Dave Cortright

Professional Coach and Consultant
179 karmaJoined Dec 2018Working (15+ years)



I am a certified professional coach (New Ventures West), with additional experience in crisis counseling (Crisis Text Line), compassionate listening (7 Cups), and peer mentoring (NAMI). I shifted to mental health and well-being after 25 years of working as a designer, manager, and director at various Silicon Valley tech companies. I am passionate about helping others, and by guiding them to find their true calling, I amplify my impact on improving the world.

I have been a serious philanthropist since 2004 and part of the EA community since 2017. I am most passionate about  global mental health and EA capacity building (through my coaching). I also support environmental and animal welfare causes. I am on the advisory council of Vegan Outreach, The Confess Project, and the Santa Clara County Behavioral Health Board.

How others can help me

I'm looking for partners to work on a peer support group (PSG) program that will help alleviate the global mental health crisis. I'm especially interested in working with students at colleges and universities, or young adults in general.

How I can help others

Figuring out what to do next in your life for maximal impact. 

Don’t ask what the world needs, but ask what makes you come alive, because that is what the world needs: people who have come alive.

—Howard Thurman


Topic contributions

Great report, Stan! I've subscribed to follow your posts. I appreciate you collating all the evidence and conclusions of the data in the mental health space.

Regarding alcoholism, I'm a fan of Johann Hari's conclusion that "the opposite of addiction is [positive human] connection." Stanford research supports this with their meta-analysis of alcohol treatment programs, finding the peer-support system in 12-step programs to be most effective.

I echo what John Salter said: this is great and it's important to have more of reports like this to elevate the mental health cause area.

Regarding health burden, what's shown here is a significant underreporting. There is strong evidence that poor mental health leads to increased physical health problems. Some sources to consider are the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) study by the American CDC ( ACEs Aware is a good resource, too), The Loneliness and Isolation report by the US Surgeon General, The Harvard Grant Study, and the Rosteo Study.

One common argument against veganism is that humans are carnivores. We aren’t. We are designed to eat cooked food.

Humans are cucinivores—the conjecture all vegans should know 

The crux: humans are a new and unique type of eater: cucinivores. We evolved to eat cooked food.

More on this here:

More people should know about this conjecture, and for anyone looking for a vegan-related research project, I believe the world would benefit from more research in this area (which I suspect would support the conjecture).

For evidence-based personality tests, check out The Big Five (OCEAN) or its updated sibling, HEXACO.

I wrote this post asking what success for sentience looks like. There's a good chance we humans are just another stepping stone on the path toward an even higher form of intelligence and sentience.

Stand-up comedian in San Francisco spars with ChatGPT AI developers in the audience

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Update Jan 4: Fixed, thanks! 🙏🏼

@Centre for Effective Altruism, is there a reason this video—From Bednets to Mindsets: The Case for Mental Health in Effective Altruism |  @Joy Bittner—is unlisted? 

I had watched it not long after it aired from a direct link in Vida Plena's newsletter. I was trying to find it again, but because it's unlisted it doesn't show up in YouTube search results. I feel all EAG talks like this should be public to give as much exposure to the ideas as possible.


We started a #role-coaches-and-therapists channel in the EA Everywhere Slack.

There will also be a meeting for coaches and therapists to talk about organizing and coordinating at the EASE monthly meeting on January 24, 2024. More details in the Slack.

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