Valerie L. Marsh, MSW, is Executive Director of the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR). Marsh received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond (VCU), Virginia, where her graduate studies focused on mental health policy, administration and planning. She served as an adjunct faculty member at VCU, teaching policy, advocacy and human behavior to graduate and undergraduate students in social work. As the Executive Director of NAMI-Virginia from 1994-2004, Marsh shown a spotlight on abuse, neglect, and unnatural deaths in Virginia’s public psychiatric hospitals. Her accomplishments include a successful campaign to transform the state’s protection and advocacy organization into an independent entity; limiting time served by misdemeanants found Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity; increasing Medicaid financial eligibility criteria benefiting consumers previously ineligible; and creating a mandate for mental health boards and advisory committees to include representation of mental health consumers and family members.