Five individuals will be recognized for outstanding achievements in the fight against depression at the 13th annual Welcome Back Awards ceremony on Feb. 29 in Washington, D.C. Eli Lilly and Company established the Welcome Back Awards in 1998 to fight the stigma associated with depression and to promote the understanding that depression is treatable. The National Council partners with Lilly to recognize the 2011 honorees.
"Depression can be a debilitating illness but the Welcome Back Awards honorees have demonstrated that recovery is possible; they provide hope to thousands of others and we salute their courage and achievements," said Linda Rosenberg, president and CEO of the National Council.
Welcome Back Awards honorees are chosen by an independent panel of national mental health leaders. Donations ranging between $10,000 and $15,000 are made to the not-for-profit organization of each winner's choice. Over the past 13 years, Lilly has donated more than $375,000 to charity on behalf of 53 Welcome Back Award winners.
The following honorees of the 13th annual Welcome Back Awards are being recognized at a special awards ceremony:
Lifetime Achievement - Kevin Hines, San Francisco, Calif.
As a suicide survivor—one of only 31 to survive a jump from the Golden Gate Bridge—Hines has spoken to more than 300,000 people about suicide prevention and about "living mentally well." He reaches out to every age, gender, and group—especially members of the U.S. military—to help them fight the shame and discrimination associated with mental illness.
Destigmatization - Randy Revelle, Seattle, Wash.
Revelle continuously challenges stereotypes about mental illness. His own experiences with insurance discrimination made him a champion in the fight for mental health parity in Washington state. As county executive, Randy has done much to improve mental health services in King County, Washington.
Primary Care - Joanne Jubelier, Los Angeles, Calif.
Jubelier grew mental health services at Venice Family Clinic from a labor of love staffed primarily by volunteer clinicians and community members to a fully staffed department with a specialized component addressing domestic violence.
Psychiatry - Professor Norman Sartorius, MD, Geneva, Switzerland
Sartorius is the former director of the Division of Mental Health of the World Health Organization, and president of the World Psychiatric Association. He has conducted several major international studies on depression and believes the misunderstanding attached to mental illness is the main barrier to recovery and has worked to diminish that through science, education and social change.
Community Service - David Fajgenbaum, Philadelphia, Pa.
Fajgenbaum knows firsthand what it is like to struggle alone with the loss of a family member while in college. Today, thanks to Students of AMF -- a campus-wide network that Fajgenbaum started after losing his mother to a terminal brain tumor -- thousands of students across the country grieving the illness or death of a loved one know they are not alone and get support from peers and professionals.
"The Welcome Back Awards continue to serve as an inspiration to both people suffering from mental illness and those who help them on the journey to recovery," said Robert Baker, MD, global development leader for psychiatry and pain disorders at Lilly. "The stories of hope and survival from the courageous winners can make a difference in the lives of many others."
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