Mental Health America to Present Highest Honor to Dr. Patricia Deegan
Will Receive Clifford W. Beers Award at
Annual Conference in Washington, DC
Contact: Steve Vetzner, (703) 797-2588 or email@example.com
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (June 10, 2011)—Mental Health America will award Dr. Patricia Deegan of Byfield, Massachusetts, with its highest honor, the Clifford W. Beers Award, for her leadership and service at the Awards Banquet of its Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., on June 11.
Each year, Mental Health America presents the Beers Award to a mental health consumer who best reflects the example set by Mental Health America founder Clifford W. Beers in his or her efforts to improve conditions for and attitudes toward people living with mental health conditions.
“Patricia Deegan has a distinguished history of leadership in the mental health movement in the US and internationally,” said David Shern, Ph.D., president and CEO of Mental Health America. “She was at the vanguard of the movement in psychiatry to empower patients to more effectively take charge of their care in an information rich and supportive environment.
“She embodies the vision of Beers in her work to reform mental health systems throughout out the country, in her powerful written and spoken word that has poignantly portrayed the experience of mental illnesses the personal and social reactions to the label of mental illness, and, perhaps most importantly, the promise of recovery for individuals with mental illness.”
Diagnosed with schizophrenia in her teens, Deegan like many people receiving this diagnosis was coached to accept it as a critical part of her identity and to surrender to the disease. Out of these experiences, she developed a deep commitment to redefine the problems of illness as involving the intricate interplay of the person and the environment in which they find themselves.
She has become a formidable voice for recovery and hope, researching and lecturing on the topic and the empowerment of people diagnosed with mental illness. She is the creator of the CommonGround software program to support shared decision making in the psychopharmacology consultation. It was voted as a finalist in an international competition for Patient Empowerment by the Ashoka Changemakers Foundation and was recognized by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality as a practice innovation.
Deegan is an Adjunct Professor at Dartmouth College School of Medicine and at Boston University, Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. Pat is also a Principle Investigator with the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare. She received her doctorate in clinical psychology from Duquesne.
Mental Health America (www.mentalhealthamerica.net) is the nation’s largest and oldest community-based network dedicated to helping all Americans achieve wellness by living mentally healthier lives. With our more than 300 affiliates across the country, we touch the lives of millions—Advocating for changes in mental health and wellness policy; Educating the public & providing critical information; and delivering urgently needed mental health and wellness Programs and Services.