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NAMI Medical Director Honored with APA Patient Advocacy Award; Appears in CNN Health and Huffington Post Columns

May 25, 2010

Arlington, Va.—Ken Duckworth, M.D., medical director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), has been honored with the Patient Advocacy Award of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) at the organization’s 2010 Annual Meeting in New Orleans.

Dr. Duckworth is also featured today in a special CNN Health column and was a guest blogger last week in the The Huffington Post, writing  about the diagnosis of mental illness in children and stigma confronting parents.

The Patient Advocacy Award recognizes a public figure respected for personal accomplishments and beliefs, who has promoted the improvement of services for people coping with mental disorders and substance abuse. The award also recognizes an individual who has fought stigma by speaking out about experiences with mental illness and psychiatric treatment.

"As the child of two wonderful parents who lived with serious psychiatric problems, I know firsthand how mental illness can impact families," said Dr. Duckworth. "My role as NAMI’s medical director has given me opportunities to engage and support those affected by mental illness through education, support and advocacy.

Psychiatry has come a long way in understanding and better helping families, but there is still more work ahead of us. I am humbled to accept this award on behalf of NAMI and myself.”

Dr. Duckworth is triple board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in adult, child and adolescent and forensic psychiatry and has extensive experience in the public health arena.

In addition to his role at NAMI, Dr. Duckworth is the medical director of Vinfen Corporation in Boston and is an assistant professor at Harvard University Medical School. Dr. Duckworth formerly served as acting commissioner of mental health and the medical director for the Department of Mental Health of Massachusetts, and as medical director of the Massachusetts Mental Health Center.

Previous Patient Advocacy Award winners include former U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D. and Kitty Dukakis.

About NAMI

NAMI is the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness. NAMI has over 1100 state and local affiliates that engage in research, education, support and advocacy.

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