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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 1, 2009

CONTACT
Jeanne Atkinson, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-8287

 

Carol Coussons de Reyes is Director of the Behavioral Health Office of Consumer Affairs

Lincoln – Scot Adams, director of the Division of Behavioral Health in the Department of Health and Human Services, announced today that he is appointing Carol Coussons de Reyes, CPS, MS, as administrator for the Office of Consumer Affairs, effective May 18.

"Carol’s personal experience, professional education and unique leadership history make her particularly suited to this position," said Adams. "She will be a valuable addition, and her lived experience with mental illness, wellness, and recovery will add great value to her role. I look forward to benefiting from her experiences and background with advocacy for consumers."

Coussons de Reyes has served as director of the Consumer Relations and Recovery Section in the Georgia Department of Human Services since 2006. Her background includes serving as a Certified Peer Specialist, research coordinator for the Georgia Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, research specialist at Emory University, counselor for South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation, and psychology technician for the Medical College of Georgia.

“When I think of the Midwest, I see wide-open spaces and freedom. This is what initially attracted me to life in Nebraska,” Coussons de Reyes said. “Part of my journey of recovery has been to dream big dreams. Such dreaming is how I became the Director of Consumer Affairs in Georgia and amassed great knowledge of peer support and consumer-driven mental health and addictive disease services.”

Coussons de Reyes received a Masters of Psychology at Augusta State University, Augusta, Georgia and a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Georgia State University

Coussons de Reyes said, “Our family is absolutely thrilled to be moving to Nebraska, where I see that the Office of Consumer Affairs can lead the state in assisting individuals to understand the journey of recovery that their loved ones walk. I know the importance of including individuals who receive mental health, addictive disease, and gambling services in real decisions that shape services, as well as providing peer services, that assist every individual in attaining the life of their choosing - the life of their dreams. Recovery is a meaningful life in the community, where I am the best mother to my son, daughter, aunt, friend, neighbor, co-worker, artist, and writer that I can be.”

The Office of Consumer Affairs was created by the Legislature in 2004. The program administrator of the Office must be a consumer or former consumer of behavioral health services and have specialized knowledge, experience or expertise relating to consumer-directed behavioral health services, delivery systems and advocacy on behalf of consumers and their families.

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