Skip to content
The National Council logo

National Council Awards of Excellence


The National Council Awards of Excellence recognize individuals and organizations working to strengthen behavioral health care, enhance access to care and support our communities with visionary leadership. Since this is our 50th year, we are rolling out the red carpet to celebrate!

This year there are categories recognizing clinicians, organizations, doctors, caregivers, treatment teams, peers and more. If you are or know a deserving individual or organization, nominate them by Monday, January 7, 2019!


2019 Awards of Excellence Celebration

The Awards of Excellence celebration will have it all – topnotch entertainment, heartfelt speeches and golden trophies. Join us in Nashville on Tuesday, March 26, 2019, during NatCon19 as we celebrate the Awards of Excellence honorees.

Become an Awards of Excellence Table Sponsor. Reserve premiere seating for your group of 10 people when you sponsor a table at the Awards Celebration. Your organization will earn recognition during the Awards ceremony and in the NatCon19 Final Program. You can also purchase individual seats for first-come, first-served seating.


Award Categories
  • Doc of the Year: Recognizes a psychiatrist or physician who has gone above and beyond the call of duty, empowering patients to define their own goals and providing the encouragement and support to help them achieve their dreams.
  • Excellence in Addictions Treatment: Recognizes an organization that has provided effective addictions education and prevention programs in the community or improved treatment outcomes for people with addictions disorders through innovative, science-based programs and services.
  • Excellence in Advocacy (Individual and Organization) – Sponsored by Sunovion: Honors an individual and an organization that have demonstrated exemplary efforts and results over the last 12 months advocating for legislative or regulatory policies that increase access to mental health and substance use services.
  • Excellence in Advocacy by an Elected Official – Sponsored by Sunovion: Honors a state or local elected official who has demonstrated exemplary efforts and results over the last 12 months promoting behavioral health policies that increase access to mental health and substance use services.
  • Excellence in Behavioral Health Care Management – Sponsored by Mental Health Risk Retention Group and Negley Associates: Recognizes an individual, program or organization that has demonstrated effective and innovative programs currently in use to minimize risk and liability, improve access to mental health and addiction treatment services, nurture workforce skills or enhance the customer experience.
  • Excellence in Mental Health First Aid Community Impact: Recognizes an organization that has demonstrated commitment and made extensive and significant impact on the community through delivery of Mental Health First Aid USA (adult and/or youth) trainings.
  • Excellence in Technology – Sponsored by Qualifacts: Recognizes an organization that uses new technologies — including mobile, web, social media and remote/virtual care delivery — to achieve operational efficiencies and improve access to care, treatment, support and health outcomes for persons with mental illnesses and addictions.
  • Excellence in Whole Person Care: Recognizes a health care organization that has achieved primary and behavioral health integration to address the whole health needs of the people it serves and/or has developed innovative ways to promote health and wellness.
  • Peer Support Worker of the Year: Recognizes a person with lived experience of a mental illness and/or substance use disorder who works in a health care organization and uses his or her strengths to help peers on their road to recovery.
  • Visionary Leadership: Recognizes an individual (staff or volunteer) who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in the behavioral health care field, improving the lives of individuals with mental illnesses and addictions disorders and helping them live full lives in their communities.
  • 7th Annual Scattergood Innovation Award: Recognizes innovative programs, policies, products, and/or technologies which challenge how behavioral health is currently viewed, organized and practiced. The winner of the Innovation Award will receive $25,000 to go toward their innovative program. Applications are now open and will close January 7, 2019. Apply here.


New this year we have two People’s Choice awards that will be nominated by you and voted on by you.

  • People’s Choice for Inspiring Hope: Recognizes an individual who a living example of the transformative power of recovery by overcoming a serious mental illness and is inspiring others with their message of hope and healing.
  • People’s Choice for Impact on the mental health and addiction community: Recognizes an individual who is inspiring change in the lives of children, adults and/or families living with mental illnesses and substance use disorders with innovative approaches that are influencing the future of care.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the deadline for submissions?
All submissions are due by Monday, January 7, 2019.

What are the categories?
A full list of categories and their descriptions can be found in the “Award Categories” section above. If you’re not certain which category is best for your nomination, contact Awards Support at 866.362.0505 or

Can I submit multiple entries?
You may submit multiple entries as long as you nominate a different individual or organization for each Award. A person or organization may be nominated for only ONE category.

Do I have to be a National Council member to apply?
To enter the following categories, you must be a member:

  • Excellence in Addictions Treatment
  • Excellence in Behavioral Health Care Management – Sponsored by Mental Health Risk Retention Group and Negley Associates
  • Excellence in Technology – Sponsored by Qualifacts
  • Visionary Leadership

For the categories below, you do not need to be a member:

  • Doctor of the Year
  • Excellence in Advocacy (Individual or Organizational) – Sponsored by Sunovion
  • Excellence in Advocacy by an Elected Official – Sponsored by Sunovion
  • Excellence in Mental Health First Aid Community Impact
  • Excellence in Whole Person Care
  • Peer Support Worker of the Year
  • People’s Choice for Inspiring Hope – Nominated by YOU and voted on by the public
  • People’s Choice for Impact on Mental Health and Addiction Community – Nominated by YOU and voted on by the public
  • Scattergood Foundation Innovation Award

How do I know if my organization is a member of the National Council?
Go to and search for your organization’s name under your state. You can also contact the National Council at

What do I need to have prepared to submit a nomination?
The application requires basic demographic information and a response of 200 words or fewer to one question. Be sure to provide a clear, concise answer that highlights what makes your submission unique for the Award. You also have the opportunity to upload an optional photo or video of the nominee.

Once I’ve started my entry, can I return and finish it later?
Yes. Once you register your email and password on the online application system, you can return to your submission at any time. You can see all your applications by logging in and selecting “My Applications” on the left side of the page.

My username/password working.
Your login is created when you start your online application. If you forget your password, click the “lost password” link in the login box to reset. Note: this login information is not the same as your National Council member login. If the login you created when registering for the awards is not working, contact 866.362.0505 or

How do I submit an entry for another person anonymously? I want it to be a surprise.
When you begin your application, add your contact information on the “Applicant Information” page. No one else will be contacted regarding your submission. On the consent form, sign your own name. Should your nominee win an award, we will contact you first.

Will I receive confirmation that my nomination has been submitted?
Yes. When you have completed your online submission, you will receive a confirmation email. If you do not receive a confirmation email, there may be an issue with your final submission. If that is the case, please contact or 866.362.0505 to confirm receipt.

When will finalists be selected?
Applicants will be notified by mid-January if they have been selected to advance to the final round.

What happens if my application advances to the final round?
You will be sent a series of additional short answer questions based on the category. Each question will require a response of 200 words or fewer.

When will honorees be selected?
Honorees will be contacted by early February 2019 if they have been selected.

What if my potential nominee has received a National Council Award of Excellence in the past?
If they haven’t won in the same category in which you’re nominating in the past five years, you can nominate them again.

What are the size and file restrictions for uploading images and videos?
Images can be in any popular image format, including JPG, JPEG, PNG or GIF. The file should be no larger than 25 MB. Videos should be in MP4, AVI or FLV formats.

Questions about this year’s awards? Email or call 866-362-0505.

©2018 National Council for Behavioral Health. All Rights Reserved.