“Eduardo is a national treasure. An inspiring leader who shows not only what needs to be done, but exactly how we can do it together... ” Judge Ginger-Lerner Wren
Eduardo Vega- Humannovations Founder, CEO and Principal
An internationally recognized thought leader in mental health systems, programs and policy, consumer/patient engagement, stigma reduction, men’s health and suicide prevention, Eduardo Vega’s work continues to drive the forefront of change for mental health worldwide. A former Fulbright Specialist and California State Mental Health Commissioner, he has spearheaded progressive social and public health change at local, national and international levels.
For over twenty-five years, Vega has worked for the improvement of lives and systems of care in behavioral health. A suicide attempt survivor who experienced serious mental health conditions himself since childhood, Vega has served as counselor and/or manager in virtually every psychosocial and clinical mental health service setting, as well as performing executive roles in government, business and non-profit administration. As President and CEO of Mental Health Association of San Francisco from 2010 to 2016, he drove organizational expansion near one-thousand percent in three years, focusing on innovation in consumer-run services and community empowerment. Simultaneously, as Director and Principal Investigator at the International Center for Dignity, Recovery and Empowerment Vega spearheaded leading-edge research, TA and training projects in suicide and stigma and discrimination reduction, community integration, self-help and peer support. Previously, he served at the executive management level of the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, one of the world’s largest public mental health authorities.
Highly sought as a speaker for his dynamism and ability to connect personal experience with systems and social change, Mr. Vega has presented and consulted on policy and technical issues in behavioral health with stakeholder and consumer groups, private industry and government throughout the US, in Japan, the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Fiji and Latin America. He serves on the boards of the College for Behavioral Health Leadership and United Suicide Survivors International, the Steering Committee of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the Global Anti-Stigma Alliance, and the Executive Committee of the US National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, through which he founded the world’s first suicide attempt survivor task force. Eduardo Vega holds an M.A. in Psychology from the Graduate Faculty of New School.
Vega has been recognized by the State of California, the United States Senate, the US federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the nation of Fiji, the International Initiative on Mental Health Leadership and the United States Surgeon General among others.
Lisa Goodale, MSW
Ms. Goodale has over twenty years’ experience in the area of mental health training, programs and policy, with a focus on peer support training in clinical and community-based care settings. As a Vice President for the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) she was instrumental in securing and managed a $1M+ national peer specialist training and certification contract with the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and managed day-to-day activities, reporting, and evaluation of a $250,000 SAMHSA Center for Mental Health Services national consumer technical assistance center grant. She developed new training and consultation business related to implementation of peer support services, peer specialist training/certification, Veteran related issues and needs, and overall mental health training and consultation; secured approval of DBSA’s Certified Peer Specialist training curriculum by the national VA Office of Mental Health Services and the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs; and created and delivered online and conference-based workshops, training/continuing education courses, and organizational technical assistance. Ms. Goodale has participated as a co-investigator and advisor for multiple federally funded research and technical assistance projects, as well as serving as reviewer/consultant to the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). She has been a featured speaker nationally and provided expert testimony to the US Congress. It is her joy and special privilege to have been invited along on the recovery journeys of so many courageous people.
DeQuincy Lezine, Ph.D. Consulting Research and Evaluation Director
Dr. Lezine is an author, policy expert and leader in the field of suicide prevention research. In addition to his many published research credits in psychology and suicidology, he founding Chair of the Attempt Survivor Lived Experience Division of American Association of Suicidology and Co-Chair of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Consumer Survivor Committee. Dr. Lezine has been co-investigator on multiple federally funded research projects and has presented internationally. He previously collaborated with Mr. Vega at the California state funded Center for Dignity, Recovery and Empowerment. As Co-principal Faculty of the Activating Hope project he has led internal and external evaluation programs focused on suicide prevention, lived experience disclosure and organizational culture.
Dr. Lezine started working on student mental health issues as a sophomore at Brown University. An internationally known suicide researcher and speaker he is the author of Eight Stories Up, 13 Answers to 13 Reason Why and primary author of The Way Forward: Pathways to hope, recovery, and wellness with insights from lived experience of suicide (from the US Suicide Attempt Survivor Task Force). He earned his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from UCLA and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in suicide prevention research at the University of Rochester. Throughout his career, he has maintained a passion for mental health promotion and suicide prevention with college students.
Catherine Duclos, M.S. Adult & Higher Education
Program and Operations Specialist /Growing Through Asst. Trainer
Catherine Duclos, MS has over thirty years of expertise in meeting the needs of customers, clients and students within the professional areas of education, training, mental health and human services, and private business through leadership and research, management and organizational development, teaching and training, coaching and counseling. She is passionate about working with the spiritual and transformative nature of mental health crises and suicidal intensity and has authored an article for Mad in America entitled Seeing Mental Illness as a Spiritual Breakthrough. She has her own lived experience with suicidal intensity, transformative personal crisis and has a deep commitment to others struggling with the same life experiences. Catherine is excited and grateful to be working with Eduardo Vega and the Humannovations team in our cutting-edge work. In her personal time, she is a poet, short story writer, avid hoarder of wellness and personal growth resources and loves to dance ecstatically to international music, especially from Africa.
Erika Lisardi, MA. Communications and Social Media Specialist
Erika Lisardi is currently the Communications and Social Marketing Intern for the Company. She is a California State University, Long Beach graduate with a Masters in English and has 2 years of experience in the realm of digital media. She has worked as a communications intern for two different independent book publishing companies, as well as a content creator for a Social Media Marketing firm. She believes wholeheartedly in the program, as she has lived experience with the values of Humannovations and is dedicated to making sure others are able to live their life in whatever peace they can. She is looking forward to being a part of the team and is excited to see - and be a part of - the growth of the organization.
Humannovations' Expert Circle
Humannovation's mission is supported by leaders at the top of their fields in social enterprise, public health, mental health, suicide prevention, health justice, training, peer support programs, evaluation and research. Sector advisors including John Draper, PhD, Executive Vice President of Health Technologies at Vibrant New York and Director of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline; David Covington, CEO of RI International. Luba Botcheva, Ph.D., strategy and research consultant to the Company bring dozens of years of development, evaluation and research expertise, including international work in developing nations. Joel Bosch, entrepreneur/business and finance expert provides consultation on financial strategy and management. Lisa Goodale, MSW formerly Vice President and Training Director of the US national Depression Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA), contributes program development, curriculum review and train-the-trainer consultation. Other experts in criminal justice, the arts, suicide prevention, veteran mental health and trauma-informed care training, contribute insight and an expansive marketing network.
"When you’re overwhelmed by despair, all you can see is suffering everywhere you look. You feel as if the worst thing is happening to you. But we must remember that suffering is a kind of mud that we need in order to generate joy and happiness." ~Thich Nhat Hanh