GHENT, Belgium, Jan. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Museum Dr. Guislain in Ghent, Belgium, with support from Janssen Research & Development, LLC ("Janssen"), announced they have issued a global call for nominations for the 2013 Dr. Guislain "Breaking the Chains of Stigma" Award. The award honors an individual, project or organization that has made an exceptional contribution to reducing the stigma associated with mental illness. Nominations can be submitted at www.drguislainaward.org, and will be accepted until March 10, 2013. A $50,000 cash prize will be awarded to the individual or group receiving the award, which must be used toward further work to reduce societal stigma about mental health and disorders of the brain.
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 help improve their social position. Museum Dr. Guislain 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.
"Museum Dr. Guislain is delighted to honor the memory of Dr. Guislain through continued sponsorship and presentation of this global award," said Brother Rene Stockman, general manager of the Museum Dr. Guislain. "We seek to 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 by recognizing the important contributions of individuals and organizations that have helped to reduce the stigma associated with these illnesses."
In 2012, Bagus Utomo was presented with the award. Utomo is an Indonesian man who was motivated by his brother's mental illness to help other struggling families find resources to fight stigma associated with schizophrenia. He founded the organization Komunitas Peduli Skizofrenia Indonesia (Indonesia Community Care for Schizophrenia), or KPSI. His advocacy has improved the accessibility of information on mental health and contributed to increased public acceptance that these conditions are medical and awareness of the damaging effects of stigma – making a tangible impact on patients living with schizophrenia and other mental health conditions in Indonesia.
"Janssen is proud to sponsor and support the presentation of the Dr. Guislain 'Breaking the Chains of Stigma' Award. Our involvement reflects our more than 50-year commitment to helping find solutions for patients with mental illness and diseases of the brain, and is an important component of our global Healthy Minds Program," said Husseini K. Manji, MD, Global Therapeutic Area Head for Neuroscience, Janssen Research & Development, LLC. "Our hope is that, in collaborating with the Museum Dr. Guislain on this global award, we continue to fight stigmas still faced by patients, and applaud efforts of individuals or groups who have contributed to that fight."
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 winning individual, project or organization will be determined by the end of May by an independent selection committee international mental health advocates and renowned authorities in the field, and honored at a ceremony on World Mental Health Day, October 10, 2013.
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 healthcare 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.
About Museum Dr. Guislain
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.
About Dr. Joseph Guislain
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.
For more information about the Dr. Guislain Award, please visit www.drguislainaward.org.
Museum Dr. Guislain
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SOURCE Museum Dr. Guislain