June 02, 2020

JKBF Expands Board

JKBF is pleased to welcome two new Directors to our Board and we look forward to their professional and personal contributions to our mission.

Fred Bernard is Jamie’s brother and a doctoral student in clinical psychology. He has received graduate-level training in psychological research and clinical psychology at The New School for Social Research in Manhattan and The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Chicago. Fred has worked in clinical or human services positions for a number of years, including as a counselor, social worker, diagnostician, mental health helpline operator, and paraprofessional therapist. In many of these positions, he has worked with a number of individuals evincing depression and suicidal ideation. His life’s work is to understand and help alleviate mental distress such as that experienced by Jamie and so many others. Fred says, “I’m delighted to be a part of this organization of accomplished, caring people who are dedicated to thoroughly understanding this serious issue.” 


Susan Parmelee, LCSW, is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Wellness & Prevention Center, a community and school-based non-profit providing easy-to-access, low-fee mental health interventions and prevention education in South Orange County, California for over 6 years. As mental health social worker for seventeen years, Susan has experience in inpatient mental health hospitals, Med-I-Cal Clinics, program development, and homelessness advocacy. Susan believes in empowering community to bring about positive change and is an advocate for youth and families. One of her main passions is developing youth leaders to address issues surrounding mental health and addiction, training them in providing peer supports.

Prior to her career in mental health, Susan worked in hotel design and project management and raised three children with her husband Brian while living on the Caribbean island of Nevis. Upon settling in Southern California Susan began her social work studies. When not working Susan enjoys knitting, reading, decorative arts, and travel with her husband and adult children. Susan holds an MSW from San Diego State University and a BS in Hotel Administration from Cornell University, and is a registered clinician in the state of California.