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MHS Announces Departure of Dr. Steven Friedman; Search for New Executive Director
Date:10/30/2008

CLEVELAND, Oct. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Mental Health Services (MHS) announced the departure of its long-serving Executive Director, Dr. Steven Friedman, who will assume the position of President and Chief Executive Officer at The Cleveland Sight Center.

"The MHS Board of Trustees has begun the search for executive leadership of the same caliber that Dr. Friedman provided the past 16 years," noted Dr. Richard Robins, MHS Board Chair. "The agency is deeply indebted to Dr. Friedman and we wish him well in his new position."

Robins said the MHS Board appointed Susan Neth as Interim Executive Director. Neth has been Chief Operating Officer since 2006 and has the longest tenure of any MHS staff member. She has also served as Director of Homeless Services and as Director of Community Development. A forceful advocate for the rights and interests of homeless persons, Neth holds a Masters Degree in Organizational Development.

In the past year, MHS provided services to nearly 4,000 homeless adults and children, and 11,700 children and adults through crisis and trauma programs.

As Executive Director of MHS, Dr. Friedman became one of Cuyahoga County's most effective advocates for quality healthcare and supportive services for vulnerable children and adults including those who were homeless, mentally ill, considering suicide and incapacitated by dependency. For homeless adults with mental disabilities, Friedman, through MHS, created the most comprehensive and coordinated scope of services of any agency in Ohio.

In 1995, his vision of a Mobile Crisis Team brought mobile, 24/7, community-based services to adults and children in psychiatric crisis, and he worked with others to document the effectiveness of these services in pioneering, scientific studies published in professional journals.

Under Dr. Friedman's leadership, MHS developed a solid record of solving or effectively dealing with community problems. The agency has grown from an organization of 15 staff members and an annual budget of $600,000 in 1993 to an operation of more than 200 staff members and a budget of more than $14 million this year.

Now in its 21st year, MHS is certified by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services. MHS is also accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities and The American Association of Suicidology. Outcome data demonstrated that MHS programs help clients achieve housing, sustained recovery and self-determination.


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SOURCE Mental Health Services
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