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Mourning Fred Frese, Mental Health Champion

Posted on 10/26/18

Mourning Fred Frese, Mental Health Champion

I wanted to share the excellent blog that NAMI wrote about Fred Frese, a wonderful advocate for mental healthcare and an example of how to live a full life with schizophrenia. He was a remarkable person, with a unique perspective and style that made an unforgettable impression--he touched many lives through the presentations he made around the country. I was honored to be a member of NAMI Ohio's Board with Fred and I am grateful to have had opportunities to discuss ideas and issues with him. He wanted to know what you thought and was always interested in discussing and learning together. As a fellow psychologist, we also could share the role of our profession. And Fred always asked about my son, as they were both Marines. His wife Penny is also a remarkable advocate, friend, and strong supporter of Magnolia Clubhouse. Fred will be greatly missed. -- Lori D'Angelo, Ph.D.

Here is the NAMI blog posted on 7/17/2018:

It is with a heavy heart and deep sadness that NAMI learned Fred Frese of Hudson, Ohio passed away last night. In recent months, Fred had been in failing health—a devastating demonstration of the toll medical co-morbidities can have on those with mental illness.

Fred’s legacy within NAMI is enormous. He served two separate six-year terms on the NAMI Board of Directors and was a major force in bringing the voice of lived experience into NAMI's leadership.

Fred was very open about his struggles with schizophrenia while living a life of tremendous accomplishment—first in the Marines and later as a clinical psychologist. In addition to his leadership at NAMI, Fred was also a member of the American Psychological Association Task Force for the Seriously Mentally Ill and was the founding President of the American Psychological Association’s Community and State Hospital Section. Fred also served as President of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Association.

Over the years, no one has inspired more NAMI gatherings than Fred. He was the first of a generation of people living with schizophrenia who showed tremendous courage in self-identifying and speaking publicly about his illness.

It should be noted that Fred could not have accomplished what he did—or served NAMI for so many years—without his wife Penny. She was an enormous source of strength and was always at Fred's side at NAMI gatherings across the country.

The NAMI Family mourns his passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with Penny and their four children.

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