Pardes Humanitarian Prize in Mental Health

Pardes Humanitarian Prize in Mental Health

Pardes Humanitarian Prize
This International Prize, bestowed annually at the International Awards Dinner in New York City, recognizes an individual or organization, whose extraordinary contribution has made a profound and lasting impact by improving the lives of people suffering from mental illness and by advancing the understanding of mental health.

The recipient of the Pardes Humanitarian Prize in Mental Health is chosen by a distinguished international Selection Committee from nominations solicited worldwide, and receives an honorarium. The Prize focuses public attention on the burden of mental illness on individuals and on society, and the urgent need to expand and enhance mental health services both in the developed world and in developing countries.

Established in 2014, the Pardes Humanitarian Prize is named in honor of Dr. Herbert Pardes, the first recipient of the award.



  • Special Olympics International
    Special Olympics International has had a profound and lasting humanitarian impact around the world through its dedication to providing year-round sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. They are a powerful force in the efforts to reduce stigma and raise awareness about the mental health needs of individuals with intellectual disabilities.



  • Altha J. Stewart, M.D.
    Altha J. Stewart, M.D, is a pioneering voice in America about structural racism and its impact on mental health treatment for people of color. She has dedicated her career to helping the most disadvantaged and underserved people living with serious mental illnesses in our society. She established the Center for Health in Justice Involved Youth at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.


  • Robert van Voren, FRCPsych (HON.)
    Robert van Voren has devoted his life to the cause of human rights and mental health. For 45 years his dynamic leadership and global efforts have provided much-needed direction as well as practical support for making human rights a strong pillar of how societies deal with persons living with mental illness.


  • Honorary Tribute: Clubhouse International


  • Honorary Tribute: Sean Mayberry, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, StrongMinds



  • Kay Redfield Jamison, Ph.D.
    Kay Redfield Jamison, Ph.D., serves as an inspiration to countless people living with bipolar disorder, and has helped transform how society sees those living with illness. She has made a profound contribution to mental health awareness through her autobiography detailing her own struggles with bipolar disorder. With remarkable honesty about very personal elements of her experience, Dr. Jamison courageously identifies stigma as prejudice and makes a case for the relationship between bipolar disorder and creativity, which in turn has made it easier for many people to enter into treatment. Dr. Jamison is a renowned spokeswoman and advocate for the mentally ill who inspires us all to use our knowledge toward the greater good for all humanity.


  • Elyn R. Saks, J.D., Ph.D.
    The pioneering contributions of Elyn R. Saks, J.D., Ph.D., to our understanding of mental illness are seen throughout her work as a legal advocate for the mentally ill, as a volunteer at a psychiatric hospital, as a therapist, as an educator, and as an author. Her best-selling book, “The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness,” in which she provides a first-person account of her transition into psychosis and a lifetime spent as a person with schizophrenia, has transformed our thinking about mental illness. As a distinguished law professor and productive academic lawyer, she uses her advanced position to work for the elimination of stigma and to make psychosis more approachable and understandable to others. She brings a wisdom that reflects experience and compassion to her professional writings.


  • Charlene Sunkel
    As the founder of the Global Mental Health Peer Network, Charlene Sunkel serves as an inspiration to countless people living with mental illness. She has made a profound contribution to mental health awareness in creating the first global network to promote the empowerment of people with “lived experience” of mental health problems. Ms. Sunkel has helped transform how society sees those living with illness. She has made it impossible for any global mental health initiative to be implemented without an active and meaningful involvement of people with lived experience. As a world-renowned advocate, and as a person living with mental illness, Charlene Sunkel inspires us all to use our knowledge toward the greater good for all humanity.


  • Honorary Tribute: John M. Davis, M.D.
    John M. Davis, M.D., is a tireless advocate of numerous and varied humanitarian efforts in mental health including international support for programming and services for better treatments for mental illness overseas. He is a mental health lobbyist and an advocate for the use of forensic psychiatry. He is also a devoted champion of young scientific investigators. His extraordinary contributions to the field of mental health include authoring the first science-based textbook on psychopharmacology as a guide for psychiatrists seeking to use medications more effectively. Dr. Davis’ selfless support of others has made it possible for many professionals to advance care for the mentally ill, for institutions to remain dedicated to the care of the mentally ill, and for elected officials to understand and support mental illness programs.


