Center Staff

Robert Friedman, PhD


Dr. Friedman is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Child and Family Studies, Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute (FMHI), College of Behavioral & Community Sciences at the University of South Florida.  FMHI is an inter-disciplinary mental health services research organization with a mission of improving the well-being of individuals with mental health challenges and their families through applied research, training and education, evaluation, and dissemination of information.  FMHI has three academic departments:  Department of Aging and Mental Health; Department of Child and Family Studies; and Department of Mental Health Law and Policy.  From 1984 through 2006, Dr. Friedman served as a Department Chair at FMHI and in the 2006-2007 academic year, he served as Interim Dean.

Dr. Friedman is a clinical psychologist who received his B.A. from Brooklyn College, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Florida State University.  From 1984 until 2009 Dr. Friedman also served as Director of the Research and Training Center for Children’s Mental Health, one of two such centers in the U.S.  From 1991 until he assumed the position of Interim Dean in August, 2006, Dr. Friedman was Chair of the Department of Child and Family Studies at FMHI.  He is a researcher, author, policy analyst, and consultant on issues such as the development and evaluation of community-based systems of care, prevalence of emotional disorders in children, new developments in service delivery, and the relationship between the mental health system and other systems.  Dr. Friedman has published and presented more than 150 papers and articles, and over 30 book chapters.

Dr. Friedman is co-author with Beth Stroul of, “A System of Care for Children and Youth with Severe Emotional Disturbances,” a monograph on systems of care which has been widely used across the country to plan service delivery systems.  He is also co-editor of a Paul H. Brookes book series on systems of care, co-editor of several special journals on children’s mental health, and co-editor of a book entitled, “Advocacy on Behalf of Children with Serious Emotional Problems.”

Dr. Friedman currently serves as a consultant to several states and to the National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Mental Health at Georgetown University.  In recent years his major focus has been on implementation and expansion of effective systems of care, and strategies for bringing about large-scale system change.  He is currently Co-Principal Investigator, along with Beth Stroul, of a study on sustaining and expanding systems of care.  This study is being conducted through Macro, Intnl., as part of the national evaluation of the system of care grant program.

In 2003, Dr. Friedman initiated the Alliance for the Safe, Therapeutic, and Appropriate Use of Residential Treatment (A START), a group of professionals, parents, young adults, and advocates who are committed to ensuring that youth in residential treatment remain safe from abuse.

Dr. Friedman has served on many national committees including the Planning Board for the Surgeon General’s Report on Mental Health, has chaired task forces and review panels for the federal government, and has provided Congressional testimony on several occasions.  He was recently appointed to the Advisory Council of the Center for Mental Health Services.

Dr. Friedman served as Principal Author for the Children’s Workgroup report of the Florida Commission on Mental Health and Substance Abuse in 2000, and served on the Subcommittee on Children and Families of the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health. Dr. Friedman has received numerous awards including the Nicholas Hobbs Award for distinguished contributions to children and families from the Division of Children, Youth, and Families of the American Psychological Association in 2005.





Contact: Robert Friedman, PhD


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