About Us

Our mission is to support people living with mental illness in parenting well. All parents have strengths to build on. The right resources provide hope, encourage mental health and recovery, and help parents, their children, and families achieve their goals. We support mental health promotion for all parents, and promote effective treatment and rehabilitation, peer supports and self-care for those living with mental illness.
While many of us are affiliated with a medical school as faculty and staff members, the university neither supports nor endorses the ParentingWell® web site. Our work on this site reflects our larger commitment to the well-being of families living with parental mental illness. You can contact us at info@parentingwell.org.

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    Joanne Nicholson, Ph.D.

    Joanne has been a clinical and research psychologist and professor of psychiatry for over twenty-five years. She writes extensively on parents with mental illness, and provides training and consultation to professional and consumer groups. Joanne and her partner share four adult children. Joanne is a co-author of Parenting Well When You're Depressed.

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    Kathleen Biebel, Ph.D.

    Kathleen is a research assistant professor of psychiatry and assistant director of a mental health services research center. She has coordinated and conducted many studies of parents with mental illness and their children, and is particularly interested in policy issues as they affect families. Kate is a parent to two preschoolers and lives in Massachusetts.

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    Steve Banks, Ph.D.

    Steve our close collaborator, mentor, and friend, truly embraced the vision and mission of ParentingWell®. Steve devoted his professional career to telling the stories of the lived experience of mental illness, using the most rigorous and innovative design and analytic strategies possible. He was creative and caring, provocative and supportive. Steve enhanced our work and lives, and the lives of many, many individuals living with mental illness.

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    Jonathan Clayfield, MA, LMHC, CPRP

    Jonathan is a senior research project director. He currently works in the area of law and psychiatry, providing project and database management, data analysis, and assistance with crisis intervention training of community law enforcement. Jonathan is a licensed mental health clinician with considerable experience in community-based mental health settings as well as in the psychiatric rehabilitation clubhouse environment. He has presented workshops on parental mental illness and the employment of individuals with psychiatric disabilities in a university research setting at local and national conferences. Jonathan holds the designation of Certified Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioner from the U.S. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association. In addition, he is a co-author of Parenting Well When You're Depressed.

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    Alexis Henry, Sc.D., OTR/L

    Alexis is an occupational therapist by training, and a senior research scientist. Her research focuses primarily on personal and contextual factors and community-based services that enhance or hinder the ability of people with disabilities, particularly with psychiatric disabilities, to participate fully as workers and parents. Alexis conducts research that informs the development of more effective services for people with disabilities and that examines the impact of health and social policies on the working and parenting lives of people with disabilities. Alexis is a co-author of Parenting Well When You're Depressed.

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    Betsy Hinden, Ph.D.

    Betsy is a clinical and consulting psychologist, and an adjunct faculty member in psychiatry. Betsy has co-authored several articles on parents with mental illness and their children. Her primary interests are in program development and supervision, and direct care delivery for parents and families. Most recently Betsy has focused on the development of comprehensive, family-centered services founded on the integration of psychiatric rehabilitation for adults and wraparound for children.

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    Susan Phillips, B.S.

    Susan is a psychiatry research coordinator with extensive experience training and supporting individuals with psychiatric disabilities. She also facilitates dissemination of information and updates on current research, programs, resources, and information to people with mental illness and their families, and service providers via the web, through newsletters, posters and presentations. Sue is a co-author of Parenting Well When You're Depressed.

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    Valerie Williams, M.A., M.S.

    Valerie is a research instructor of psychiatry with a long-term interest and commitment to understanding the experiences of families living with mental illness, including the homeless, and victims of violence. She is an anthropologist and epidemiologist by training and works to help make sense of the information that is gathered from studies involving people in these groups. She is a parent to a preschooler and lives in Massachusetts.

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