Board of Directors

Dr. Douglas Jacobs – Founder and Medical Director

Douglas G. Jacobs, M.D., associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, is a nationally recognized expert on suicide and depression and a leader in the field of mental health. In 1991, Dr. Jacobs spearheaded National Depression Screening Day®, the first large-scale public campaign of mental health education and screening. The event’s success and his personal commitment to its continuance led to the founding of Screening for Mental Health, Inc., (SMH).

Building upon his expertise in suicide, Dr. Jacobs established the SMH Suicide Education and Research Division, which serves to educate academic and clinical professionals about the assessment and treatment of suicidal individuals. Dr. Jacobs edited a comprehensive book on suicide entitled, "The Harvard Medical School Guide to Suicide Assessment and Intervention", published by Jossey-Bass. He also served as the chair of the American Psychiatric Association's Work Group on "Practice Guideline for the Assessment and Treatment of Patients with Suicidal Behaviors."

Dr. Jacobs received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and his post-graduate clinical training at Harvard Medical School, where he completed a three-year residency in adult psychiatry at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center. Dr. Jacobs maintains an active clinical practice and is on the staff at McLean Hospital in Belmont, MA.. He has been a member of the Harvard Medical School faculty since 1975.

Leonard Freedberg, M.D.
Private Practioner
Newton-Wellesley Psychiatry

Matthew K. Nock, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology
Director of the Laboratory for Clinical and Developmental Research
Harvard University

Jefferson Bruce Prince, M.D.
Child Psychiatry
Harvard Medical School
North Shore Children’s Hospital

Saul Levin, MD, MPA
CEO and Medical Director
American Psychiatric Association

Senior Staff

Candice Porter, LICSW – Executive Director

Candice Porter is Executive Director of Screening for Mental Health, Inc., leading the organization as it strives to have mental health viewed and treated with the same gravity as physical health. She is responsible for the strategic direction of the organization and overseeing program development, technology, marketing and communications, development and financial growth, and operations.

Candice began her tenure at Screening for Mental Health as Youth Programs Manager, overseeing middle and high school suicide and self-injury prevention programs. Her focus on developing strategic partnerships led to her promotion to Director of External Relations. In this new role, she was responsible for expanding the organization’s national presence. After a transition in leadership in 2013, Candice Porter stepped in to fill the role of Interim Executive Director and moved into the position permanently in June of 2014.

Prior to joining Screening for Mental Health, Candice worked for the Devereux Foundation in both Philadelphia, PA and Rutland, MA as a therapist. She is a licensed independent clinical social worker and has over a decade of experience working in public and private settings.

Candice is a frequent speaker at conferences and provides clinical trainings to groups nationally. She holds a Master of Social Work from the State University of New York at Albany and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the State University of New York at Oswego. She is a member of the Will to Live Foundation board of directors, serves on The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention Workplace Task Force, and is an Executive Committee Member of Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention.

Yvonne Bayliss – Director of Operations

Yvonne Bayliss is Director of Operations and provides oversight of human resources, finance, and staff development. She has broad expertise in business administration, management, and employee relations. Prior to joining Screening for Mental Health, Yvonne had a successful career as Manager and General Manager at Back Bay Restaurant Group. She is originally from Ireland and holds a Bachelor’s degree from the National College of Ireland.

John Della Vecchia – Chief Technology Officer

John Della Vecchia is Chief Technology Officer, responsible for developing the overall technology vision for the organization and guiding development of new technologies. With over fifteen years of experience, John brings an innovative and creative approach to technology as well as a proven track record of directing technology initiatives from conception to deployment. He holds a Master and Bachelor of Music from the New England Conservatory.

Michelle Holmberg, MA – Director of Programs

Michelle Holmberg is Director of Programs, providing strategic direction, planning, development and implementation across programming. Michelle’s background includes organizational training around LGBTQ cultural competency and how community health centers recruit and retain a diverse workforce. Previously, Michelle worked nationally with companies and community-based agencies to integrate mental health screenings into their overall approach to wellness. She holds a Master of Arts in Community Psychology from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Fairfield University.

Sue Thorn – Director of Marketing and Communications

Sue Thorn is the Director of Marketing and Communications and is responsible for developing marketing, branding, and communications strategies that generate greater awareness and advance the mission of the organization. She brings twenty years of experience leading marketing communications and public relations programs for the higher education and technology sectors to her role. Sue holds a Master of Science in Organization Communication from Northeastern University and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from New England College.