Bios

Carla Jacobs
Board Member at Large

Carla Jacobs is an Executive Member of the Proxy Parent Foundation Board of Directors; a veteran mental health advocate who has helped shaped the dialogue surrounding mental health public policies; and a “family member” with first-hand knowledge of the devastating effects of mental illness.

Ms. Jacobs joined Proxy Parent Foundation as a member of its Board in 2003 and served as its Executive Director on a volunteer basis until 2007.

Motivated by family tragedies involving relatives suffering from schizophrenia, Ms. Jacobs began a personal crusade to attempt to change the treatment laws for people with severe mental illness, particularly those who suffer from such serious conditions as schizophrenia, bi-polar disease, or depression. With support from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Ms. Jacobs has successfully directed advocacy and legislation campaigns to reduce homelessness and criminalization of people with mental illness by improving standards and practices in community care.

Ms. Jacob’s mental health advocacy activities include:

• Serving two terms as an elected Board member of the NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) National Board of Directors, she helped that organization establish itself as the most formidable grassroots mental health advocacy groups in the country, focusing on providing hope, reform, and health to families of and people with mental illness. Prior to her election to the National Board, she also served two terms of office as Board Member of NAMI-California.

• Co-founder of the Treatment Advocacy Center (TAC), which promotes laws, policies, and practices for the delivery of psychiatric care and supports the development of innovative treatments for and research into the causes of severe and persistent psychiatric illnesses, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

• Member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisor’s Task Force on the Incarcerated Mentally Ill a committee created to give that board recommendations regarding the LA County Jail System.1994 Community Service Award - Sacramento Association for the Retarded.

• Past Commissioner of Mental Health for the County of Los Angeles.

• Past Governor’s appointee to the Board of Directors of Protection and Advocacy Inc., a federally chartered agency that protects and advocates for the rights of the mentally ill.

• Formed the Lanterman, Petris, Short Act (LPS) Reform Task Force, combining forces with NAMI - Los Angeles County and the Southern California Psychiatric Society.

• Co-edited and wrote the widely distributed “New Vision for Mental Health Treatment Laws” with Elizabeth Galton, MD which has become a powerful and frequently referenced resource on the importance of reforming the Lanterman, Petris, Short Act.

Under her leadership, Ms. Jacobs has led the expansion of Proxy Parent Foundation services to provide financial solutions for people coping with disabilities by combining expert legal and financial resources with compassionate concern.

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Carla Jacobs

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