  • Honorary Tribute: Michael R. Phillips, M.D., MPH
    Michael R. Phillips, M.D., MPH, has dedicated his professional and personal life to serving as an advocate for mental health in China. He has lived most of his career in China and has brought mental health issues faced by Chinese people to the attention of the world. His work has been carefully coupled with leadership of culturally sensitive interventions to address the issues he uncovers. His tireless advocacy includes coordinating multi-center collaborative projects on suicide, depression and schizophrenia as well as running research training courses for Chinese and foreign graduate students, thus improving the quality, comprehensiveness and access to mental health services around the country. By inspiring generations of Chinese psychiatrists to conduct research and publish their work, he has utilized the strengths of academic psychiatry to make a major impact on mental health care in China and beyond. Through his unwavering commitment and humanitarian efforts, Dr. Phillips has helped countless individuals living with mental illness.


  • Honorary Tribute: Norman Sartorius, M.D., Ph.D., FRCPsych
    Norman Sartorius, M.D., Ph.D., FRCPsych, “psychiatry's living legend,” has shaped the area of mental health and psychiatry over the past 50 years through his humanitarian efforts, research, and work to advance the understanding of mental health. He has provided hope and healing worldwide for people who are living with mental illness, particularly those who live in low-income countries. He served as the first director of the World Health Organization Department of Mental Health. This enabled him to bring together a variety of stakeholders in areas of mental health classifications, human rights, epidemiology, ethics, stigma, comorbidity, workforce development, and the optimization and humanization of treatment of those with mental illness. His tenure launched the world’s largest program against the stigma of mental illness and key initiatives designed to protect the human rights of the mentally ill. Dr. Sartorius serves as a consummate role model helping to shape the identity of thousands of professionals who devote their lives to the field of psychiatry.


  • Myrna Weissman, Ph.D.
    Dr. Myrna Weissman’s humanitarian efforts reflect a deep personal commitment to both scientific excellence and bringing change to the world. Her transformative work has advanced the field of behavioral interventions for depression, including the development and dissemination of Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT), one of the most effective standardized approaches for treatment of depression in children, adults, and women post-partum. Her humanitarian spirit is exemplified by her donation of the copyright for IPT to the World Health Organization. Her visionary contributions have had a lasting and profound impact on individuals, families and the global community.


  • Sir Michael Rutter, FRS
    Sir Michael Rutter’s pioneering contributions to our understanding of mental resilience, the effects of maternal and institutional deprivation on subsequent mental health, and the turning points in adult life following psychosocial adversity in childhood have had a lasting and profound impact on individuals, families and the global community. The “father of child psychiatry,” his transformative work has challenged existing theories and allowed for a major change in earlier ideas about the relationship between maternal deprivation and mental health.


  • Honorary Tribute: E. Fuller Torrey M.D.
    Dr. E. Fuller Torrey is a model of citizen activism, a scientific leader, and a fearless advocate for people living with mental illness and their families. His extraordinary contributions have had a profound impact on advancing the understanding of mental illness and educating the public about the biological basis of serious mental illness and the need to improve the treatment system. He is a tireless advocate for policy and legislative change and a champion of the mental illness advocacy movement.


  • William T. Carpenter, Jr., M.D.
    Dr. William Carpenter has been a transformative force in psychiatry for over 40 years, dramatically changing how we treat schizophrenia and working to reduce stigma. He is a luminary in the field whose vision, scientific productivity, and tireless advocacy for resources for psychiatric research have improved the lives of countless individuals and families. Dr. Carpenter has played a critical role in shifting the focus of treatment to the earliest stages of the illness, when interventions may have their most profound impact and maximize the likelihood of recovery.


  • Honorary Tribute: Cynthia Bissett Germanotta
    Cynthia Bissett Germanotta is the president and co-founder of Born This Way Foundation, which she launched with her daughter Lady Gaga in 2012. Born This Way Foundation was founded to support the wellness of young people and empower them to create a kinder and braver world. To achieve these goals, Born This Way Foundation leverages evidence-based research and authentic partnerships in order to provide young people with kinder communities, improved mental health resources, and more positive environments.


