– Recognizing Advocates Making a Difference to Destigmatize Mental Illness –
GHENT, Belgium, Feb. 27, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — The Dr. Guislain Museum in Ghent, Belgium and Janssen Research & Development, LLC (“Janssen”), today announced that they are seeking global nominations for the seventh annual Dr. Guislain “Breaking the Chains of Stigma” Award. The Award honors an individual, project or organization that has made a remarkable contribution to reduce stigma associated with mental illness. Nominations can be submitted at www.drguislainaward.org until 15 April, 2018. A $50,000 prize will be awarded to the Award recipient to further support efforts that reduce societal stigma associated with mental illness.
“While mental health stigma continues to be an issue throughout our global society, it is important to recognize the mental health advocates who are making significant strides to destigmatize negative perceptions of mental illness,” said Brother Dr. René Stockman, general director of the Dr. Guislain Museum. “We are proud to honor Dr. Guislain’s legacy and contributions to the mental health community, including his desire for inclusiveness for all, with the annual ‘Breaking the Chains of Stigma’ Award.”
An independent selection committee, comprised of international advocates and renowned authorities in the field of mental health, selects the Award winner. The Dr. Guislain “Breaking the Chains of Stigma” Award winner will be honored at a ceremony on World Mental Health Day, 10 October, 2018, in New York City.
Sotheara Chhim, M.D., M.P.M., Ph.D., was selected as the 2017 Dr. Guislain “Breaking the Chains of Stigma” Award recipient for his extraordinary efforts developing mental health services in Cambodia through scientific therapeutic approaches and launching the Operation Unchain initiative, a program designed to break the stigma of mental illness. Dr. Chhim is the executive director and senior consultant psychiatrist of the Transcultural Psychosocial Organization (TPO) Cambodia, the country’s leading Non-Government Organization in the field of mental health care and psychosocial support. Under his leadership, TPO Cambodia has developed and implemented programs to raise awareness about psychosocial and mental health conditions in many parts of Cambodia. Dr. Chhim and TPO have also provided mental health counselling, treatment, and specialized services for prisoners, gender-based violence survivors and torture survivors. To date, more than 220,000 patients and families have benefitted from his and his team’s work.
“At Janssen, we are deeply committed to helping break down the stigma associated with mental illness,” said Husseini K. Manji, M.D., Global Therapeutic Area Head, Neuroscience, Janssen. “This award acknowledges and celebrates advocates around the world whose work is making a real difference for people living with mental illness, their families and communities. Together with these heroes, we will continue to make changes so that everyone is treated equally and can live life without stigma.”
Janssen has an ongoing commitment to advancing neuroscience research, a legacy which dates back to the work of Dr. Paul Janssen (1926-2003). “Dr. Paul” is known as one of the 20th century’s most gifted and passionate physicians and pharmaceutical researchers. To honor his legacy, Janssen supports the mental health community and various advocacy organizations and projects. In 2011, the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson launched Healthy Minds, a comprehensive initiative that aims to encourage collaboration among biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and public-sector partners to accelerate the discovery of new therapeutic solutions for diseases and disorders of the brain.
About the Dr. Guislain “Breaking the Chains of Stigma” Award
Individuals, organizations or projects from around the world that have made an exceptional contribution in dealing with, or promoting the awareness of, mental health care are eligible* to receive the Dr. Guislain “Breaking the Chains of Stigma” Award. The Award is given to an individual(s), organization or project that:
- has made an exceptional contribution to mental health care in the broadest sense on a cultural and/or social level;
- has provided a genuine contribution to decreasing stigma around mental health conditions;
- has promoted attention for mental health care;
- and, has done all this with passion, creativity and innovation.
The Dr. Guislain “Breaking the Chains of Stigma” Award honors Dr. Joseph Guislain (1797-1860), a driven activist for patients with mental illness and the first Belgian psychiatrist to provide scientifically based treatment for these individuals. As a passionate advocate for those with mental illness, Dr. Guislain worked tirelessly to stand up for the rights of patients and to help improve their social position. The Dr. Guislain Museum and Janssen jointly sponsor the Award, with funding provided by Janssen. Both organizations have a rich heritage and long-standing involvement in the field of mental illness research, treatment and education.
About The Dr. Guislain Museum
The Dr. Guislain Museum was founded in 1986 in Ghent, Belgium, with both permanent exhibitions addressing the history of psychiatry and outsider art, and a series of changing thematic exhibitions. The Museum features an array of psychiatric photographs, two centuries of comprehensive archives and an extensive library chronicling the history of psychiatry. Comprehensively, the Museum seeks to educate the public and rectify the misunderstandings and prejudice associated with treatment for mental illness. The Dr. Guislain Museum attracts 72,000 visitors each year.
*Employees and officers of Johnson & Johnson, Janssen Research & Development, LLC, and their respective affiliates, subsidiaries, The Dr. Guislain Museum, any promotional agencies and members of the immediate family or household of each, are not eligible to participate in the Dr. Guislain Award as nominators, Award candidates or judges. Immediate family member is defined as a parent, sibling or any person residing in the same household as employee.
Dr. Guislain Museum
+32 9 216 35 95
Yoon Hee Lamot
Dr. Guislain Museum
+32 9 216 35 36