Mental Health America today will honor Representatives Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) and Jim Ramstad (R-Minn.); former gubernatorial candidate Doug Duncan; Real Lives spokesperson and radio personality Jell Bell; former George Washington University student Jordan Nott; rock band The Fray; and the film 'Canvas' with its second annual forWARDS(TM). forWARDS(TM) pay tribute to the people, actions and events that move the cause of mental health forward each year. Mental Health America will honor the forWARDS(TM) winners during its 2007 Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., June 6-9, 2007.
"Given the state of mental health in America today, it takes courage and determination to overcome the stigma associated with mental illnesses and barriers to mental health care,” said David Shern, Ph.D., president and CEO of Mental Health America. "These outstanding individuals contributed immeasurably to breaking down these barriers and should be lauded for their dedication to improving awareness of mental health and mental illness.”
forWARD(TM) winners include:
Jeff Bell - Bell is a longtime veteran of radio and television news. He is also a champion for millions of Americans living with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Mental Health America recognizes Bell for speaking out about his experience with OCD through his book, "Rewind, Replay, Repeat,” and for his participation with Real Lives, a soon-to-be launched online forum created by Mental Health America where people can educate others through sharing their personal mental health experiences.
'Canvas' - Mental Health American recognizes this acclaimed movie for its realistic portrayal of mental illness. Inspired by writer/director Joseph Greco's experience as a child of a parent with schizophrenia, the film looks at the challenges and triumphs of living with a family member with a mental illness.
Doug Duncan - While running for Maryland Governor, Duncan sought treatment for depression and subsequently withdrew from the gubernatorial race. His courage to speak publicly about his personal experience helped raise awareness about mental illness in America.
The Fray - Mental Health America will honor this rock band for their efforts to prevent suicide through the song "How to Save a Life” and the website, www.howtosavealife.com.
Representatives Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) and Jim Ramstad (R-MN) - These congressmen are tireless advocates for equal treatment of mental illnesses and addiction in health care. Earlier this year, they embarked on a nationwide tour, through the Campaign to Insure Mental Health and Addiction Equity, to bring Americans' voices to the Congressional discussion on equality to health care insurance coverage. They also introduced a House bill to end discrimination against individuals with mental health needs.
Jordan Nott - Mental Health America will honor this brave young man for challenging George Washington University for dismissing him from school because he sought emergency mental health care for depression.
Mental Health America is the country's leading nonprofit dedicated to helping ALL people live mentally healthier lives. With our more than 320 affiliates nationwide, we represent a growing movement of Americans who promote mental wellness for the health and well-being of the nation – everyday and in times of crisis.