Chad Costello, MSW, CPRP
Chad has more than twenty-five years of service in the non-profit sector of California’s Public Behavioral Health System. In addition to many years of working in legislative and administrative advocacy, Chad has experience ranging from direct practice, team supervision and program development, to curriculum design, training and teaching. Chad became CASRA’s Executive Director in August of 2021.
Chad began working directly for CASRA in January 2021 as its Public Policy Director, after almost 20 years of work for Mental Health America of Los Angeles, first as a Director of a care coordination team at its renowned Village ISA in Long Beach. This was followed with positions as the organization’s Public Policy Director and most recently as the Vice President of Policy. Prior to MHALA, Chad served as the Director of Programs for MHA Orange County overseeing a range of programs serving individuals experiencing homelessness.
He has extensive experience in both in-person and virtual training and has presented at the local and national level on topics including advocacy skills, crisis intervention, and practice in psychiatric rehabilitation (PSR). He has held a Certified Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioner (CPRP) certification since 2001 and is a certified MORS trainer and Mental Health First Aid Instructor. He has taught at the A.A., B.A. and graduate levels for many years, and currently instructs in PSR in the Cerritos College Mental Health Worker Program, and in policy practice and community development in the School of Social Work at California State University, Long Beach.
Chad received his MSW, with a specialization in Community Organization, Planning and Administration from the University of Southern California and his B.A. in Social Ecology from the University of California, Irvine. Chad has an adult daughter and counts skiing, backpacking, climbing and photography as his passions.
Director of Learning and Communication
Joe Ruiz comes to CASRA with over 35 years of experience working in public mental health. Joe has been with CASRA as the Director of Training and Education since April 2021.
Joe Ruiz’ previous employment was with MHALA where he worked from 1986 to 2021. Among his many roles, he was part of the team that developed the original concept and proposal in 1989 for the Village, a model program of recovery focused services for adults with mental illness. While at the Village was the Associate Director, and the Director of Information Services. In 2007 he became the Training Director at the Village, responsible for the overall design, implementation and provision of Village training services. In 2011 he was promoted to the position of Director of Training and Workforce Development overseeing MHALA training, workforce development, and consultation including Faculty Training, Jump Start Fellowship Training, Peer Specialist Trainings, Recovery Oriented Practice, as well as the Milestones of Recovery Scale (MORS).
In March 2018 he became Chief Training Officer, the position he held until leaving MHALA to work for CASRA.
Joe loves spending time with his wife and two daughters, two dogs, two parakeets, and two turtles. He loves ramen or basically just about any noodle soup. He always is on the lookout for a new hat or a new pair of shoes.