Our board is comprised of a well-rounded group of individuals with a special interest in this area, including mental health professionals, family members of the affected, and dedicated volunteers from our groups who have contributed priceless time to building and maintaining our organization. Click on a board member name to read their bio.
Board Member Bios
Li Faustino, PhD is our chairperson and a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in NYC and Chatham, NJ. She specializes in depression, bipolar illness and trauma. She began with MDSG in 1997 as a group facilitator and soon after founded the “Youth Group,” now known as the “Under-30” group. Under her leadership, that group grew to be the biggest of its kind in the country. Over the years at MDSG, Dr. Faustino was a site coordinator, led our phone team and revamped our facilitator training class which she still teaches today. She also played an active role as a fundraiser and was the first to institute our paid staff.
Rebecca Finn, MD, MPH obtained her medical degree in Cleveland and a Master’s in Public Health in Albany. After completing her training, she then returned to New York City to be closer to her family. She joined the Mood Disorders Support Group in 2008, then became a facilitator, and site director and subsequently Vice Chair. As a facilitator she has become a professional peer support specialist using her experience to help others.
Elizabeth B. Naylor, MSW, ACSW obtained her Social Work degree at Columbia School of Social Work in 1968. Betsy has served as the organization’s chair for ten years and formed the Topic group which has become one of our most popular groups. Betsy teaches the facilitator class and contributes the “Readers Corner” to the MOODS newsletter. As an avid reader, she is instrumental in choosing books for MDSG to recommend to our membership. She has a strong interest in matters of government and she volunteers regularly for the Board of Elections.
Tory Masters spent years as a senior producer and programmer for ABC News, Good Morning America. She then co-founded The Intrepid New Yorker, a corporate relocation consulting firm for expatriates. Currently, she is certified peer-specialist and recovery coach for individuals and groups with mood disorders and their families. She is also a psychiatric rehabilitation facilitator at Hands Across Long Island (HALI) that serves individuals in need with psychiatric and substance abuse disorders. At MDSG, Tory is lecture coordinator, teaches our facilitator class and has been an active site coordinator and facilitator since 1992.
Adina Taubman is an actress, a playwright, a teacher, and an activist. She has been a member of MDSG since 2010. She became a facilitator in 2011 and a coordinator for the West Side location in 2014. She received her B.A. in Humanities from Sarah Lawrence College and her M.F.A. in Acting from American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. She is the Artistic Director of Chrysalis Theatre Company. Adina lives with her husband and two daughters in Morningside Heights.
David J. Hellerstein, MD has been on the MDSG board since 2009. He has a psychiatry and psychopharmacology private practice in New York, and is a research psychiatrist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY, and a Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia University.
He specializes in the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders, and conducts studies on the medication treatment of dysthymia, or low-grade chronic depression at Columbia’s Depression Evaluation Service. He has published many scientific articles on subjects including psychopharmacology, supportive psychotherapy, and behavioral activation therapy.
Dr. Hellerstein has also received national recognition for his literary writing. His books include Battles of Life and Death (essays about medical training),Loving Touches (a novel), and A Family of Doctors (a memoir of five generations of doctors in one family). He writes a blog, “Heal Your Brain” forPsychology Today. His 2011 book, Heal Your Brain: How the New Neuropsychiatry Can Help You Go From Better to Well (Johns Hopkins University Press) was praised by Kay Jamison as “a lucid and practical guide to the brain and how it can go awry.”
Michael McKay, MBA came to MDSG through the Friends and Family group and has been the Treasurer for the last 20 years. He also assumed some duties of an unpaid administrator and assembles the bi-monthly newsletter. After 40 years as Director of Finance and Administration for several libraries and visual arts organizations, Michael retired. Michael earned master’s degrees in Library Science and Business Administration.
Nathan Maratas arrived at MDSG in 2007 and began facilitating in 2010. A California native who received his B.S. in Business Administration from California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, he is an event planner who prides himself on the chic happenings he produces for clients in the fashion and luxury goods industries. In addition to facilitating, Nathan contributes his professional expertise to MDSG by coordinating its end-of-year party as well as the training and continuing education of the organization’s facilitators. He is also an active recruiter of new volunteers.