Richard has been involved in Child Advocacy for 25 years. He has worked advocating for children in multiple settings including UMass Medical Health System, school systems, state agencies, and in the community. His particular area of expertise is in Mental Health. He was one of the original advocates in a pilot project for children with serious emotional disturbance that became a state wide model in MA. He has a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling and also has worked as an outpatient therapist in both non-profit agencies as well as in private practice.
Richard has been involved in fighting against the stigma of mental illness for decades. He facilitated a youth group of chronically mentally ill teens in Massachusetts to win statewide and national recognition from the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration for an anti-Stigma campaign. The campaign involved multiple forms of media included print, radio, television, and on the side of busses. This campaign was planned and designed and acted in by youth with Mr. Keelan’s facilitation.
Richard is certified by SAMSHA to train parents on how to speak to the community and media regarding mental health issues. He was instrumental in founding the Parent Professional Advocacy League, an organization of professionals and parents, that works to improve the mental health care system in Massachusetts.
Clinically he has worked at UMass Medical School, St Vincent’s Hospital Psychiatric Inpatient Unit, You Inc., Worcester Family Services, and in private Practice at Pediatric Behavioral Health. His clinical specialties include Autism Spectrum Disorders, Thought Disorders, Oppositional Defiant Disorders, Conduct Disorders, PTSD, and Substance Use Disorders.
Past speaking engagements have included to Mental Health Legal Advisor’s at Harvard Law School as well as multiple presentations in the Northeast and South West Florida including ongoing education to medical students at UMass Medical School for 10 years.
Since joining Lee Health, he has brought a Mental Health focus to our Kids Minds Matter prevention work here in SW Florida. Mr. Keelan is teaching parenting courses for parents of children with special needs and teaching Mental Health First Aid. He has done suicide prevention talks in multiple settings. He is a National Council On Behavioral Health Certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor in the Adult, Youth, Higher Education, and EMS/Fire Modules. He has trained multiple early child care centers on identifying mental health challenges in younger children. Richard has also worked to establish a new and innovative Mental Health Navigator Program in cooperation with with Lee and Collier County School Districts as well as the Health Care Network.
Richard and his husband the Rev. CJ McGregor of All Faiths Unitarian Congregation in Fort Myers have been together for over 30 years and have 2 adult sons.