Matthew Canuteson, MA is currently the Diversity and Inclusion Officer at the New York State Office of Mental Health, where he oversees the planning and implantation of workforce diversity and inclusion efforts across the Office of Mental Health’s State operated hospitals, clinics and administrative offices. The Diversity and Inclusion Office houses the Bureau of Cultural Competence – focused on infusing cultural and linguistic competence into New York’s large mental health system of care.

Using his personal experiences with overcoming trauma, criminal justice involvement, substance use and mental health conditions, Mr. Canuteson has spent over 15 years leading, consulting and advocating for improved system approaches for marginalized people with behavioral health disorders across all settings. His personal story is one of transformation from an early life spent in jails and institutions to one of hope, educational achievement, and career advancement. Mr. Canuteson is a 2014 SAMHSA VOICE Award winner for Consumer/Peer Leadership.

Mr. Canuteson’s work focuses on ensuring that all Americans – individuals with disabilities included – can achieve their true potential. As the youth coordinator for Albany County’s (NY) CMHS Systems of Care grant, he advocated for the inclusion of youth and family voices and peer support in local system development and service delivery. As policy specialist at the New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services, he led numerous successful advocacy campaigns to advance or protect funding for community support services and important legislative initiatives.

Mr. Canuteson also served as the Assistant Director of SAMHSA’s Statewide Family and Consumer Networks Technical Assistance Center where he coordinated the daily operations, supported board and organizational development, and enhanced the role of family/peer support programming. A sought-after speaker with broad national reach, Mr. Canuteson provides valuable insight on topics including the importance of incorporating lived experience to support recovery and policy change, the role workforce diversity plays in improving outcomes and community-based outreach strategies.