Meet the Board: Peter Ashenden, President

Peter Ashenden

Peter Ashenden has recently retired as the vice president of consumer affairs for Optum’s behavioral solutions business.  Peter was responsible for developing and implementing behavioral health programs that help people with mental illness achieve long-term recovery and resiliency. He is also a mental health consumer.

Before joining Optum in 2010, he served as Executive Vice President, and then as the President and CEO, for the Depression Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA). Prior to his work at the DBSA, he was the Executive Director of the Mental Health Empowerment Project (MHEP) for 12 years. In that role he provided training to consumer/survivors and mental health professionals on a national level.

Peter was the Keynote Speaker at the 2004 Alternatives Conference held in Denver, CO. He also had the opportunity to speak at the Carter Center during their 2014 Mental Health Policy summit meeting in Atlanta, GA. regarding the developing peer workforce and their outcomes from this work. He is the Past Chairman of the Board of United States Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association (USPRA). He is also a former member of the Board of CARF.

Peter is certified by The Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery to train recipients of mental health services in the Wellness Recovery Action Plan. Additionally, Peter is a member of the Board of iNAPS (interNational Association of Peer Supporters, The Mental Health Empowerment Project, and is a former member of the Consumer Advisory Board for the Center for Mental Health Services a division of SAMHSA.