Dr. Dave Pilon talks with Kerry about his journey through the world of community-based mental health. In talking with him, one gets a sense of how our life experiences, over decades, can come full circle to tie everything together. Most recently, Dr. Pilon was the author of the proposal outlining a bold five-year mental health pilot, submitted to the state of CA in 2019, inspired by the WHO-recognized community-based mental health system in Trieste, Italy and adapted to an American context. Not only was he inspired by Trieste, but his vision was also informed by his seminal work at The Village in Long Beach, the site of a fascinating study in the early 90s. That state-funded study documented how an integrated service system, geared to whole person care with a per-capita budget, led to noteworthy recovery outcomes for the participants. Topics to explore will include psychosocial rehabilitation, the elements of recovery, and how we all benefit by helping people with mental illnesses to find belonging, purpose and true inclusion in our community.
Dave Pilon received his doctorate in Social Psychology from Harvard University in 1981. From 1989 until his retirement, he served in various roles at Mental Health America of Los Angeles, including as its CEO from 2009 until 2017. For over 35 years he has consulted in the design and transformation of mental health programs and systems throughout the United States, New Zealand and Japan. Most recently he has served as the lead consultant to the L.A. County Department of Mental Health for the TRIESTE Pilot.
Dave has presented numerous workshops on ethics and leadership issues in psychosocial rehabilitation as well as on the development of performance measures for social rehabilitation programs. He is passionate about creating better ways to serve the most vulnerable among us, particularly people with serious mental illnesses.
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Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health. The TRIESTE* project: *true recovery innovation embraces systems that empower [Internet]. Sacramento (CA): Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission; [updated 2019 Apr 30; cited 2020 Jan 29]. Available from: https://mhsoac.ca.gov/sites/default/files/documents/2019-05/1054552_TriesteConceptPaper-4-18-2019FINAL.pdf