Joseph Rogers is founder and executive director of the National Mental Health Consumers' Self-Help Clearinghouse and chief advocacy officer of the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania.
For more than a quarter century, he has worked tirelessly to advance the cause of individuals diagnosed with mental health conditions. A national leader of the mental health consumer movement, he has played a major role in transforming the movement from a small number of relatively powerless groups and individuals to a large number of well-funded peer-run organizations and peer-operated services in every state. He has testified before U.S. Senate committees and has consulted in more than 30 states, as well as nationally and internationally, on mental health issues.
He served on the congressionally appointed Task Force on the Rights and Empowerment of Americans with Disabilities, which was instrumental in getting the Americans with Disabilities Act passed. He also served on the Executive Committee of the President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities for six years. He is a past president of Pennsylvania Protection & Advocacy, Inc, now the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania.
His unparalleled vision, leadership, and skills as an advocate and organizer have resulted in the growth of the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania from a regional advocacy agency with fewer than a dozen staff members in 1984 to a multi-faceted organization with approximately 300 staffers and more than three dozen advocacy and service projects, serving local, regional, statewide and national constituencies and with a well-deserved reputation for excellence. He has often appeared on television and radio to fight the prejudice and discrimination associated with mental health conditions and to educate the public about mental health issues. He has received numerous national, regional, and local awards, including the 2005 Heinz Award for the Human Condition, presented by the Heinz Family Philanthropies.