Longtime mental health advocate Evelyn Barkin is the executive director and co-founder of the Jonathan O. Cole Mental Health Consumer Resource Center (Cole Center). Evelyn, who was diagnosed in the mid-70s with bipolar disorder, conceived the idea for the organization while attending a meeting at the Manic Depressive and Depressive Association of Boston (MMDA), now known as the Depression-Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA). She realized that she was being approached repeatedly at meetings for advice on time structuring, social isolation, social security, housing and legal matters. Subsequently, Evelyn partnered with fellow MMDA member Anne Whitman Ph.D., to form the Cole Center. The nonprofit has become a revered model for consumer resource centers, and it has helped countless mental health consumers cope with their illness, look for employment, and gain the confidence to lead healthy and fulfilling lives.