Robert Segal, M.A.

Since its launch in 1999, has reached over half a billion people looking for mental health information and support. And none of it would have been possible without the vision, leadership, and support of Robert Segal.

Robert co-founded HelpGuide in 1999 and led the organization as CEO for 23 years as it evolved from a local Santa Monica Rotary Club project into one of the world’s leading mental health websites. Robert retired from his executive position and the board of directors in 2022 but remains a dedicated supporter of HelpGuide.

Robert’s career spanned 65 years and took many interesting and unexpected turns. He began a nearly 20-year career in engineering in 1955 after completing an innovative 5-year program at the University of Minnesota to earn a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering. The next year, he became the Project Leader of a fast-track missile simulator that was part of the U.S. missile defense system. Later, he developed a unique identification friend-or-foe (IFF) video processor for the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory that was patented under his name.

Robert switched career paths in 1974, going back to school to earn an M.A. in Educational Psychology. In the late 1970s, Robert and his wife, Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., coordinated a groundbreaking series of holistic health conferences for the Association for Humanistic Psychology (AHP).

In the 1980s, Robert changed course yet again, and began a successful career in commercial real estate development and management, which he continued until his retirement while also running HelpGuide.

In addition to Robert’s immeasurable contributions to HelpGuide, he has been very active in the broader Santa Monica and Los Angeles nonprofit communities for decades. He has served on many boards, including nine years on the Board of Directors of the California Community Foundation and thirty-five years on the Board of Governors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica.

Since his retirement, Robert can now be found, more often than not, either on a cruise ship or planning his next voyage.