The Inspiring Hope Awards, supported by Eli Lilly and Company — building on the legacy of the Lilly Reintegration Awards and Welcome Back Awards — recognize individuals who’ve shown extraordinary tenacity and courage in battling serious mental illness and are living full lives and pursuing their goals. These awards also honor the clinicians, advocates, and organizations that care for and support these individuals in their recovery, changing lives and building healthy communities.
We celebrated this year’s honorees at the Awards of Excellence celebration in Washington, DC on Tuesday, May 6, 2014 with special guests Brandon Marshall and Patrick Kennedy. View photos from the celebration on Facebook and Flickr. And check out awardee acceptance speeches on our Youtube channel.
Questions? Email Awards@TheNationalCouncil.org, or call 202.684.7457.
Music Teacher, Friend to Friend Program, Episcopal Community Services
San Diego, CA
Bill Protzmann describes himself as a “virtuoso pianist and passionate humanist.” He founded and ran a telecom business for more than 20 years and holds magna cum laude degrees in piano performance and creative writing. He has performed in prestigious concerts and released two original albums. He knows that music changes lives. So when Protzmann’s fingers fly over the keys, he intends not only to entertain but also to heal people coping with physical and mental challenges. He discovered “musical healing” on his own journey to recover from schizophrenia and chronic depression. Music helped him experience his pain in a safe space and work through his emotions. He now shares his healing experience with others with mental illness, survivors of abuse and cancer, children with emotional disturbances and their parents, the terminally ill, caregivers, and senior citizens. He supports the recovery of homeless people with mental illness through weekly classes at Episcopal Community Services “Friend to Friend” program. Protzmann’s one-man show, “Connected!” offers music as a healing tool to service members and veterans with PTSD.
Director, Missouri Department of Mental Health
Jefferson City, MO
Keith Schafer’s stalwart leadership has made Missouri the Show Me State for behavioral health excellence. For 27 years, Schafer has improved the lives of thousands of people with mental and substance use disorders. His ability to connect data and metrics with real-life stories of recovery has helped to sustain essential services during a time of historic budget decline. He reformed psychiatric prescribing and saved the state more than $30 million, while improving the quality of care. Schafer initiated Disease Management 3700, a program targeting 3,700 mentally ill, high-cost Medicaid users not engaged with community mental health centers, which saved $8 million and spurred recovery. He drove the creation of the Missouri Behavioral Health Homes initiative, which has improved health outcomes for more than 18,000 individuals with mental illness, substance use, diabetes, hypertension, and other chronic conditions. He has nurtured new leaders and made bipartisan support of mental health the norm in the state. Schafer is indeed the “perfect person, at the perfect time, at the perfect place” to nurture healthcare innovation, partnerships, and system redesign.
Doc of the Year
Syed Arshad Husain
Medical Director, Pathways Community Health
A psychiatrist by training, a teacher by nature, and a humanitarian at heart, Dr. Husain has paved the way from devastation to hope for thousands of children around the world whose lives have been torn apart by trauma. A child and adolescent psychiatrist of international renown, Dr. Husain believes that with the right support, children can recover from adverse experiences. He established the International Center for Psycho-Social Trauma and led a team to Bosnia in the mid 90’s to work with children in refugee camps who’d been traumatized by the civil war. He trained mental health professionals in Bosnia to care for the children and also started the unique “Teachers as Therapists” program to train school teachers in providing basic mental health interventions. The enduring lessons are captured in Dr. Husain’s book Hope for the Children: Lessons from Bosnia and have been replicated in the wake of disasters around the world, including the floods in Pakistan, the bombing in Oklahoma City, Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, and the tornado in Joplin, Missouri. He also serves as mentor to many psychiatrists and is a prolific author and sought-after speaker.
Graduate Student, University of Denver
Andrew Steward is getting ready to graduate from the University of Denver with a master’s in social work. He’s proud of his field work with Kaiser Permanente where he helps older adults with dementia and their families. He earned a music degree with a Lilly Reintegration Scholarship and is about to become a certified music practitioner who can offer music as therapy. Growing up, Steward excelled in academics and music. He led a local suicide prevention program and went to Ecuador at age 10 to do something about poverty. However there is what Steward calls a “middle chapter” in his life that he kept hidden for a long time. At 19, when he was in college, he started to experience psychosis. His family stood by him through his struggles with serious mental illness despite the resulting social exclusion — “My parents were there for me but no one was there for my parents,” says Steward. Fear of stigma caused anxiety, shame, and social withdrawal for six long years. But Steward’s eventual victory over his struggles is evidenced in the two powerful TEDx talks he’s given on “Beating Mental Illness.” He overcame his fears because he wants to ensure that no one else runs away from mental illness.
