Lisa St George brings over 40 years of experience in the health and human services industry. She currently serves as the Vice President of Peer Support and Empowerment at RI International. Her work with RI spans 22 years, during which time she has provided executive leadership and program development of RI International’s peer support workforce and programs in Arizona, California, and New Zealand. She is a principle author of RI International’s Peer Employment Training which has trained over 15,500 peer support workers nationally and internationally. In addition, she has written over 100 training tools, articles, publications, and presentations that have focused on peer support, recovery, inpatient psychiatric care, and crisis services. Most recently she created a fifteen-module training entitled – Crisis Training for Peer Supporters and Other Paraprofessionals (2022). The training was developed in response to the need for trained individuals to join the workforce following implementation of 988 on July 16, 2022. Ms. St. George has been recognized by her peers and has received the National Council of Mental Wellness Peer Support of the Year, Mental Health Director’s Program of the Year (San Diego) and California Health Hero (Mental Health Association of CA) as well as the Elton George Armstrong Award. Publications include, textbook chapters: The Emerging Field of Peer Support within Mental Health Services, within the book – Workforce Development Theory and Practice in the Mental Health Sector, (2017) IGI Publications, and Self-Advocacy and Empowerment, within the Handbook of Recovery in Inpatient Psychiatry (2016), and United States Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association, Workbook for Certification (2003). Ms. St. George also serves as a peer reviewer for several professional journals and believes in supporting the growth of knowledge in the field. Ms. St. George served as a Faculty Associate at Arizona State University and provided the Master’s Level Social Work Course, Mental Illness, Recovery and Social Justice. She has supported the mental health community in Phoenix, AZ by serving as Vice Chair of the Maricopa Human Rights Committee and as a member of the Arizona Behavioral Health Planning Council. Ms. St. George completed both her Bachelor of Social Work and her Master of Social Work at Arizona State University. She was a board member of International Association of Peer Supporters for fifteen years and sat as Board Chair for three years. As an Advisory Board Member of Open Minds, Lisa supports organizations and systems in the development of peer support and recovery services as well as training and consultation in a variety of areas. In addition, Ms. St. George is a member of the Lived Experience Advisory Committee of the Suicide Prevention Resource Center. Ms. St. George, has also worked in childhood oncology and child protective services, where she researched and developed a care protocol for crack addicted infants for the State of Arizona Child Protective Services before joining RI International. Lisa also serves vulnerable communities and especially refugees within her community through education, support, and guidance. Ms. St. George believes in the resiliency of the human spirit, and in the inherent strength of people with trauma, mental health, and addiction challenges.

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