Dr. Fred Frese has led a distinguished career in public mental health care for the past thirty years, as a leader in the field of psychology and a well-known advocate for the rights of people with mental illness.
An officer in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War, Fred Frese was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Despite this condition and numerous involuntary hospitalizations in state, private, and military psychiatric wards, he pursued a medical degree and earned a doctorate in psychology from Ohio University. Dr. Frese embarked on a successful career in mental health and became director of psychology at Western Reserve Psychiatric Hospital.
After years of keeping his experiences with schizophrenia a secret, Dr. Frese decided to reveal his condition publicly in 1990. Over almost 20 years he has spoken at hundreds of conferences and public events in an effort to combat stigma and call for recognition of the dignity of people with mental illness and their right to services and support.
Currently Dr. Frese holds clinical faculty appointments in psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University and at the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine. He is coordinator of the Summit County Recovery Project, which serves recovering consumers in the Akron area. Dr. Frese also publishes and lectures widely on the subject of schizophrenia and is on the board of scientific advisors for Schizophrenia Bulletin.
Dr. Frese founded the Community and State Hospital Section of the American Psychological Association, and is past president of the National Mental Health Consumers' Association. He has been actively involved with NAMI and serves on their national board of directors.