Spokespersons for Live Your Life Well
With more than 30 years of distinguished service in mental health services research and system reform, David L. Shern, PhD, is one of the nation's leading mental health experts.
Dr. Shern was named in 2006 as the president and CEO of Mental Health America, formerly the National Mental Health Association, the country's oldest and largest nonprofit organization addressing all aspects of mental health and mental illness. Prior to joining NMHA, Dr. Shern served as dean of the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute (FMHI) at the University of South Florida, one of the largest research and training institutes in behavioral health services in the United States. He also founded and directed the National Center for the Study of Issues in Public Mental Health - a National Institute of Mental Health-funded services research center - located in the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH).
His work has spanned a variety of mental health services research topics including epidemiological studies of the need for community services; the effects of differing organizational, financing and service delivery strategies on continuity of care and client outcome and the use of alternative service delivery strategies such as peer counseling and self-help on the outcomes of care. He has authored more than 100 publications, including papers in Health Affairs, Psychiatric Services, Medical Care, Health Services Research, Behavioral Health Services and Research and the American Journal of Public Health.
In 2000, Governor Jeb Bush appointed Dr. Shern to the Florida Commission on Mental Health and Substance Abuse. He was elected Chair of the Commission by his fellow Commissioners and spearheaded an effort to develop a new statewide focus on and governance model for behavioral health across all human service agencies and settings.
Dr. Shern has held academic positions at the University of South Florida, State University of New York at Albany, New York University and the University of Colorado. He received his Bachelor of Science, Masters and PhD in Psychology from the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D.
Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Riverside. Originally from Russia, she received her A.B., summa cum laude, from Harvard University and her Ph.D. in Social/Personality Psychology from Stanford University. Dr. Lyubomirsky currently teaches courses in social psychology and positive psychology and serves as the Department of Psychology's graduate advisor. Her teaching and mentoring of students have been recognized with the Faculty of the Year and Faculty Mentor of the Year Awards.
In 2002, Dr. Lyubomirsky was awarded a Templeton Positive Psychology Prize. Currently, she is an associate editor of the Journal of Positive Psychology and (with Ken Sheldon) holds a 5-year million-dollar grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to conduct research on the possibility of permanently increasing happiness. Drawing on her own groundbreaking research with thousands of men and women, she authored The How of Happiness (copyright © 2007, Penguin Press), a book in which she provides a detailed, yet easy-to-follow plan to increase happiness in our day-to-day lives. The book is a comprehensive guide to understanding what happiness is, and isn't, and what can be done to bring us all closer to the happy life we envision for ourselves.
Dr. Lyubomirsky's research has been featured up in dozens of magazines and newspapers and she has appeared on TV, radio, and feature documentaries in North America and Europe. She has lectured widely to a variety of audiences, including business executives, life coaches, retirees, students, and scholars. Lyubomirsky lives in Santa Monica, California with her husband and their two children.