Mending minds

Treatment Before Tragedy

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Marisa Peacock

Marisa Peacock, principal and chief social business strategist at Strategic Peacock, a social media strategy and marketing firm, has worked for not-for-profits, independent schools and small businesses, managing and producing websites, multimedia and online content. Marisa is an adjunct faculty member at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Md., where she teaches social media marketing as a part of their Business of Art and Design graduate program.


Samir is a senior at The College of the Holy Cross in Worchester, Mass. He has been published in the "On Faith" section of the Washington Post, writing about personal identity. He has participated in a campus outreach c​ounseling group, promoting awareness of mental health, and he is actively engaged in learning from the experiences of those with serious mental illness. He is a researcher with Treatment Before Tragedy.

Len rickman

Len Rickman brings senior-level expertise to all phases of market research. His specialization is in associations and nonprofits, healthcare, education, government services, communications, finance and hospitality. He is the owner of Rickman Research and Communications, based in Silver Spring, Md. 

Jennifer ayers

Jennifer Ayers is a public administrator with
​15 years of nonprofit management experience providing efficient and effective leadership to organizations with emphasis in governance and operations, board and volunteer development, public affairs and grassroots advocacy, and overall consulting services for nonprofit organizations. She is the owner of JL Ayers Consulting, based in Alexandria, Va.

larry checco

Larry Checco is president of Checco Communications ( and a nationally sought-after speaker on branding and leadership. He also serves as a consultant to both large and small organizations, companies, foundations and government agencies. Larry conducts courses and workshops, is a faculty member of the NeighborWorks® Training Institute and is proud to be a part of the Treatment Before Tragedy movement.​

support team

Karen Easter

Karen, a mother in Knoxville, Tenn., has a son who has had severe and persistent mental illness since childhood. When he became an adult, her son stopped treatment, the consequences of which placed him in vulnerable and often dangerous situations. After four encounters with the criminal justice system, he is now stable on treatment. Karen has been an administrative assistant at the Brain and Spine Institute at the University of Tennessee Medical Center for 30 years. She has served on local non-profit boards, including Tennessee Voices for Children and is a volunteer at the Lost Sheep Ministry, a Christian Outreach helping homeless individuals and at-risk populations. 

asra Q. nomani

Asra is a former Wall Street Journal reporter who has taught journalism at Georgetown University. She has written about marketing campaigns, legislative initiatives and lobbying efforts. A cross-cultural communications trainer and independent journalist, Asra has written about mental illness and trauma for the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Daily Beast and Washingtonian magazine. She has loved ones diagnosed with serious mental illness and has witnessed firsthand the challenges that families face in seeking treatment and services for loved ones.

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