Susan Keys, Ph.D. is an associate professor and senior researcher in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences. Dr. Keys is the former executive director, special advisor on mental health and director of research for the Inspire USA Foundation, a nonprofit focused on the use of technology to promote the health and well being of young Americans and to prevent suicide. Inspire developed and maintains ReachOut.com, a mental health information and support website for teens and young adults that receives about 1.5 million visitors annually. Dr. Keys also led Inspire's involvement in a social marketing initiative in California focused on mental illness stigma reduction through online discussions and youth engagement as a part of the ReachOut.com system of services.
Prior to joining Inspire, Dr. Keys served as the Branch Chief for Prevention Initiatives and Priority Programs at the Center for Mental Health Services, in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a Division of the Federal Department of Health and Human Services. In this role she oversaw national programs for suicide prevention, youth violence prevention, HIV-AIDS treatment and young child wellness, including the Garrett Lee Smith funding to states and colleges, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the National Suicide Prevention Resource Center.
Dr. Keys is a retired associate professor of counseling and former department chair at Johns Hopkins University. She was a co-principal investigator of a National Institute of Mental Health R01 research grant on school violence prevention and led education initiatives as Associate Director of a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) funded Center for the Prevention of Youth Violence. She has consulted with, and collaborated with, national centers and associations, federal and state agencies, departments and offices, local school systems, local mental health agencies, advocacy and consumer groups on mental health promotion and prevention of mental illnesses programs, policy development, moving programs to scale, linkage of school and community resources, and training for school personnel, communities, and families. She is the author of 16 articles in refereed national journals, one book, and seven book chapters on topics relevant to mental health promotion, public health, youth violence and suicide prevention. Most recently through her work with Inspire, Dr. Keys has advanced her skills in the use of technology and social media for the delivery of health related social marketing messages.