Associate Professor

Michael B. Friedman

Over the course of his 50-year career, Michael Friedman has served as a direct service provider, an administrator, a government official, and a social advocate. He retired in 2010 from his position as Director of The Center for Policy, Advocacy, and Education of The Mental Health Association of New York City, which he founded in 2003. He also retired as Chair of the Geriatric Mental Health Alliance of New York, which he co-founded in 2004, and as the Facilitator of the Veterans’ Mental Health Coalition in NYC, which he co-founded in 2009. Since his retirement he has continued to teach at the Columbia School of Social Work and to write frequently about mental health, aging, and other topics.

Mr. Friedman previously served as Regional Director (Deputy Commissioner) of the New York State Office of Mental Health, Director of Network Development for The Department of Psychiatry of New York Presbyterian Hospital, Executive Director of The Mental Health Association of Westchester, Director of Operations of The Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services, and Program Director of The Bridge, Inc. In the late 60’s and early 70’s, he taught philosophy at several colleges in the NYC area.

Mr. Friedman has served on advisory and advocacy groups at the local, state, and federal levels. Among others, he served as President of the Coalition of Voluntary Mental Health Agencies, Chairman of the Hudson River Planning Advisory Committee of the Office of Mental Health, and Vice-Chairman of the New York City Public Child Fatality Review Committee. He also served on The National Institute of Mental Health Services Research Planning Panel, as a member of the NYS Geriatric Mental Health and Chemical Dependency Planning Council, and on the Health Care Policy Advisory Committee for the NYS Governor’s Transition Team in 2006.

He currently serves as volunteer Chair of the Geriatric Mental Health Alliance of New York.
Mr. Friedman has presented at numerous conferences and has published approximately 200 articles, book chapters, and essays. His topics of interest include geriatric mental health, mental health policy and finance, health care reform, child mental health, social advocacy, family violence, stigma, creativity, and political philosophy. He is the co-author of a comic parody of America’s system of psychiatric diagnosis titled The Diagnostic Manual of Mishegas. His writing can be found at

Mr. Friedman is also a semi-professional photographer who exhibits frequently in Westchester County and NYC ( He is also a semi-professional jazz musician.

Mr. Friedman earned a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College, a master’s degree in philosophy from Columbia, and an MSW from the Hunter College School of Social Work.