Inaugural Dr. Guislain Award - "Breaking the Chains of Stigma" Makes Global Call for Nominations

Belgian Museum and Janssen Research & Development, LLC, to Honor Groundbreaking Work to Reduce Stigma Around Mental Illness

Jul 12, 2012, 08:00 ET from Museum Dr. Guislain

GHENT, Belgium, July 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The inaugural Dr. Guislain Award - "Breaking the Chains of Stigma" - and call for nominations is announced today by Museum Dr. Guislain in Ghent, Belgium, with support from Janssen Research & Development, LLC ("Janssen"). The $50,000 award will honor an individual, project or organization that has made an exceptional contribution to reducing the stigma associated with mental illness. Nominations can be submitted at, and will be accepted until August 4, 2012.

Dr. Joseph Guislain (1797-1860) was 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 help improve their social position. He lectured and published extensively about mental illness and enjoyed considerable recognition by his contemporaries.

Museum Dr. Guislain and Janssen will 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.

"Museum Dr. Guislain is very pleased to honor the memory of Dr. Guislain through the creation of this award," said Brother Rene Stockman, general manager of the Museum Dr. Guislain. "In recognizing the important contributions of individuals and organizations who have helped to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness, we both acknowledge Dr. Guislain's legacy and demonstrate the continuing need to educate the general public on harmful effects of social exclusion faced by many with mental illness."

The Museum Dr. Guislain was founded in 1986 in Ghent, Belgium, and its exhibits address the history of psychiatry in a permanent collection and through a series of half-yearly 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 Museum Dr. Guislain attracts 65,000 visitors each year.

"Janssen is proud to support the creation of the Dr. Guislain Award for 'Breaking the Chains of Stigma' around mental illness. Our sponsorship of this award reflects Janssen's more than 50-year commitment to helping find solutions for these patients and is an important component of our global Healthy Minds Program," said Husseini K. Manji, M.D., Global Therapeutic Area Head for Neuroscience, Janssen  Research & Development, LLC. "In collaborating with the Museum Dr. Guislain for this award, we hope to combat the stigma still faced by, and recognize the initiatives or programs that have empowered the dignity of, patients being treated for mental illness."

Janssen has a legacy of, and ongoing commitment to, advancing neuroscience research. This legacy and commitment 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, Janssen 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.

The 2012 Dr. Guislain Award will be judged by a jury of international mental health advocates and renowned authorities in the field:

  • Lisa AppignanesiLondon-based author, former president of English PEN, chair of trustees of the Freud Museum in London
  • Siri Hustvedt – Essayist, novelist and poet
  • Dr. Steven Hyman – Director of the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, chair of the One Mind for Research scientific advisory board
  • Patrick Kennedy – Former U.S. Congressman and the co-founder/co-chairman of One Mind for Research
  • Dr. Alan Leshner – Chief executive officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Dr. Bernard Sabbe – Chair and professor in medical psychology and psychiatry at the University of Antwerp, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences and psychiatrist/psychotherapist at the Sint-Norbertus Psychiatric Hospital in Duffel

The winning individual, project or organization will be determined by September 10, 2012, and honored at a ceremony in Ghent, Belgium on World Mental Health Day, October 10, 2012. For more information, or to submit a nomination, please visit

Patrick Allegaert  
Museum Dr. Guislain  
+32 9 216 35 95

SOURCE Museum Dr. Guislain