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Washington, D.C. — At the 2023 Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in May, the APA Foundation (APAF) was proud to announce this year’s winners of the Awards for Advancing Minority Mental Health. Established in 2003, these awards are presented annually to recognize local organizations for innovative efforts to raise awareness of mental illness in underserved or minoritized communities. Past award winners have been honored for their work increasing access to mental health care, addressing cultural barriers to treatment, or improving the quality of care for those with serious mental illness (SMI).
The winners of this year’s Awards for Advancing Minority Mental Health are South Asian Mental Health Initiative and Network, located in Linden, New Jersey; Neighbors’ Consejo in Washington, D.C.; Association House of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois; Amani Family Services in Fort Wayne, Indiana; The Center Orlando, Inc. in Orlando, Florida; The Achievable Foundation in Culver City, California; and Lines for Life in Portland, Oregon. Each winning organization has been recognized with an award of $5,000.
“The Awards for Advancing Minority Mental Health are emblematic of the Foundation’s mission to bring sufficient mental health care to every corner of the nation,” said Rawle Andrews, Jr., Esq., Executive Director of APAF. “For many people in traditionally underserved communities, awareness of and equal access to mental health resources makes the difference between surviving and thriving. We’re honored to support this year’s worthy award winners.”
In the 20 years since the Awards for Advancing Minority Mental Health were created, APAF has distributed over $535,000 in award funding to 107 community-based organizations. One of these, the Center Orlando, demonstrates need-based support for members of multiple minoritized groups.
The Center Orlando, founded in 1978 as Gay Community Services, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to direct support for the LGBTQ+ community and advocacy for their civil rights. The Center played a pivotal role in response efforts after the Pulse Nightclub mass shooting in 2016. As a recipient of this year’s award, the Center was recognized for identifying needs and providing free health services with the goal of increasing equitable access to care for local Black and Latinx members of the LGBTQ+ community.
“We are thrilled to have received this award,” said Dr. George A. Wallace, CEO of the Center Orlando Inc. “Being recognized for our commitment to equity in the mental health space speaks to the heart of why the Center exists. We plan to keep this momentum going as we put the award funding to use.”
The American Psychiatric Association Foundation is the philanthropic and educational arm of APA. The APA Foundation promotes awareness of mental illnesses and the effectiveness of treatment, the importance of early intervention, access to care, and the need for high-quality services and treatment through a combination of public and professional education, research, research training, grants, and awards.
The American Psychiatric Association, founded in 1844, is the oldest medical association in the country. The APA is also the largest psychiatric association in the world with more than 38,000 physician members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and research of mental illnesses. APA's vision is to ensure access to quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. For more information, please visit www.psychiatry.org.