  • Judge Steven Leifman
    Judge Steven Leifman is a national leader in solving the complex and costly problem of people with untreated mental illnesses involved in the criminal justice system. He has been a passionate leader and unwavering agent of change in the shift away from the devastating and unproductive incarceration of people with mental illness. He has shown us how to use our resources to reverse the costly prison recidivism that strips people of their dignity and threatens public safety. Judge Leifman is an extraordinary humanitarian, innovator, and transformative figure whose steadfast advocacy is changing the lives of people with mental illness and their families, and impacting our larger society. 


  • Honorary Tribute: Suzanne and Bob Wright
    Suzanne and Bob Wright have been world leaders in autism advocacy. Their brave and tenacious leadership has created a rallying cry for concrete and larger-scale research, care, education, treatment and national and global awareness. Thanks to the extraordinary vision of Bob and Suzanne Wright, scientists have been able to develop a better understanding of the structures of autism, which are leading to helpful interventions. There are evolving trends in research that point to the interconnectivity between autism and other medical conditions.


  • Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières
    Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) provides emergency medical aid in response to armed conflicts, natural disasters, famines, and epidemics. MSF doctors and nurses are often seen treating physical ailments: bandaging the war-wounded, rehydrating a cholera patient, or performing an emergency cesarean section. But for more than 20 years, MSF has also been providing vital psychiatric and psychological care to people ravaged by man-made or natural disaster. The organization currently has mental health-related programs in 41 countries across five continents treating adults and children.


  • Honorary Tribute: Constance E. Lieber
    Constance E. Lieber transformed her family’s experience with mental illness into a lifetime of extraordinary advocacy and support for psychiatric research of schizophrenia, depression, and other mental illnesses. She was unwavering in her dedication to alleviating the suffering caused by mental illness and banishing the stigma that for too long has been associated with psychiatric disorders.


  • Vikram Patel, Ph.D., F.Med.Sci.
    Recognized by Time magazine in 2015 as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the world, Dr. Patel addresses the stunning void of mental health care in developing countries and the grave shortage of psychologists and psychiatrists. He was awarded for his transformative work in advancing mental health care in resource-poor countries.

    “The 2016 Pardes Prize recipients have applied their scientific knowledge, deep understanding of human behavior and compassion to improve the lives of millions of people suffering from mental illness, especially those living in poverty,” stated Herbert Pardes, M.D., President of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation’s Scientific Council and Executive Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. “Their work has expanded our scope of mental illness treatment around the world. They have taught us about the needs of our diverse human family and how to use knowledge for the greater good of humanity.”

  • Charles F. Reynolds, III, M.D.
    Dr. Reynolds and his colleagues have made groundbreaking contributions to the prevention and treatment of depression in older adults. He was awarded for his pioneering work in geriatric psychiatry and the prevention and treatment of late-life depression.

    “I am honored and humbled to receive the Pardes Humanitarian Prize. Mental illness is a global issue affecting millions, the majority of whom live in the developing world and who have limited access to appropriate mental health care and often live terrible lives on the margins of their communities. I accept this Prize on behalf of them and pledge to redouble my efforts to address the burden of mental health problems globally, and especially amongst those who are socially disadvantaged or living in low resource settings.”

  • Honorary Tribute: Senator Edward M. Kennedy
    He was honored for his powerful and unwavering commitment to advocating on behalf of people with mental illness.

    “It is a privilege and an honor to be a recipient of the Pardes Humanitarian Prize. In our youth-focused culture, the elderly and their struggles with mental illness are often overlooked and neglected. Late-life depression is a global health priority that has immense impact on older individuals and their families. It is my sincere hope that as a society we can work to restore the joy of living to older adults affected by mental illness.”


