It appears that you might be using an outdated browser. Some features of our site may not work.
For an optimal browsing experience, we recommend installing Google Chrome or Firefox.

MindWise Innovations Convenes Advisory Council of Experts

by Nick Hanzel-Snider


Non-profit Aims to Reach More Individuals Nationally, Globally

MindWise Innovations (a service of the nonprofit Riverside Community Care), which offers a comprehensive approach to mental health, substance use, and suicide prevention, announces the creation of its new Advisory Council. With a broad range of experience in a variety of industries and disciplines, this group of experts is united by a shared passion for expanding access to and the availability of behavioral health and suicide prevention resources. In teaming up with MindWise, they are helping to bring best-in-class, evidence-based programs to a larger audience, innovate new trauma-informed behavioral health solutions, and shape the future of behavioral healthcare.

“Each member of this Council is already making a difference in how we think and talk about mental health and substance use,” says MindWise Senior Vice President Bryan Kohl. “What’s truly special here is that we’re just as eager to amplify their voices and work as we are to have the Council’s support in bringing our behavioral health tools to more individuals, organizations, and communities.”

Members of the Advisory Council bring a wealth of clinical, scientific expertise as well as lived experience of mental health and substance use struggles – both their own and those of loved ones and colleagues. As leading voices in their respective fields, each member shares a common goal of giving behavioral health parity with physical health.

The inaugural members of the MindWise Advisory Council are:

  • John Ackerman, PhD: Child clinical psychologist and Suicide Prevention Coordinator for the Center for Suicide Prevention and Research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital
  • Lynda Michaud Cutrell: Executive, advocate, and family member; former Board President of National Alliance on Mental Illness, Massachusetts Chapter
  • Madelyn Gould, PhD, MPH: Irving Philips Professor of Epidemiology in Psychiatry at Columbia University, Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons; Research Scientist in the New York State Psychiatric Institute
  • Marcia Head, LICSW: Clinical social worker and therapist
  • Douglas Jacobs, MD: Medical Director & Founder of Fighting Opioid Misuse and Stop A Suicide; Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School
  • Patrick J. Kennedy: Former U.S. Congressman; Co-Founder of Psych Hub; Founder of The Kennedy Forum
  • Eileen McAnneny: President of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation
  • Nancy Norman, MD, MPH: Medical Director of Integration at the Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership, Beacon Health Options
  • Diane Patrick, JD: Senior Counsel at Ropes & Gray LLP
  • Gigi Sagansky: Host of the Driven Minds Podcast
  • Lynn Sanford, LICSW: Clinical social worker; author of Strong at the Broken Places
  • Paul Summergrad, MD: Dr. Frances S. Arkin Professor and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Tufts University School of Medicine; Psychiatrist-in-Chief at Tufts Medical Center
  • Dan Tatar: Founder and CEO of ADK Group
  • Michelle Walker, CCIFP, SPHR: Vice President of Finance & Administration for SSC Underground; Founding Chair, Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention (CIASP)
  • Mark Whalen: CEO Emeritus and Board Member at Needham Bank
  • Barry White, JD: Board Chair, Massachusetts Association for Mental Health; Former U.S. Ambassador to Norway

Although only just formed, the Advisory Council has several initiatives underway with MindWise. Two such collaborations focus on SOS Signs of Suicide, a youth suicide prevention program for 6th-12th graders. Michelle Walker of CIASP is working with MindWise’s Behavioral Health Consulting team on adapting parts of SOS for workplace scenarios, thus providing employees with basic knowledge of mental health and how to respond when concerned about a co-worker. Following the research showing that younger students would also benefit from suicide prevention education, MindWise is partnering with John Ackerman of Nationwide Children’s Hospital on building an SOS curriculum for 3rd-5th graders.

Some of the topics we cover can be difficult. For free and confidential support, call or text the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 or text the Crisis Text Line at 741741.

Want to Read More?

Check out more blog content on behavioral health, suicide prevention, and trauma-informed approaches.