David Susman, PhD

David Susman


  • Licensed clinical psychologist with over 25 years of experience providing treatment to individuals with mental illness and substance use concerns
  • Assistant Professor of Psychology, University of Kentucky in Lexington
  • Has trained hundreds of graduate students who have gone on to careers as clinical psychologists
  • Mental health advocate and award-winning blogger at davidsusman.com
  • Was the founding director of Eastern State Hospital’s Recovery Mall


For over 24 years, David Susman, PhD worked at Eastern State Hospital, a public psychiatric hospital in Lexington, Kentucky. Along with his work teams, he provided care to over 50,000 adults with serious mental illness and substance use issues. He was the founding director of the hospital’s Recovery Mall, an award-winning recovery and rehabilitation program.

Currently, Dr. Susman is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Kentucky. He serves as director of the Jesse G. Harris, Jr. Psychological Services Center, which trains doctoral students in clinical psychology in how to provide psychological testing and therapy. He is also the training director of the University of Kentucky Internship Consortium, a pre-doctoral health service psychology internship program.

Dr. Susman has been active in mental health advocacy initiatives and psychology leadership at the state and national levels. He served as President of the Kentucky Psychological Association (KPA) and is a member of the American Psychological Association (APA) and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). He currently serves in APA governance on its Council Leadership Team.

Dr. Susman is active in social media and authors a mental health and advocacy blog at davidsusman.com, which has been recognized in several lists of top mental health blogs. He also features dozens of “Stories of Hope,” interviews with people who share their challenges and successes from their personal mental health journeys. He is a regular contributor to PsychologyToday.com and has been cited in numerous media outlets. He founded the popular “Mental Health Advocates International” Facebook group.

Dr. Susman has been married to his wife, Kathy for thirty years. They have one daughter, Allison, and live in Lexington, Kentucky. 


Dr. Susman received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Virginia, a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Marshall University and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Kentucky.

His training and employment as a clinical psychologist has included work in psychiatric hospitals, mental health centers, colleges and universities, a federal prison, and a veterans hospital. 

A Word From David Susman, PhD

Physical and mental health are connected in so many ways. It’s important to be mindful about making healthy lifestyle choices, developing a realistic plan to commit to healthy habits, and then follow through with sustained action and support from others who can help you stay on track. 

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