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Victor Armstrong Appointed RI International Chief Diversity Officer Commits to Reduce Disparities in Access to Care

Victor Armstrong, RI International Chief Diversity Officer

Victor Armstrong Appointed Chief Diversity Officer at RI International Commits to Reduce Disparities in Access to Mental Health Crisis Care

PHOENIX, AZ, UNITED STATES, June 10, 2022 / -- RI International, a leading provider of crisis mental health services and peer training and credentialing across the United States, is pleased to welcome Victor Armstrong, MSW, as chief diversity officer.

The appointment of a public health stalwart like Mr. Armstrong to the newly created position at RI International will advance the organization’s commitment to reducing health disparities in the communities it serves by ensuring diversity, equity and inclusion across all its programs and services. Mr. Armstrong will amplify the work done over the past two years by RI International’s Diversity Equity Inclusion Leadership Council (DEILC).

David Covington, president and CEO of RI International, said, “There is still stigma around seeking mental health care, especially among underrepresented groups in our communities. We need to work harder to erase that stigma and ensure that everyone who needs care, especially in a crisis, has access to quality care. To do that we must start from within and embed diversity, equity and inclusion in our company’s DNA. I am excited that Victor Armstrong has joined us to lead this charge.”

Victor Armstrong was the chief health equity officer for the State of North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services. Prior to that, he served as director of the department’s Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services division. He also was the vice president of behavioral health at Atrium Health. Mr. Armstrong is on the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s North Carolina board of directors and on the IIMHL/IIDL Inclusion Advisory Group. He received the DEI Leadership and Impact Award 2021 from Addiction Professions of North Carolina. He also received the Mental Health America H. Keither Brunnemer Jr. Award for Outstanding Mental Health Leadership 2021 and was the Black Mental Health Symposium Mental Health Advocate of the Year 2019.

Mr. Armstrong said, “RI International has long been an innovator and thought leader in the mental health and crisis care arena. The leadership team is committed to reducing disparities in access to care and to helping individuals with mental health challenges connect to trained peers who have experienced similar challenges and can provide empathetic care. I am honored and humbled to join the team to advance this goal. I look forward to embedding diversity, equity and inclusion in RI’s mission, culture and strategic plan.”

About RI International
RI International (a member company of Five Lanes Crisis Partners) is one of the nation’s leading crisis mental health service providers. Founded as a non-profit in 1990, the organization has over 50 recovery and crisis programs in Arizona, California, Delaware, Louisiana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and Washington State. The organization has been accredited by Joint Commission since 1992. RI also provides training to mental health peer support specialists and has certified 15,500 peers around the world since 2000.

For media inquiries and to schedule interviews with experts on mental health crisis care and diversity, equity and inclusion contact Karen Jones at 602-636-3092 and

Karen Jones
RI International
+1 602-636-3092
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