Chief Executive Officer, AmerICANWork
St. Simons Island, GA
When you meet someone, they always ask ‘What’s your name’ and then ‘What do you do?’ Work is such an important part of who you are,” says Kenneth Whiddon. And he knows it’s no different for people with mental illness, who want to work if they can. Whiddon was repeatedly hospitalized for mental illness and not allowed to work. But, he says a day came when he decided to stop looking at himself as sick and to “fulfill his responsibilities as a father and as a man, to achieve something.” Whiddon saw work as a path to recovery. He went back to school and secured an internship at a community mental health center, which eventually turned into a job. In 1999, Whiddon started AmericanWork to help community behavioral health organizations run supported employment and work programs. Today his company’s programs help hundreds of people disabled by mental illness re-integrate into the community from long term hospital stays through recovery centered programs offering case management, medications, medical care, benefits assistance, and getting back into the workforce. He makes life in community a reality for people who might otherwise spend their life in hospitals or behind bars.
Integration & Wellness
Lone Star Circle of Care
Lone Star is modeling healthcare of the future It offers one-stop access to patient-centered care for mind and body. In 12 years, Lone Star grown from a small primary care clinic to a health home for more than 100,000 Texans with more than 30 locations providing coordinated primary care, behavioral healthcare, dentistry, pharmacy, and health education to keep people of all ages healthy and productive regardless of their ability to pay. Organizational funding streams are diverse and leverage public-private partnerships. The National Committee for Quality Assurance and models best practices in healthcare has recognized Lone Star as a level 3 patient-centered medical home. Nearly 90 percent of patients report that they have same-day access to care. Patients see the same providers on every visit and build strong relationships and multiple providers share patient information and coordinate care through shared electronic medical records. Care is provided after hours and on weekends to reduce visits to the emergency room. And a state-of-the-science member navigation center provides a 24/7 single point of contact for patients to schedule appointments, ask questions, receive referrals, access phone-based triage, and get support for managing chronic conditions.
Mental Health Professional of the Year
Director, Inpatient Services, Gracepoint
Roaya Tyson is a leader who deliberates strategy at the highest levels and then rolls up her sleeves and gets into the trenches to work alongside her team. She’s worked for more than 20 years as a behavioral health clinician and business leader. At Gracepoint, Tyson has created state-of-the-science mental health ERs — crisis response and stabilization programs that have saved lives and transformed the community. She has advocated tenaciously to raise significant public and private funding for many programs. Tyson has engineered large-scale renovation and redesign initiatives to create welcoming facilities that put patients first. She developed the children first response team, which has become a national model for child welfare diversion programs. She established a forensic residential program and a jail diversion initiative. Tyson says her work is driven by simple philosophies. Treat every patient as you would want someone to treat a family member, meet the patient and family where they are, and treat all staff with respect.
Peer Specialist of the Year
VP of Wellness and Recovery, ValueOptions
Clarence Jordan describes himself as a peer specialist who builds on his own life experiences to help others recover from mental illness and substance abuse. Jordan believes that every individual with behavioral health challenges has a unique road to recovery. He is passionate about helping them discover that road and define their inner strengths. His health promoter program coach’s people with behavioral health, substance abuse and physical health challenges pursue recovery with a strengths-based, person-centered perspective. Jordan believes in giving people “fishing poles, not fish” because his own recovery from depression and substance use was fueled by an employer who gave him a job, and encouraged him to take on new challenges. Jordan shares his story of recovery with colleagues and on Capitol Hill to encourage society to recognize mental illness, change perceptions, and shape policy. As a 15-year veteran of the U.S. Navy, he advocates for improved access to mental health and substance use treatment for service members and their families. At ValueOptions, Jordan leads a multidisciplinary team to promote access to behavioral health services for underserved groups such as the military, the African American community, and Medicaid populations.
