George Badillo is a Peer Trainer for PEOPLe Inc. He works out of the New York State Office of Mental Health Long Island Field Office, providing training to people with psychiatric histories on issues such as Medicare Part D. He previously worked for 7 years as a Peer Educator with the Resource Center, Inc., in Albany, NY, providing education and information about patient rights, policy issues, and mental health services to peers in outpatient and inpatient settings. Mr. Badillo believes strongly in providing his peers with the opportunity to make informed choices about mental health services and community supports. He served as a bilingual interviewer with the Consumer/Survivor/Ex-patient (C/S/X) Oral History Project from 2000-2003, interviewing peers about their life stories and experiences in state psychiatric hospitals.

Mr. Badillo recently traveled to Puerto Rico to present about self –help and peer support to the Office of Mental Health’s staff at clinics and hospitals and to managed care companies, in hopes of improving the quality of life of people in Puerto Rico’s mental health system. He also presented at a Leadership Academy for Spanish-speaking people in Oakland, California.

He is a dedicated advocate for the all populations, but particularly understands the challenges of peers who are Spanish. He helped create “Tenemos Voz,” and “Alma,” nationwide organizations of Hispanic people diagnosed with mental illness. For these accomplishments and his long history of working to empower his Spanish-speaking peers, Mr. Badillo was honored with the Esperanza Award at the Alternatives 2006 Conference in Portland, Oregon. This award is given by the National People of Color Consumer/Survivor/Ex-patient Coalition to recognize outstanding achievement on behalf of people of color in the mental health system.

In addition serving on the Community Consortium’s Board, Mr. Badillo sits on the Advisory Board to the New York State P.A.I.M.I., and on the Multi-Cultural Advisory Committee of CONTAC, a national technical assistance center. His personal story of survival and courage is featured in the film, “Inside Outside: Building a Meaningful Life after the Hospital,” produced by Pat Deegan, Ph.D. He has traveled the country presenting the film and discussing the importance of a life in the community for everyone with a psychiatric history.

A proud homeowner, Mr. Badillo is fluent English and Spanish, and won custody of his 11 year-old son nearly 6 years ago.