National Council for Mental Wellbeing

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Celebration of Excellence Dinner on April 21 in Orlando

Contact: Ali Siemianowski,, 202.684.7457 x262

April 15, 2015 (Washington, DC) — The National Council for Mental Wellbeing and Eli Lilly and Company will honor nine 2015 Inspiring Hope Awards honorees for their outstanding contributions to improving the lives of those living with mental illnesses and addictions.

The Inspiring Hope Awards — building on the legacy of Lilly’s Reintegration Awards and Welcome Back Awards — honor the contributions of individuals living with mental illnesses and addictions, as well as those who treat and support them, inspiring others and improving lives. The awards are part of the larger Awards of Excellence program, which also features the Impact Awards and the Advocacy Leadership Awards.

“Mental illnesses, and the people living with them, are often misunderstood and misportrayed in popular culture,” said Robert Conley, M.D., Distinguished Lilly Scholar and leader of Lilly’s Bio-Medicines Core Team. “The Inspiring Hope honorees show a different side — that through courage and commitment, people can improve their health and lives.”

An independent panel of behavioral health leaders selected the honorees from an overwhelming pool of applicants. The National Council makes donations of $10,000 to organizations of each winner’s choice.

“Each year I am amazed at the stories of our award honorees and the challenges they have overcome. Their unfailing dedication should be an example for us all,” said Linda Rosenberg, National Council President and CEO. “We are thankful for Lilly’s continued support to honor these individuals and organizations.”

The National Council will recognize the 2015 honorees at the Celebration of Excellence on April 21 in Orlando, in conjunction with the National Council Conference.

Read about the honorees below or visit


Artistic Expression

PSA Art Awakenings Studios, Phoenix, AZ

PSA promotes empowerment, recovery and self-advocacy through the creative arts in a supportive studio setting for adults with serious mental illness and addictions. PSA has 13 studios in six counties throughout Arizona, serving 1,200 people each year.

Doc of the Year

Scott Zeller, MD, Chief, Psychiatric Emergency Services, Alameda Health System, San Leandro, CA

Dr. Zeller created and led a multicenter guidelines project for Best Practices in the Evaluation and Treatment of Agitation. In addition, his Alameda Model addresses the problem of individuals spending long hours in the ER, providing timely, quality care in a more appropriate setting, reducing delays by more than 80 percent and unnecessary hospitalizations by more than 75 percent.


The Mission Continues, New York, NY

The Mission Continues awards more than 300 fellowships annually to veterans and returning members of the military. These fellows work as leaders with a nonprofit organization of their choice for six months and report that they have greater access to higher-level employment and more job interviews after the program.

Integration & Wellness

LifeWorks NW, Portland, OR

The Community Care Coordination Team helps reduce high utilization of Providence St. Vincent’s Medical Center emergency room and hospital and provides integrated primary and behavioral health care to those individuals. The team quickly assesses and addresses a range of complex medical, mental health, substance use and social issues, and works with three different health systems.

Mental Health Professional of the Year

Marcia Gonzalez Monroe, Vice President of Network Development & Clinical Services, Central Florida Behavioral Health Network, Inc., Tampa, FL

Ms. Monroe created the SunCoast system of care, which serves 14 large Florida counties through 85 individual addiction and mental health service providers, with roughly $160 million in funding. Services include acute care, residential treatment, housing, medical, intervention, outpatient and recovery support services.

Peer Specialist of the Year

Dina Tyler, Coordinator of Peer and Family Support Services, PREP Alameda County

Felton Institute & the PREP program, San Francisco, CA

As a young adult outreach specialist, Ms. Tyler provides individual peer support to young people living with schizophrenia. She shares her experience with bipolar disorder and psychosis, as well as the “baby steps” to start working again. Ms. Tyler returned to school, ultimately graduating from the University of California-Berkeley with honors.

Public Education

Tennessee Co-Occurring Disorders Collaborative, Nashville, TN

The Tennessee Co-Occurring Disorders Collaborative, made up of 12 behavioral health organizations, brings education and awareness of the effect of co-occurring disorders to individuals, families and communities. Their unique statewide approach is the only one of its kind in the U.S.

Reintegration Lifetime Achievement

Alice Medalia, Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Director of Psychiatric Rehabilitation, Columbia University Medical Center, The Lieber Clinic, New York, NY

Dr. Medalia was the first in the nation to show that people with serious mental illness can improve their cognitive functioning. Her research demonstrated that after as few as 10 sessions of problem-solving training, people in residential care for schizophrenia can improve their cognitive skills and daily functioning. She also created the Neuropsychological Educational Approach to Remediation, a therapeutic approach to cognitive disorders in people with mental illnesses.

Rising Star

Erica Trejo, Therapist/Project Director, Military Families are Resilient

Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, Culver City, CA

Through her leadership of Military Families Are Resilient, Ms. Trejo became a champion for FOCUS (Families Overcoming Under Stress), a program that meets military families’ unique mental health needs. Because to her efforts, Didi Hirsch currently treats 33 military families and another 19 benefit from the FOCUS practice.



About the National Council for Mental Wellbeing


About Eli Lilly and Company

Lilly is a global healthcare leader that unites caring with discovery to make life better for people around the world. We were founded more than a century ago by a man committed to creating high-quality medicines that meet real needs, and today we remain true to that mission in all our work. Across the globe, Lilly employees work to discover and bring life-changing medicines to those who need them, improve the understanding and management of disease, and give back to communities through philanthropy and volunteerism. To learn more about Lilly, please visit us at and