Our Mission:

We realize that everyone’s problems are unique and complex – with psychological, biological, and social causes and consequences. Our mission is to help individuals learn new, science based strategies that will help to improve their mental health and overall well-being – both now and into the future. We want to help people live the life they’ve always wanted: one with deep meaning, less anxiety and depression, more joy and contentment, and better relationships.

Mood Lifters Team

Patricia Deldin, Founder and CEO, is currently a Professor at the University of Michigan in the Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry. Before that she was a professor, for 9 years, at Harvard University She received her B.A. with honors from the University of Iowa and her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is the Chairwoman and Director of the Clinical Science  program in the Department of Psychology and an Associate Director of the University of Michigan Depression Center. Additionally, she helped to launch the National Network of Depression Centers as a founding board member. She has published nearly 90 peer-reviewed articles on depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia with a focus on the neural correlates of major depression.

Dr. Deldin created Mood Lifters as a way to help many people worldwide who aren’t receiving sufficient mental health care. Her intention is to provide people in pain, wherever they are and whatever their means, with instant, broad access to effective, evidence-based mental health treatment. Her dream is to tap into the work of the world’s best mental health researchers and make an expanding set of resources available to improve lives everywhere. In addition to creating the program, Dr. Deldin is a Mood Lifters leader and participated as a member.

Cecilia Votta, Chief Science Officer, is a graduate student in the Clinical Science Ph.D. program at the University of Michigan. She holds an A.B. in Psychology from Washington University in St. Louis and an M.S. in Psychology from the University of Michigan. Her current research interests include emotional experience, emotion regulation and accessibility to mental health care. In addition to assisting in the development of the program, Cecilia is a Mood Lifters leader and has participated as a group member.


Ted Dacko, Business Consultant, is the CEO of Arbor Dakota Strategies. In his previous role as CEO of HealthMedia Inc., Ted led the company in the development of innovative, online programs designed to help participants improve their health behaviors.  Prior to HealthMedia, Dacko was president and CEO of Centromine, an Internet-based behavioral health firm in Ann Arbor. Dacko holds a B.S. in Mathematics from Waynesburg College and a M.S. in Mathematics from the College of William and Mary.

Group Leaders


Lauren Belpedio, B.A. graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in Psychology. She participated in three years of research during her undergraduate career, with an interest in bipolar and schizophrenic data. Lauren is employed with the University of Michigan and aspires to develop a career in mental health awareness and advocacy in a nonprofit setting.  Lauren is a peer group leader and was a group member.

Teresa Kruse, B.A. graduated from Grand Valley State University with a BA in Psychology.  She spent much of her career working with adjudicated youth in a group setting using Positive Peer Culture as the basis of our treatment.  The focus was on positive lifestyle changes.  She is currently a Client Success Manager for a renewable energy company in Ann Arbor.  She been through the program as a participant and saw great changes as a result.


Jennifer Porte, M.S.W. received a B.A. in Psychology and an M.S.W. from the University of Michigan. She first became involved with Mood Lifters as a participant in the initial pre-pilot group. Jennifer found Mood Lifters to be extremely beneficial and is excited to help others through the program in her current role as a peer leader.

Neema Prakash Research Assistant, is a second-year
undergraduate student at the University of Michigan where she is
studying Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience. She is enjoying
exploring the different topics of research in the psychology field,
with a current interest in research involving relationships and its
influence on mental health. Neema participated in the Mood Lifters
group earlier this year and recently became certified as a Helper for
future groups.

Andrea Roberts, M.S. is a graduate student in the Clinical Science Ph.D. program at the University of Michigan. She holds a B.A. in Psychology and Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her M.S. in psychology from the University of Michigan. She is interested in studying the effects of variations in stress processing capabilities on the association between trauma, stressful life events, and internalizing psychopathology. She is also interested in evaluating treatment and intervention programs, particularly as these programs relate to variations in stress exposure, perceived stress, and self-efficacy. Andrea is a group leader and has participated as a group member.

Emily Rosenzweig, B.A. graduated from Michigan State University with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Health Promotions. She has participated in research for bipolar disorder, cognitive development, and child & family counseling practices.  She also spent time working as an advocate for survivors of sexual and domestic violence. Emily aspires to help people who have experienced trauma and is interested in new kinds of mental health practices that would reduce cost and stigma around seeking services. Emily is a peer group leader and was a group member.

Program Contributors


Ryan Cardinale, Ph.D. is a graduate of the Clinical Science Ph.D. program at the University of Michigan. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from San Diego State University and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Michigan. His current research focuses on developing an individualized medicine approach for the treatment of mood disorders.