Will Hall (born 1966) is an American mental health advocate, counselor, writer, and teacher. Diagnosed with schizophrenia, he is a leader in the peer support movement and is an organizer within the psychiatric survivors movement. Hall advocates the recovery approach to mental illness and is recognized internationally as an innovator in the treatment and social response to psychosis.
In 2001, he co-founded the Freedom Center and from 2004-2009 was a co-coordinator for The Icarus Project. He has consulted for Mental Disability Rights International, the Family Outreach and Response Program, and the Office on Violence Against Women, and in 2012 presented to the American Psychiatric Association's Institute on Psychiatric Services.
Hall hosts the FM radio program, "Madness Radio," syndicated on the Pacifica Network, and in 2009, co-founded Portland Hearing Voices.
He lives in Oakland, California.
After graduating from the community studies program at the University of California Santa Cruz in 1986, Hall worked for the Santa Cruz Sun newspaper as a staff reporter and for the Resource Center for Nonviolence's Brazil program. In 1988, he became Co-Director of the Earth Island Institute's Environmental Project on Central America, and traveled to El Salvador and Nicaragua during the civil wars in those countries.
In 1990, Hall began to suffer a deterioration of his mental health, and was involuntarily committed to San Francisco General Hospital in 1992. He spent a year in the public mental health system, including restraints, solitary confinement in a padded cell, and more than two months in locked wards at Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute. He was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, a form of schizophrenia.
After leaving the traditional mental health system in 1993, Hall stopped taking psychiatric medications and began to reestablish his well-being using holistic health, spiritual training, and social supports.
In 1996, he worked in the planning department of the advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy in Portland, Oregon.
In 1997, he became a student at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. After another mental health crisis in 1999 precipitated by what he describes as the school's stigma towards psychiatric survivors, he left school and spent six months at the alternative residential facility, Burch House, in New Hampshire.
In 2000, Hall moved to Northampton, Massachusetts, where he worked for five years at Broadside Bookshop.
In 2001, he began speaking publicly about his mental health experiences, and with Oryx Cohen co-founded and did peer counseling at the Freedom Center in Northampton, a support, advocacy, and activism community run by people with psychiatric diagnoses.
In 2002, Hall joined activist Ed Russell to initiate a volunteer-run, low-power Pacifica Radio affiliate FM community radio station in Florence, Massachusetts called Valley Free Radio (VFR).
He is host of "Madness Radio", an interview format radio show which began on VFR and is now syndicated on the Pacifica Radio Network, including KBOO in Oregon.
From 2004-2009 he was on the co-coordinator collective of The Icarus Project, and he is author of Harm Reduction Guide to Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs.
He is assistant director of Portland Hearing Voices in Portland, Oregon. Hall has worked as a consultant for Mental Disability Rights International and done talks and trainings in many countries.
He has a counseling, coaching and therapy practice. Hall has a Master of Arts in Process Work (MAPW) from the Process Work Institute in Portland, Oregon (2011) and a certificate in Open Dialogue through the Institute of Dialogic Practice in the village of Haydenville, Williamsburg, Massachusetts (2012).