About Us

Message from the Founders - Victor and Lynne Brick

The John W. Brick Mental Health Foundation was founded after Victor’s oldest brother, John, who suffered from schizophrenia his entire life, died of complications from the disease. In all the years of his treatment, often in the finest mental health institutions available, never once was he put on a well-rounded, fully integrated program that included healthy lifestyle practices such as exercise, nutrition and mind-body disciplines, along with conventional treatments such as psycho-analysis, institutionalization and medication.

John was, by far, the most talented of the five Brick children. Smart, athletic and attractive, he was one of the kindest people we had ever known. But when John died, at the age of 62, his funeral was one of the saddest we had ever attended. Only the immediate family was there. Victor made a promise to himself right then and there. This was not the way his brother was going to go out – forgotten and unmourned, as if his life never mattered. That was the genesis of the JWB Foundation.

 

The JWB Foundation was formed in 2015 to help give individuals, their families and loved ones struggling with mental health issues the possibility of enjoying a better quality of life. We didn’t want them having to go through what John and our family had to experience – a vicious cycle when he would get sick, needed heavy medication and institutionalization, get better, come home, take himself off his meds because they made him feel so bad and get sick again. Then the whole cycle would start again. All this took place through periods of homelessness John would experience when he was delusionary and ran away from home, requiring Victor and his brother, Merrill, to drive the streets of Washington, D.C. in a desperate attempt to find him.

The purpose of the John W. Brick Mental Health Foundation is to change the way the world treats mental health.

Our long-term, overarching goal is to integrate healthy lifestyle practices in the mental healthcare delivery system. We want exercise, nutrition and mind-body practices, for example, seen as sustainable ways to build resilience in individuals struggling with mental health issues so their dependency on medication, institutionalization and psychoanalysis is greatly reduced or eliminated altogether. We know it is an ambitious goal. But with your help, we also know it is attainable. That which the mind can conceive AND BELIEVE, it can achieve.

Our Team

Founders

VICTOR
Brick
CO-FOUNDER & BOARD MEMBER

Victor co-founded the John W. Brick Mental Health Foundation in honor of his brother, John, who struggled throughout his life with mental health…

LYNNE
Brick
CO-FOUNDER & BOARD MEMBER

Lynne Brick, B.S.N, M.A., co-founded the John W. Brick Mental Health Foundation and co-founder of Brick Bodies Fitness Services, Inc., which owns and operates a chain of…

board members

JENNIFER
Fearon
BOARD MEMBER

Jennifer Fearon is the Managing Partner of VentureLink Advisers, a corporate finance, business, and financial consulting firm…

SHIRLEY
Archer-Eichenberger
BOARD MEMBER

Shirley Archer-Eichenberger, the Wellness Sensei, is an integrative health educator, embodied mindfulness expert and wellness visionary…

TOM
Laidlaw
BOARD MEMBER

Tom Liadlaw played in the National Hockey League for 11 seasons. Seven with the New York Rangers and four with the Los Angeles Kings…

Staff Members

CASSANDRA
Vieten, Ph.D.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR & BOARD MEMBER

Cassandra Vieten is Executive Director of the John W. Brick Foundation, Associate Scientist at the University of California, San Diego…

MERRILL
Brick
DIRECTOR OF SPECIAL PROJECTS & BOARD MEMBER

Merrill Brick is a member of the Board of Directors of the John W. Brick Foundation. He has always had a passion for health and fitness, and for helping other people…

LEAH
Gizzi
PROGRAM COORDINATOR

Leah Gizzi is Program Coordinator of the John W. Brick Foundation. She recently graduated from the University of Miami with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Criminology…

JOLIE
Samuelson
MARKETING ASSOCIATE

Jolie Jane Samuelson is the Marketing Associate for the John W. Brick Foundation, a member of The National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and a freelance social media manager…

SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY BOARD

ELISSA
Epel
SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER

Elissa Epel, Ph.D, is a Professor and Vice Chair of Adult Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at University of California, San Francisco. She studies mind-body…

BONNIE J.
Kaplan, PhD
SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER

BONNIE J. KAPLAN, PhD, is Professor Emerita in the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Her training…

ELI
Puterman, PhD
SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER

Dr. Eli Puterman is an assistant professor at the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) School of Kinesiology and Director of the Fitness, Aging and Stress (FAST) Laboratory…

CHARLES
Raison, MD
SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER

Charles Raison, MD, is the Mary Sue and Mike Shannon Chair for Healthy Minds, Children & Families, and Professor, School of Human Ecology, and Professor, Department…

program advisory board

RAGHU
Appasani, MD
PROGRAM ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER

Dr. Raghu Kiran Appasani is an Integrative Psychiatrist, Neuroscientist, and Social Entrepreneur focused on bridging the gap between western and eastern practices to create a wholesome society by taking a proactive approach to health…

LAWRENCE
Choy, MD
PROGRAM ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER

Dr. Lawrence Choy is a Stanford trained psychiatrist and diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology. He is the co-founder and medical director of Elite Focus Clinic, the premier Adult ADHD clinic in Silicon Valley…

KELLY
Davis, MS
PROGRAM ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER

Kelly Davis is the Associate Vice President of Peer and Youth Advocacy at Mental Health America, where she works on the expansion of peer support and young adult leadership in mental health. She is passionate about lived experience-driven programs, policies, organizations, and research…

MICHAEL
Hosking, PhD
PROGRAM ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER

Dr. Michael Hosking holds a Ph.D. in Biology from Indiana University and was on the faculty at Davidson College. He has been a lifelong athlete in many different sports, but specialized in track and field in high school and college, and later took up competitive cycling… 

RENEE
Moorefield, PhD
PROGRAM ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER

Renee Moorefield, PhD, is CEO of Wisdom Works Group, a social enterprise she cofounded in 1999 to offer thought leadership and state-of-the-art resources for building brands, work cultures and leadership capabilities that empower people to thrive…

SUSAN
Reynolds, MEd
PROGRAM ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER

Susan Reynolds has over 20 years of experience in digital wellbeing, youth leadership and mindfulness. In 2019 she co-founded LookUp to discover, empower, and mobilize youth leaders who are taking action to raise awareness, inspire, and design a healthier, more inclusive, and responsible digital world…

Our Partners

WHAT WOULD YOU GIVE?

consider making an end-of-year donation to help JWB integrate exercise, nutrition, and mind-body practices, into mental health care and promotion of mental well-being for all.

IN 2023, YOUR DONATION WILL SUPPORT THE DEVELOPMENT OF…

  • THE BRICK CERTIFICATION FOR FITNESS PROFESSIONALS AND MENTAL HEALTH PROVIDERS
  • THE JWB CENTER FOR INTEGRATIVE WELL-BEING AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN DIEGO
AND MORE…