Professor Patrick McGorry wins prestigious US award

November 13 / 124

Professor Patrick McGorry of the University and Orygen Youth Health Research Centre is the recipient of the 2013 National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Scientific Research Award.

It is the first time the annual award has been presented to a researcher outside of the US.

It recognises significant contributions to the understanding of mental illness the advancement of treatments, and efforts in advocacy to increase the wellbeing of people with mental ill health.

Professor McGorry was recognised for his contributions to the development of safe, effective treatments and innovative research involving the needs of young people with emerging mental disorders, notably psychotic and severe mood disorders.

Professor McGorry said he was humbled by the honour.

“The NAMI award is a wonderful acknowledgment of the tireless and inspired work of everyone at Orygen and collaborators at the University of Melbourne,” he said.

“I believe it is unprecedented for non-US contributions to be recognised by NAMI in this way so I am delighted that the early intervention approach has been so publicly validated by this major family advocacy organisation in the US.”

“Families and consumers know we need to find a new way in mental health care and I expect this decision to greatly increase the international momentum for early intervention to become a central feature of mental health care.”

The judges said the results of his work had led to the creation and evaluation of holistic and recovery-oriented models of care for young people and their families.

“Professor McGorry and his key research colleagues have influenced health policy in Australia and other countries, advising governments and health systems.”

Professor Margaret Sheil, Acting Vice-Chancellor, University of Melbourne congratulated Professor McGorry on the award.

“Professor McGorry has demonstrated commitment and passion to his research and advocated strongly for people with mental ill health,” she said.

He  joins an impressive list of previous award winners, including 2011 winner Jeffrey A. Lieberman, M.D., Professor at Columbia University and current president of the American Psychiatric Association.

The award will be presented at a ceremony in Washington D.C. to be attended by research, community and corporate leaders, as well as members of the US Congress.

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