In Memoriam

“I think a hero is any person really intent on making this a better place for all people”
Maya Angelou

Remembering Richard Beeman

Tragically, on September 1st, 2020, the Mental Health Community lost one of our own. Richard Beeman passed away unexpectedly in his home. Richard was an advocate in the mental health community for many years. He used his lived experience with mental health challenges to help educate and improve the lives of others.

2 men wearing suits attending a meeting to share and discuss mental health services in Arizona, Richard Beeman is the one on the right.
Richard attending a meeting to share and discuss mental health services in Arizona
Richard wearing a light blue shirt, dark blue pants, holding a microphone, giving a presentation for NAMI and sharing his personal story
Richard doing a presentation for NAMI and sharing his personal story

Richard worked with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), state level committees, and Arizona’s behavioral health providers by sharing his story to improve the lives of those with mental health disorders. If you would like to view some articles written by Richard, below you will find some highlights. These articles span across years and decades and highlight his advocacy for those with mental illness. 

Patients Know Best, Richard Beeman letter to the editor
“Patients Know Best”, letter to the editor, Tucson Citizen, Tucson AZ, September 28, 1985
State's deficiences in care of mentally ill cited, Arizona Daily Star, April 16 1988
“State’s deficiences in care of mentally ill cited”, Arizona Daily Star, Tucson AZ, April 16, 1988.
"Writer gets out word on illness", Arizona Republic, April 27 1992
“Writer gets out word on illness”, Arizona Republic, Phoenix AZ, April 16 1988
"What next? patients ask", Arizona Republic, Phoenix AZ, July 24 1997
“What next? patients ask”, Arizona Republic, Phoenix AZ, July 24 1997
"Acts of Kindness" letter to the editor, Arizona Republic, Phoenix Arizona, August 10 2002
“Acts of Kindness”, letter to the editor, Arizona Republic, Phoenix AZ, August 10 2002
"We've failed the mentally ill", letter to the editor, Arizona Republic, Phoenix AZ, September 13 2014
“We’ve failed the mentally ill”, letter to the editor, Arizona Republic, Phoenix AZ, September 13 2014

Thanks to the dedication of the community we were able to raise $4515.00 that has gone to pay for Richards’s burial arrangements and Celebration of Life. Arizona Peer and Family Coalition will be using any remainder funds to enhance the lives of those living with mental health challenges. This will be done in his honor, as Richard worked so tirelessly and selflessly to eradicate barriers for our community members. More information will come on this in the future.

To watch the Celebration of Life, click on the below video:

Below are some sentiments that were shared before and during the Celebration of Life:

I will miss our trips to your home, when we would talk about everything happening in life and we would stop and Jack in the Box and get a burger and fries. You always asked if it was out of my way and I would say no, not a problem. Richard I was not going your way, but it was a great way to go. I enjoyed myself and I hope you did too. Safe travels my friend.
Gloria A.
My opportunity to rub shoulders with Richard was at NAMI Education Meetings at the Scottsdale Senior Center-Granite Reef location. Richard always participated in the discussions for the topics. Sure want to participate in honoring such a giver in the mental health community! Wishing comfort and peace to all those who know and love him best!
Karen N.
Richard was an outstanding advocate in the community. He was always working to make things better by attending events and asking tough questions or sharing his personal story to stomp out stigma. He will be missed.
Susan J.
Soldier On, Richard!
H. Clarke Romans
I will remember Richard as true hero and mental advocate and educator. He was an asset to the behavioral health profession as a person, teacher, scholar and board member. Thanks for All You Did for the community! And My God Bless You.
Ed M.
A tireless advocate.
Michael F.
At PIR, Richard always kept us honest as a service provider for persons with SMI. Never failed to point out when we strayed from our own agency values….or the SMI Rules! He will be missed in Arizona.
Christy D.
Richard was one of the first peers hired to work on my team when the RHBA opened the new site on 24th St and Thomas. Our working conditions were crowded until the build out was completed but Richard often talked about his days as a Sports writer. He also was proud of his part in establishing the peer run organization known as SOON. He was a good advocate and may he rest in peace.
Karen S.
Richard was a long time Board Member at Southwest Behavioral Health. He and I wrote and delivered a Consumer Perspectives training at SBH. He was my training partner for several years and gave input into the development of integration of peer services. He loved doing the training and was always interested in discussing new ventures and
Deborah W.