC and can often be found singing, eating good food, and hiking with her loves, Pepper Joy (the family dog!) and Mr. Walker (the hubby).

Bethany Yeiser, BS
CureSZ Foundation

Bethany Yeiser is an author and mental health advocate. Her memoir Mind Estranged (2014) follows her trajectory from the onset of mental illness, through acute psychosis, homelessness, two brief incarcerations, and full recovery. As a motivational speaker, Bethany inspires positive change in the way people diagnosed with schizophrenia are characterized and treated in the health care system and by society. She discusses strategies for effective teamwork among families and health care providers, helping patients develop insight into mental illness, consent to treatment, and achieve the highest possible level of recovery. Bethany also raises awareness of the disproportionately high rate of incarceration of the mentally ill. Bethany holds a bachelor’s degree in molecular biology with honor from the University of Cincinnati. In July, 2016, she partnered with Dr. Henry Nasrallah to establish the CURESZ Foundation. Her other interests include performing classical and popular music on violin, and studying ancient Hebrew and Mandarin Chinese.

Mark Zimmerman, MD
Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Brown University
Director of Outpatient Psychiatry and Partial Hospital Program, Rhode Island Hospital
Providence, Rhode Island

Mark Zimmerman, MD, is a Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Brown University and director of the Partial Hospital Program and Outpatient Practice at Rhode Island Hospital. 

Dr. Zimmerman received his undergraduate degree from Columbia University, and his medical degree from Chicago Medical School. He completed his postgraduate training at the Medical College of Pennsylvania, and held an academic appointment as assistant professor at the same time he was a resident in psychiatry. 

Dr. Zimmerman is principal investigator of the Rhode Island Methods to Improve Diagnostic Assessment and Services (MIDAS) project. The MIDAS project has been ongoing for more than 25 years. The goal of the MIDAS project has been to integrate research methodology into routine clinical practice in order to improve clinical practice. By developing a large data-base containing symptom ratings and diagnoses based on semi-structured interviews, Dr. Zimmerman and colleagues were able to examine the generalizability of antidepressant efficacy trials by applying their exclusion criteria to patients evaluated in routine clinical practice.

Dr. Zimmerman is the author of more than 450 articles published in peer-reviewed journals, and serves on the editorial board of 10 journals. He is the associate editor of the Journal of Personality Disorders. He has developed several measures of psychiatric disorders for use in clinical practice. He is the author of the Interview Guide to Diagnose DSM-5 Psychiatric Disorders and the Mental Status Examination.