As a teenager, Lauren Spiro was hospitalized for over a year with a diagnosis of chronic schizophrenia. As an adult, she has worked to reform mental health treatment and educate stakeholders in the mental health system and broader community on the many diverse paths to wellness. She is an eloquent advocate for medical procedures and public policies that are directed by empowered consumers of mental health services.
For over 30 years, Spiro has worked in a variety of behavioral healthcare settings in positions ranging from direct service provider to senior manager. Currently, she is the director of public policy at the National Coalition of Mental Health Consumer/ Survivor Organizations.
Spiro is a consultant and educator on the recovery process, peer support, systems transformation, and cultural competency. She was the founding board member of Housing Unlimited, Inc., served on CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities), and is on the board of VOCAL (Virginia Organization of Consumers Asserting Leadership). Spiro also serves on the Person Directed Service Planning Training Guide Project and Wellness Initiative, run by SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration).