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Vivi Smith Appointed Director of Consumer and Family Affairs

Monday, June 16, 2008

Vivi Smith Appointed Director of Consumer and Family Affairs

Long time advocate of disability rights for children and adults joins DC agency.

Vivi Smith, a long time advocate of disability rights for children and adults, recently was appointed Director of Consumer and Family Affairs for the District of Columbia Department of Mental Health after a nationwide search.

A resident of the District since the age of two, Vivi Smith was educated in DC public schools and graduated from the University of the District of Columbia.  She also has a law degree from the District of Columbia School of Law.

Prior to joining the Department of Mental Health, Ms. Smith coordinated outreach to homeless individuals with mental illness at Catholic Charities.  She previously worked as an advocate for children and adults at the Maryland Protection and Advocacy Agency and University Legal Services in the District.

The Director of Consumer and Family Affairs is responsible for protecting the rights of people who use the public mental health system and for resolving grievances, and for helping to ensure fairness and accountability.  Ms. Smith will work closely with consumers and their family members, advocates and community mental health providers.

“She brings the sensitivity, knowledge and experience required to be an effective advocate for people who need mental health services,” said Steve Baron, Director of the Department of Mental Health.