Co-Founder & President, Board of Directors, International Bipolar Foundation
San Diego, CA
When it comes to mental illness, silence is not golden. You need to “Say It Forward” and share messages of strength and hope with those who suffer and their family members. That’s how Muffy Walker has lived her life. She’s a psychiatric nurse but when her son was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at seven, she was devastated and had trouble navigating the system to get him the care he needed. Gradually, as she taught her son to embrace his illness and learn to cope, she also started a support group out of her home for other family members on the same journey. The group evolved to the International Bipolar Foundation. To this day, Walker volunteers 60 hours a week to support the foundation’s outreach in more than 85 countries. The foundation promotes research and awareness, engaging stakeholders through a robust social media campaigns, educational webinars, a high school essay contest, and the distribution of the free Healthy Living with Bipolar Disorder book. Walker is proud to have instituted a Girl Scout patch program for mental health awareness that nearly 650 young people have completed. In 2013, the foundation’s Say It Forward email and social media campaign reached more than 1 million people.
Reintegration Lifetime Achievement
Senior Director, Consumer Advocacy, Mental Health America
At the lowest point in his life — having just survived his first suicide attempt, isolated and scared after his release from hospital — Patrick Hendry found new purpose in life when he walked through the door of the Sarah Ann Center, a drop-in center to support recovery from mental illness. He started volunteering at the center and gained a sense of accomplishment and strength to battle the serious mental illness that robbed him of his business, home, marriage, and friends. He went on to become an advocate and educator, helping others like himself overcome the challenges of poverty, loneliness, exclusion, and isolation imposed by mental illness. He started peer-run, self-directed mental health care programs in Florida and Virginia. He travels around the country organizing grassroots peer networks to help underscore the rights of people with mental illness and to help them recover by reintegrating into the community. Hendry is the author of Common Threads, Stories of Survival and Recovery from Mental Illness and the producer of a documentary, “From Asylums to Recovery: The History of the Battle of Civil and Human Rights for People in the Mental Health Care System.”
Certified Peer Support Specialist, InterAct of Michigan
“Let’s Be Bold” is not just the title of Ituha Cloud’s debut album, it’s also his mantra for young people everywhere, especially those who suffer from mental illness and substance use. Cloud is bold in sharing the pain of his own past. He is bold in encouraging others to find help. Driven to the streets in anger over a troubled family life, Cloud started to use drugs at a young age. His escalating substance use over the years — combined with depression — caused him to lose his home, his new family, and hope. It was only when he entered treatment at a community mental health center that Cloud began to heal. A deep faith experience and the positive people he allowed into his life renewed him. He had to overcome the belief that he did not deserve any better. Today, Cloud is the health and wellness recovery coach at InterAct. He shares his story with troubled youth, churches, Narcotics Anonymous support groups, conference attendees, and concert -goers through speaking and music. He is transparent about his past but does not let old failures define him. Cloud is a traveling evangelist and a leading hip-hop Christian artist.
Science to Service
Prevention and Recovery in Early Psychosis (PREP)
The Felton Institute
San Francisco, CA
At The Felton Institute, early intervention and evidence-based treatment for schizophrenia are achieving dramatic results — people in the Prevention and Recovery in Early Psychosis program experience an over 70% reduction in hospitalizations and psychiatric crisis and significant increases in participation in work and school within one year. PREP’s vision is that within five years of entering treatment, most cases of psychosis are in remission. Supported by a CMS Health Care Innovation grant, PREP provides early intervention, rigorous diagnosis, and effective treatment for psychosis by translating six evidence-based practices from academic to community settings, achieving synergy from their cumulative impact. The average course of PREP treatment is one year — six months of engagement and intensive outpatient treatment followed by six months of aftercare, medication monitoring, and transition to mainstream services. Family members are heavily involved in the treatment process. All treatment team members receive daily in-person or remote coaching, supervision, and support from senior clinicians. As a result of reductions in hospitalizations alone, counties participating in PREP saved an estimated $15,450 per participant year. Beyond the data, PREP team members say success is achieved when patients learn to manage and cope with symptoms so they can achieve their life goals, graduate from college, form meaningful relationships, and live full lives.