Recovery was founded in 1937 by neuropsychiatrist Dr. Abraham Low and his patients who sought to re-enter society after hospitalization, to talk about their conditions, and to eliminate the stigma of mental illness.

The group was originally called “The Association of Nervous and Former Mental Patients.” After one of their members was evicted from his rooming house because he received a letter with the Association’s return address, they decided to change the name to Recovery.

The Recovery method wasn’t invented overnight—it was the result of more than 25 years of cognitive behavioral work. As the organization grew, Dr. Low realized that he needed to train others in his methods. Because he knew how overworked and understaffed many psychiatric hospitals were, he also realized the need to develop a consistent approach that could be replicated by nonprofessionals. Thus evolved the peer-led self-help model we know today.

When Dr. Low died in 1954, his widow, daughters and thousands of former patients ensured that his work continued. As the organization grew and expanded across the country and abroad, the name was changed to Recovery International.

Mission Statement:

The mission of Recovery International is to use the cognitive-behavioral, peer-to-peer, self-help training system developed by Abraham Low, MD, to help individuals gain skills to lead more peaceful and productive lives.


Recovery International will be the world’s premier provider of self-help training for mental health and wellness available to anyone, anywhere, anytime.

Board of Directors

Executive Committee

Joanne Lampey (Rochester, NY)


 Vice President
Nicole Cilento (Rochester, NY)

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Hal Casey (Maplewood, NJ)


Michelle Barker (Lockport, NY)

Board of Directors

Marilyn Schmitt (Chicago, IL)

Judith Bakke (San Diego, CA)

Phyllis Berning (Glencoe, IL)

Dianne Clar

Dianne Clar (Honeoye Falls, NY)

Chief Executive Officer
Sandra K. Wilcoxon (Chicago, IL)

RI Staff

Chief Executive Officer
Sandra K. Wilcoxon

Office Administrator
Everlean Pelt

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 Project Manager     San Diego
Lisa Garcia

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Administrator, Telephone Groups
Camille Rizzo

Online Meetings Manager
Steve Ferradino, LPC.


          Director of           Special Projects
Angela Sullivan

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San Diego Office Administrator
Valerie Blanco

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Administrative Assistant, Telephone Groups
Gilda Marconi