Didi Hirsch President/CEO Kita S. Curry, PhD Appointed to Los Angeles County Mental Health Commission

Media Contact:
Kim Kowsky
Director of Communications
Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services
O: 310-751-5426
C: 310-569-5354
kkowsky@didihirsch.org

DIDI HIRSCH PRESIDENT/CEO KITA S. CURRY, PHD APPOINTED TO LOS ANGELES COUNTY MENTAL HEALTH COMMISSION

CULVER CITY, Calif.  March 8, 2017— Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Second District, appointed Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services’ President/CEO Kita S. Curry, PhD to a three-year term on the Los Angeles County Mental Health Commission, a body of 16 members that advises the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on mental health programs.

The commission reviews and evaluates the community’s mental health needs, services, facilities and programs and submits an annual report to the Board of Supervisors on the performance of the county’s mental health system. The commission also reviews and comments on the county’s performance outcomes.

Dr. Curry is a psychologist and community mental health advocate who has been at the helm of Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services since 1999. Celebrating 75 years of service this year, Didi Hirsch provides free mental health, substance use and suicide prevention services to more than 90,000 children and adults annually. Under her tenure, the non-profit agency has more than doubled its services and currently has therapists in nearly 100 schools and 11 locations in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. It is also home to the Suicide Prevention Center, the nation’s first and a leader in training, research and services for people thinking about suicide, worried friends and family and those who have attempted or suffered a loss.

“I’m honored that Supervisor Ridley-Thomas has appointed me to the Mental Health Commission,” Dr. Curry said. “I will draw on my experience as the sister of a client served by Los Angeles’ mental health system; my own history of depression; and my years as a psychologist and CEO of Didi Hirsch in fulfilling my responsibilities. Bringing quality mental health to communities where poverty or stigma limits access is foremost on mind.”

To help erase the stigma around mental illness, Dr. Curry has shared her family history and her own struggles with suicidal depression with Didi Hirsch’s 500 employees, in media interviews and at local and national conferences. She has testified before the California legislature and serves on the Steering Committee for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. She also served on California’s Advisory Committees on Suicide Prevention and on Stigma and Discrimination. Until recently, she was on the board of the National Council on Behavioral Healthcare.  She is also past board president of both the Los Angeles Association of Community Human Service Agencies (ACHSA) and the California Council of Community Behavioral Health Agencies (CCCBHA).

Her honors include an Eli Lilly Heroes in the Fight Award from NAMI Urban Los Angeles, SHero Award from former California Senator Curren Price, Jr., and 2016 Pioneer Woman of the Year Award from Councilmember Felipe Fuentes and the Los Angeles Commission on the Status of Women.

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A Phi Beta Kappa English major from the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Curry earned her doctorate in psychology at UCLA.  Also an award-winning poet, her first full-length poetry collection, What Snakes Want (Mayapple Press), was released under the name Kita Shantiris in 2015.