Bill Compton has directed Project Return: The Next Step (PR:TNS) since 1994. His work focuses on empowering people with mental illness through peer support, community involvement, jobs, training and advocacy. As a trainer, he shares lessons in designing and promoting services run by and for people with mental illness and communicates PR:TNS' core values about recovery, self-help and equality.
In state and national conferences, Mr. Compton has made presentations on topics such as establishing and enhancing a network of self-help clubs, running a peer support telephone help line and incorporating the role of consumer-run services into a mental health system. Mr. Compton is a leader in the mental health consumer empowerment movement. He was “Consumer Advocate of the Year” for the International Association of Psychosocial Rehabilitation Services; received the Clifford Beers Award, the National Mental Health Association's highest honor; and was honored with an Eli Lilly Company's Re-integration Award for his mentorship of people with mental illness.