Co-Director, National Empowerment Center\ Member, President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health
Recovery From Mental Illness - Dan is a person who has recovered from schizophrenia. He was hospitalized several times prior to becoming a psychiatrist. He is one of the few psychiatrists in the country who openly discusses his recovery from mental illness. He is a role model for others who are struggling to recover, and his life dispels the myth that people do not recover from mental illness.
Presidential Appointee to the New Freedom Commission - Dan is a Commissioner on the New Freedom Commission; He was appointed by President Bush and is the only consumer/survivor/ex-patinet on the Commission (See Dan's official Commission biography below).
Education and Practice - Dan received his AB. from Princeton University, his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin and his M.D. from George Washington University. He carried out neurochemical research at the National Institute of Mental Health. He is a board-certified psychiatrist who completed his residency at Harvard Medical School. He is presently a Co-Director of the National Empowerment Center and practicing psychiatrist at Eastern Middlesex Outpatient Center/Riverside.
Speaker/Teacher - Dan travels to all parts of the country to conduct workshops, give keynote addresses, teach classes, and organize conferences for consumers/survivors, families, and mental health providers to promote recovery of people with psychiatric disabilities by incorporating the principles of empowerment. He has been featured on many radio and television programs, including CNN Special Report.
Author - Dan has written chapters in many books, as well as a number of articles in professional journals such as Hospital and Community Psychiatry and the Psychosocial Rehabilitation Journal In addition to recovery, his focus is on how consumer/survivors can gain a voice in managed care, for which he has produced a video, "Self-Managed Care." He has produced a video and booklet about important aspects of recovery, "Recovery is for Everyone" as well as a video on "Consumers Working as Providers".
Dr. Daniel Fisher is a staff psychiatrist at Riverside Community Mental Health Center in Wakefield, Massachusetts. He has worked as a board-certified psychiatrist for 25 years in a variety of inpatient and community settings such as a state hospital, day treatment center, outpatient clinics, and elderly housing. He was Medical Director for a community mental health center for 12 years. He also is a Co-Director of the National Empowerment Center in Lawrence, Massachusetts, a consumer-run Research, Training, and Information Center, which he helped found in 1992. Based on their research, he and Co-Director Laurie Ahern have developed the Empowerment Model of Recovery. They also have designed a training program based on the empowerment model, called the Personal Assistance in Community Existence(PACE)/Recovery Program. The purpose of the PACE/Recovery Program is to inspire and educate the mental health system and the public to view mental illness in a positive light, and to help all involved in these crises to understand that through hope, self-determination, and believing in the person, people can recover. Dr. Fisher and Ms. Ahern have brought their message of recovery to the public through print, television and radio news. Dr. Fisher is the co-recipient (along with Ms. Ahern) of the National Mental Health Association's 2002 Clifford Beers Award for Advocacy. He also helped found the Ruby Rogers Center for Advocacy and Peer Support in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Dr. Fisher spent five years doing neurochemical research at the National Institute of Mental Health from 1968 to 1973. He studied the enzymes which control the synthesis of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin. He published several papers and chapters in books on these topics. During this period, Dr. Fisher was labeled with schizophrenia and hospitalized several times.
He is among the few psychiatrists in the country who openly discusses his recovery from mental illness. His involvement in advocacy and peer support have played a vital role in his recovery. Dr. Fisher obtained an M.D. from George Washington University Medical School in 1976 and completed his Residency in Psychiatry at a Harvard teaching program at Cambridge Hospital. He earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin in 1968 and an A.B. in Biology from Princeton University in 1965. Dr. Fisher lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with his wife and two college-age daughters.