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Consumer Advisory Council

Laurie Espinosa

Laurie is a person living with personal and family experience with Bipolar Disorder.  She is also a licensed clinical social worker advocating that professional staff with mental health diagnoses be given the same opportunities provided to those without a diagnosis.  Laurie is a fulltime bilingual clinician at Community Care Alliance and she notes that recovery from addiction is much more accepted in the  CMHO workforce.    

Barbara Santagate

Barbara Jean is one of the long term consumers at Community Care Alliance affected by the State of RI’s elimination of “CNOM” funding for the uninsured and underinsured.  She lives with medical and mental health challenges.  Barbara has an AS in Criminal Justice and was featured in Bob Kerr’s August article on State mental health cuts.

Deb Carroll

Deb is a former client and former Board member at NRI Community Services.  She has worked as a part time Wellness Specialist at Community Care Alliance in Woonsocket for over two years.  Deb has BS in psychology from RIC and previously worked for DCYF as a caseworker.  She is a certified recovery coach and a speaker for the Inside Mental Illness program.Debbie was a  trainer for HHP/Alive Center  recovery specialist training. She serves on consumer advisory boards for the Lottery Commission and the Supported Employment Certification Advisory Board.    

Paul Bechard

Paul is in recovery from addiction disorder and depression.  He is a part time Recovery Support Specialist at Community Care Alliance and a member of the BRSS TACS advisory group at the RI Division of Behavioral Health.

Lauren Gregarczyk

Lauren is a person in recovery from Bipolar Disorder and substance use.  She is the mother of two, a graduate of the Recovery Support Specialist training and a part-time employee at The Kent Center.

Ann Brown

Ann is a client at The Kent Center affected by the State of RI mental health cuts.  She has been featured in the Providence Journal article on the status of mental health services in Rhode Island.

Sol Espinosa

Sol is a young adult high school student who lives with her own and her family’s mental health challenges.  She looks forward to an opportunity to speak to others regarding mental illness and to be an advocate for mental health services.

Trish Blake

Trish is in recovery from long term anxiety and depression challenges.  She has served for eight years on the Patient and Family Advisory Council for Butler Hospital and is a graduate of the Recovery Support Specialty program sponsored by HHP and the Alive Center.  She has passed the provisional state certification and is currently employed as a Peer Advocate at East Bay Community Mental Health Center.

Ibrahim Abdus-Subu

“Abe” has a BA in Philosophy, has previously worked for two years as a Peer Advocate with veterans at the Davis Park VA Medical Center.  He recently completed the Recovery Support Specialist training.

Janice Vashon

Janice is a former client at NCCMHC and a person in recovery from PTSD.  Janice is a certified Wellness Coach and certified Peer Specialist and has been employed at East Bay Community Mental Health Center for over two years.  Janice has a BA and serves on the Board of NCCMHC. She is also a NAMI Connection certified facilitator.

Christian Lopez

Chris is employed as a Peer Specialist at Community Care Alliance on a Health Home team.  Chris is in recovery from PTSD and a mood disorder.