Richard Van Horn
In his 29 years as chief executive, Richard Van Horn built Mental Health America of Los Angeles (MHA) into one of California's leading nonprofit mental health organizations. He is at the forefront of improving conditions for adults and young adults with mental illness through service innovation, systems design and public policy change.
Mr. Van Horn became the organization's president emeritus in 2009 and continues a commitment to advancing mental health systems change. Key among his leadership involvement, he is the state superintendent of school's appointee to the Mental Health Oversight and Accountability Commission.
Mr. Van Horn led the development of recovery-focused and client-run programs that reflect MHA's belief in recovery. His organization designed the MHA Village, which has earned recognition for its effectiveness and emerged as a national model for recovery-focused, integrated services. His commitment to client-run services is reflected in MHA's sponsorship of Project Return Peer Support Network, which has become an independent organization.
His long-lasting advocacy achievements include his organization's leading sponsorship of Proposition 63, which became the Mental Health Services Act. In 2005-06, Mr. Van Horn took a leave of absence from MHA during which he served as principal consultant to the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission.
Among his honors, Mr. Van Horn received lifetime achievement honors from the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare and National Mental Health America. Other recognitions come from the American Psychiatric Association - Southern California affiliate, California Community Foundation, California Network of Mental Health Clients, Mental Health Advocacy Services and National Association of Social Workers - California.