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Oklahoma State University

Human Development and Family Science graduate named to national mental health committee

Thu, Aug 24, 2017

Paul Emerich, Ph.D.
Paul Emrich, Ph.D.

College of Human Sciences alumnus, Paul Emrich, Ph.D., has been named to serve on a new panel charged with coordinating the response to serious mental illness in the United States.

Emrich is one of 14 public members chosen from among several hundred nominees to serve on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee. Senior leaders from 10 federal agencies, including the Departments of Health and Human Services, Justice, Labor, Veteran Affairs, Defense, Housing and Urban Development, Education, and Labor, as well as the Social Security Administration, will sit on the panel.

The committee was established with the purpose of improving federal coordination of efforts that address the needs of adults with serious mental illness and of children and youth with serious emotional disturbance.

The ISMICC will report on advances in research and on federal outcomes related to measures of suicide, drug overdoses, emergency hospitalizations, criminal justice involvement, homelessness, unemployment and other issues, according to HHS.

As the Chickasaw Nation’s Under Secretary of Family and Mental Health, Emrich oversees the Chickasaw Nation Department of Family Services divisions of Strong Family Development, Integrated and Residential Services, Integrated Behavioral Health Care and Medical Family Therapy in medical clinics, psychological services, and residential mental health.

The Midwest City native earned his Human Sciences doctoral degree in human development and family science in 2011.

Amanda Harrist HDFS professor, who served as Emrich’s doctoral advisor, said she is pleased to learn of his national appointment.

“Paul’s dedication and commitment to providing excellent mental health care to those in need is inspiring. He will continue to make a difference in Oklahoman’s lives as a member of this committee,” Harrist said.  “We are very proud of him and the important work he is doing.”