MHA’s Director of Youth Peer Advocates to Assist SAMHSA as ‘Special Advisor’

October, 31 2023
Karl Shallowhorn in Albany, NY with YPA Program


MHA and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) – an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – have entered into a partnership with MHA’s Karl Shallowhorn, M.S., CASAC.

Shallowhorn will now serve as a special advisor to the SAMHSA Regional Office. In this role, Shallowhorn’s work will focus on mental health in marginalized and disenfranchised communities across the Region, which includes New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and eight federally recognized Tribal Nations, as well as youth mental health. Shallowhorn, who has served as the Director of Youth Peer Advocates for two years, as well as a radio host for ‘Mindful Music’ on WBFO, will start his new role on November 6, 2023.

“This is an exciting opportunity for Karl and for MHA,” says MHA’s Executive Director Melinda DuBois. “His time will now be dedicated to his work with SAMHSA and we are proud of this national recognition of Karl, who has worked professionally for more than 30 years in the fields of addiction counseling, mental health advocacy, higher education and leadership.”

“Our country faces an unprecedented mental health crisis among people of all ages,” says Dennis Romero, SAMHSA Regional Director. “We need to have greater impact if we are serious about addressing mental illness and the overdose crisis. Karl’s talents will help us reach those struggling with mental illness and substance use.”

Shallowhorn was also recently elected as the new board chair for MHANYS (Mental Health Association of New York State) and devotes his time and energy to supporting mental wellness across the state. Consequently, MHA recently hired Nicole Shields as Program Manager for the Youth Peer Advocate program.

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