Hi, I Am Dr. Jonathan Sherin, Director of LA County Mental Health, AMA!
UPDATE: Thank you for your great questions; feel free to keep in touch with me or LACDMH over social media and I look forward to answering more of your questions next time.
I am Jonathan Sherin, M.D., Ph.D., a father, surfer, wellbeing advocate, psychiatrist, neurobiologist and – as of this past November – the new Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH). I oversee the largest public mental health system in the United States with a budget approaching $2.5 billion. We serve over 250,000 residents annually in one of the most ethnically- and culturally-diverse counties in the nation.
Prior to joining LACDMH, I was the chief medical officer and executive VP of military communities for Volunteers of America, one of the largest national direct service non-profits. Over the years, I have served in various clinical, research, teaching and administrative leadership positions for the Department of Veteran Affairs. In my last such post, I directed mental health for the Miami VA Healthcare System.
As an expert on veteran issues, I have testified to Congress on a variety of trauma-, recovery- and reintegration-related challenges veterans face, including homelessness and suicide.
As a researcher, I have published a number of papers in the fields of neurobiology and psychiatry – including a “Science” article that described my work discovering a core sleep circuit in mammals (a.k.a. the sleep switch). I have also received the prestigious Kempf Award from the American Psychiatric Association for my conceptual model on the psychotic process.
Lastly, I am currently a volunteer clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at both UCLA and the University of Miami.
For the next hour (1:30p to 2:30p Pacific Time), I welcome your questions about mental suffering, confronting stigma and changing our perceptions, language and attitudes to create a new culture that promotes mental health. A colleague is helping me with typing down responses, but the words are 100% mine.
If anyone is interested, here is my Twitter, plus LACDMH’s website and social media pages:
P.S. This week, LA County is co-hosting the inaugural global summit dedicated to changing the way we think, talk about and take action for mental health. To learn more about & participate in this 3-day series of events to kick off Mental Health Awareness Month, visit http://www.changedirection.org/global-summit/