The Clearinghouse Staff


Joseph Rogers, Executive Director

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.


Susan Rogers, Director

Susan Rogers, who has been active in the consumer/survivor/ex-patient movement since 1984, has had a 36-year career as a writer, editor, public relations professional and public speaker. She has presented trainings, including keynotes, on various mental health-related subjects at a wide variety of national, statewide, and local conferences; has appeared on television and on the radio; and has been interviewed in the print media to address the prejudice and discrimination associated with psychiatric diagnoses. She is the author of numerous articles on mental health-related topics and she has edited several publications.

She is director of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse, a peer-run national technical assistance center funded in part by a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and director of special projects of the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania. Before joining the staff of the Mental Health Association in 1985, she was editor-in-chief of a national publication on health and personal finance. Susan was the 2011 recipient of the Judi Chamberlin Joy in Advocacy Award from the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery.


Christa Burkett, Technical Assistance Coordinator

Christa Burkett is the Technical Assistance Coordinator at the National Mental Health Consumers' Self-Help Clearinghouse. She coordinates research and information resource management activities to support the technical assistance and information and referral functions of the Clearinghouse.

Christa fields requests from all over the United States from peers, peer-driven services, providers, family members and other stakeholders who are looking for assistance. She maintains the Clearinghouse websites and collaborates on special projects with other mental health organizations around the country.


Britani Nestel, Program Specialist

Britani Nestel is a graduate from Taylor University with a degree in Psychology and minors in Philosophy and honors. She works as a Program Specialist for the National Mental Health Consumers' Self-Help Clearinghouse and provides direct support for Joseph Rogers and the Advocacy department of the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania. She is also the Production Manager for the Clearinghouse's publication People First