ISU-Meridian researcher honored nationally for her work on mental health issues
Sept. 24, 2009
Meridian--Idaho State Universityís Institute of Rural Health Senior Research Associate Ann Kirkwood has been named a winner of the prestigious Voice Award, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administrationís Center for Mental Health Services announced today. Kirkwood is base at the ISU-Meridian Health Science Center.
The 2009 Voice Awards ceremony will take place at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, CA, on Wednesday, October 14. The event will bring together people from the entertainment industry and mental health consumer and advocacy communities for a night that celebrates increased awareness of mental health issues and the power of recovery.
"Recovery" refers to people with mental illnesses living full, productive lives in their communities with supports such as friends and family, opportunities for education, sufficient finances and housing.
Kirkwood has been working on mental health initiatives in Idaho since 1997. She managed one of the Nationís first anti-stigma media campaigns, which garnered a Peabody Award. She also designed and directed a mental health education program called Better Todays. Better Tomorrows. Most recently she has been director of Idaho Youth Suicide Prevention and the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline Research projects at the Institute of Rural Health.
She has served as president of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Boise Affiliate, on the Idaho Suicide Prevention Action Network board, on the Governorís Council for Suicide Prevention and the state Board of Psychologist Examiners. Nationally, she serves on a consumer/advocate committee to advise the Lifeline suicide prevention crisis call network and recently was a member of a communication committee for NAMI National. She is a member of the Steering Committee for the National Institute of Mental Health Outreach Partnership Program.
"People with mental illnesses need advocates who can speak out when circumstances jeopardize an individualís inability to recover and thrive," Kirkwood said. "I hope in some small measure my work has helped people with mental illnesses in Idaho live full lives and have a voice in their communities. As a person with a mental illness, I know what itís like to overcome stereotypes and Iíve tried to address this in my professional and volunteer work."
Sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Voice Awards recognize the accomplishments of consumer advocates who are working to promote the social inclusion of people with mental health problems and the real possibility of recovery. Voice Awards also are given to honor writers and producers who incorporate dignified, respectful and accurate portrayals of individuals with mental health disorders into film and television productions.
Media Contact: Chris Gabettas, ISU-Meridian Health Science Center
208-373-1806 (Office), 208-861-3121 (Cell), firstname.lastname@example.org
Idaho State University, a Carnegie-classified doctoral research institution founded in 1901, educates approximately 13,000 students per year in more than 280 programs. It is Idaho’s lead institution in health professions and medical education. Its seven colleges engage in a broad range of innovative research, teaching, and learning in the natural and physical sciences, humanities, performing and visual arts, education, engineering, business, pharmacy, and technology. Visit ISU today at www.isu.edu or isu.edu/meridian.
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