National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy

Heather McDonald

Heather McDonald is the Executive Director of Focus on Recovery-United, Inc. (FOR-U), located in Middletown, Connecticut. Heather is a survivor of the mental health system who joined the newly formed FOR-U in 2002 and has been responsible for guiding the development of the organization and implementing its mission of teaching self-directed tools of recovery.

Focus on Recovery United (FOR-U) is a statewide non-profit organization that holds hope with their message that recovery is possible. “People were skeptical at first,” said Heather McDonald, FOR-U Executive Director, as she remembered starting the organization seven years ago. She offers the success of the organization as well as her own story–Ms. McDonald is a consumer in recovery who was once told she might never work again–as evidence that people can live with symptoms and take steps forward in their lives. Ms. McDonald’s matter-of-fact attitude toward the possibility of living well in recovery struck me as both simple and profound. Her passion for educating society was equally compelling. FOR-U is above all an organization that seeks to educate consumers and professionals alike with facts about self-directed strategies for wellness and living in recovery.

-- From Recovery and Transformation in Connecticut, Christine Farber, Ph.D. in collaboration with Janis Tondora, PsyD, Allison Ponce, PhD, and Heather McDonald. Connecticut Psychologist, 63:1, page 11 (Summer 2009).