Prior to joining the faculty of the University of Southern California, Richard worked for the Community Mental Health Services of San Mateo County, California. There, he developed and ran a large vocational rehabilitation service for persons with severe mental illness. In addition, he has run an acute psychiatric inpatient service, a day treatment and aftercare service, and psychiatric emergency services in a large city (Los Angeles). He has been a consultant to probation and police departments. He has also raised money from private sources in order to develop a range of supportive housing for persons with severe mental illness. It was in San Mateo County that Richard met Tony and Fran Hoffman and worked with them to publicize the family movement.
Richard has been active with the American Psychiatric Association. He chaired the Task Force on the Homeless Mentally Ill, served twice on the Editorial Board of Psychiatric Services, and was a member of the Committee on Rehabilitation, and Vice-Chair of the Council on Psychiatric Services. He chaired the Institute on Psychiatric Services Scientific Program Committee. He currently serves on the Committee on Jails and Prisons.
Richard was the recipient of the NAMI 2003 Don and Peggy Richardson Memorial Award for Distinguished Service to Persons Afflicted With Serious Mental Illness. In 1998 he received the American Psychiatric Association’s Arnold L. van Ameringen Award in Psychiatric Rehabilitation & Treatment of the Chronically Mentally Ill.
Richard is currently Professor of Psychiatry and Director of Mental Health Policy and Law at the University of Southern California.