PAOLO DEL VECCIO
Paolo del Vecchio is Acting Director of the Office of External Liaison of the at the Federal Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where he coordinates the Centerís communications and consumer affairs activities.† Previously, Mr. del Vecchio was a Senior Policy Analyst at CMHS where he assisted in the development of national mental health policy and programs to improve the lives of mental health consumer/survivors.† This includes emphasis on a wide range of issues, including consumer rights protections, managed care, homelessness, alternative services, older adult mental health, cultural competence, and others.
Mr. del Vecchio was the first Consumer Affairs Specialist hired by this Federal agency.† In this capacity, he promoted consumer/survivor participation in all aspects of the Centerís policies and operations ranging from public education to efforts at researching effective strategies to address the needs of persons with mental illnesses.† This included initiating a comprehensive approach including organizing historic dialogue meetings between consumers and practitioners, organizing regional consumer meetings, coordinating anti-stigma efforts, developing grant programs, etc.
Mr. del Vecchio worked for the Philadelphia Office of Mental Health in the areas of policy development and planning a comprehensive system of community-based mental health services addressing homelessness, HIV/AIDS, and many other issues.
A self-identified mental health consumer/survivor, Mr. del Vecchio has been involved in the consumer/survivor self-help movement for over a decade.† A published author and speaker across the nation and internationally, he has been involved with many organizations. including the Consumer/Survivor Research & Policy Work Group, the World Federation of Psychiatric Users, the Housing Consortium for Disabled Individuals, the Mental Health Statistics Improvement Project Ad-Hoc Advisory Committee, the Federal Advisory Planning Board for the Surgeon Generalís Report on Mental Health, Mental Disabilities Rights International, and numerous others.