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Ryan Tobiasz named director of Forensic Mental Health Leadership

University News | 08.23.22

Adler University has named Ryan Tobiasz, Psy.D., the new director of its Master of Arts in Forensic Mental Health Leadership program.

Prior to Adler, Dr. Tobiasz served as associate professor and department chair for the Counseling Department at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology’s Washington, D.C. campus. In that role, he chaired three separate programs: Forensic Psychology, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and Counseling Psychology. He also served as the interim campus dean throughout the 2021-22 academic year.

“Given the increased mental health needs within the forensic, correctional, and criminal justice systems, I am looking forward to growing the program, not only through enrollment but through community engagement and outreach,” said Dr. Tobiasz, who previously served as a psychological associate within the Wisconsin Department of Corrections at several maximum-security institutions.

“As our jails and prisons have increasingly become our mental health facilities in the United States, we need clinicians more than ever to provide services within these environments and to advocate for those with mental disorders or psychiatric symptoms,” he added.

During his time with the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, Dr. Tobiasz implemented and facilitated the first evidence-based practice treatment groups, including Illness Management and Recovery and Social Skills Training for Schizophrenia. He also co-facilitated Dialectical Behavioral Therapy treatment groups for those who engaged in significant self-harmful behavior. He has given numerous professional presentations and has trained correctional staff members on topics including suicide prevention, ethical dilemmas within correctional facilities, cultural competency, and working with offenders with mental illness.

Dr. Tobiasz said he was drawn to Adler for its commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and social justice.

“Now more than ever in today’s polarized society, we need to work with and for individuals and communities that historically and currently are underserved, underrepresented, and marginalized,” he said. “I am most looking forward to building relationships with [Adler University] faculty, staff, and students to determine the needs and outcomes of the Forensic Mental Health Leadership program and envision strategies to enhance the program.”

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