In a career that spanned over 45 years, Michael Friedman was a direct service provider, an administrator, and a social advocate, working in community and public service positions. In 2010 he retired from his position as Director of The Center for Policy, Advocacy, and Education of The Mental Health Association of New York City, which he founded in 2003. At the time he also retired as Chair of the Geriatric Mental Health Alliance of New York, which he co-founded in 2004, and as the Facilitator of the Veterans’ Mental Health Coalition in NYC, which he co-founded in 2009. He continues teaching Columbia University School of Social Work; and he writes frequently about mental health, aging, and other topics. He blogs on the Huffington Post.
Previously Mr. Friedman served as Regional Director (Deputy Commissioner) of the New York State Office of Mental Health, Director of Network Development for The Department of Psychiatry of New York Presbyterian Hospital, Executive Director of The Mental Health Association of Westchester, Director of Operations of The Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services; and Program Director, The Bridge, Inc. In the late 60’s and early 70’s, he taught philosophy at a number of colleges in the NYC area.
Mr. Friedman has been extremely active in the community over the years, working with numerous advisory and advocacy groups at the local, state, and federal levels. He is a Past President of the Coalition of Voluntary Mental Health Agencies, was Chairman of the Hudson River Planning Advisory Committee of the Office of Mental Health, was Vice-Chairman of the New York City Public Child Fatality Review Committee, served on The National Institute of Mental Health Services Research Planning Panel, was a member of the NYS Geriatric Mental Health and Chemical Dependency Planning Council, and served on the Health Care Policy Advisory Committee for the NYS Governor’s Transition Team in 2006 to mention just a few of his community service activities. Currently, he serves on the Advisory Committee to the NYC Commissioner of Health and Mental Hygiene.
Mr. Friedman has spoken at many professional conferences and published numerous articles, book chapters, and opinion essays. His topics have included geriatric mental health, integration of health and mental health services, mental health policy and finance, health care reform, child mental health, social advocacy, family support, managed care, psychiatric rehabilitation, child welfare, family violence, stigma, creativity, and political philosophy. He is also the co-author of a comic parody of America’s system of psychiatric diagnosis entitled The Diagnostic Manual of Mishegas. His writings can be found at www.MichaelBFriedman.com.
Mr. Friedman received his Bachelor's degree from Columbia College, a Master's degree in philosophy from Columbia University, and a Master's in Social Work from the Hunter College School of Social Work.
Mr. Friedman is also a semi-professional photographer and jazz musician. He has frequent exhibits in Westchester and in NYC. His jazz group performs regularly in White Plains, NY and elsewhere.