  • Beatrix (Betty) A. Hamburg, M.D. and David A. Hamburg, M.D.
    Dr. Betty Hamburg and Dr. David Hamburg have blended their scientific knowledge, their understanding of human behavior, and their profound compassion into a unique vision—imagining and catalyzing a better future for people of all ages and backgrounds, most often those who are undergoing severe stress and who suffer from mental disorders. Betty and David Hamburg were awarded for over six decades of pioneering work in mental health.


  • Honorary Tribute: Rosalynn Carter
    Former First Lady, Rosalynn Carter was honored for her tireless work in mental health advocacy.

    “We are deeply honored to receive the Pardes Humanitarian Prize from our dear friend and colleague Herb Pardes. It is especially meaningful for Betty and I to share this award for our work together, a lifelong effort to understand how human beings cope during the most difficult circumstances. This work has ever greater urgency in today’s world of strife and conflict.”


  • Herbert Pardes, M.D.
    Dr. Pardes, a noted psychiatrist, and outspoken advocate for the mentally ill, was the first recipient of the Humanitarian Prize, which bears his name and honors individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of mental health through education, prevention, treatment, research, health policy, administration, clinical care, mentoring and advocacy. Dr. Pardes is a champion of empathic, humanistic and patient-centered health care, who believes in the power of technology and innovation to dramatically improve 21st-century medicine.

    “I am deeply moved by this tremendous honor from the Foundation’s Board of Directors, a group for which I have great esteem and affection. Eradicating mental illness has been something I’ve worked toward my entire career, and we’ve made great strides in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. But much remains to be done. We must ensure that the Foundation continues to support the work of innovative scientists to discover the root cause of these conditions so they can be treated more effectively and, ultimately, be prevented or cured."


  • Celso Arango, M.D., Ph.D.
    Head of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Service
    Hospital General Universitario Gregoria Maranon, Madrid
  • William T. Carpenter, M.D.
    Professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology
    Director, Maryland Psychiatric Research Center
    University of Maryland School of Medicine
  • Robert R. Freedman, M.D.
    Professor and Chairman, Department of Psychiatry
    University of Colorado School of Medicine
  • Judith M. Ford, Ph.D.
    Professor of Department of Psychiatry, Co-Director,
    Brain Imaging and EEG Lab
    UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences
    Senior Research Career Scientist
    San Francisco VA Medical Center
  • Patrice A. Harris, M.D., MA, FAPA
    Immediate Past President American Medical Association CEO, eMed
    Medical Editor-in-Chief, Everyday Health
    Visiting Professor, Columbia University
    Private Practice, Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Atlanta
  • Dilip V. Jeste, M.D.
    Associate Dean for Healthy Aging and Senior Care Estelle and Edgar Levi Chair in Aging
    Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Neurosciences
    Director, Sam and Rose Stein Institute for Research on Aging
    University of California, San Diego
  • Helen S. Mayberg, M.D.
    Senior Faculty Neurosurgery, Neurology, Neuroscience, and Psychiatry
    Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
  • Maria A. Oquendo, M.D., Ph.D.
    Ruth Meltzer Professor and Chairman of Psychiatry
    Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
    American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, President
    American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, President
    American Psychiatric Association, Past President
  • Vikram Patel, Ph.D., F.Med.Sci.
    Professor of International Mental Health and Wellcome Trust
    Principal Research Fellow in Clinical Science Centre for Global Mental Health
    London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK
    Sangath, Goa, India Centre for Chronic Conditions and Injuries Public Health Foundation of India
  • Judith L. Rapoport, M.D.
    Chief, Child Psychiatry Branch
    National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH/NIH)
  • Norman Sartorius, M.D., Ph.D., F.R.C.Psych.
    Association for the Improvement of Mental Health Programmes Geneva, Switzerland
  • Carol A. Tamminga, M.D.
    Professor and Chair of Psychiatry
    Lou and Ellen McGinley Distinguished Chair in Psychiatric Research
    McKenzie Chair in Psychiatry
    Chief of Translational Neuroscience Research in Schizophrenia
    University of Texas (UT) Southwestern Medical School
  • Myrna M. Weissman, Ph.D.
    Diane Goldman Kemper Professor of Epidemiology and Psychiatry
    Chief, Division of Epidemiology
    Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
    New York State Psychiatric Institute