The Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health is presented annually by the National Academy of Medicine. Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat established the award in 1992 out of a commitment to improving the science base and delivery of mental health services. This international award recognizes individuals, groups, or organizations for outstanding achievement in improving mental health and is accompanied by a medal and $20,000. Each year, a selection committee appointed by the NAM reviews nominations based on selection criteria that reflect the ideals of Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat. The 2020 Sarnat Prize will be presented during the NAM Annual Meeting on October 19, 2020.
Stephen P. Hinshaw, professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and vice chair for child and adolescent psychology at the University of California, San Francisco, is receiving the 2020 Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health for his research on inattention and impulse-control problems in children, as well as his work on reducing mental illness stigma. The award will be presented to Dr. Hinshaw at the National Academy of Medicine’s annual meeting, held virtually for the first time ever, on October 19, 2020.
Dr. Hinshaw has been the principal investigator at the Berkeley site for the Multimodal Treatment Study of Children with ADHD since 1992, and his core work on this study has revealed the mediation of behavioral change at school by enhanced parenting practices. Dr. Hinshaw’s work spans developmental psychopathology, clinical interventions with children and adolescents, and program development related to reducing the widespread stigmatization of mental illness. Dr. Hinshaw’s work has received international acclaim, integrating the psychobiological underpinnings of ADHD with the reality of school-based policies that may spuriously increase rates of diagnosed prevalence.
Hinshaw has also mentored new generations of investigators in child and adolescent mental health, having taught thousands of undergraduates and hundreds of doctoral students. Before attending graduate school, Hinshaw directed residential summer camps and alternative schools for youth with mental and developmental disabilities, and has continued to direct summer treatment and research programs for youth with ADHD and longitudinal investigations into adulthood. Hinshaw has worked with foundations and nonprofit organizations to develop models of action- and contact-based high-school clubs to overcome mental illness stigma, and has formally evaluated such efforts.
Since 1992, the Sarnat Prize has been presented to individuals, groups, or organizations that have demonstrated outstanding achievement in improving mental health. The prize recognizes – without regard for professional discipline or nationality – achievements in basic science, clinical application, and public policy that lead to progress in the understanding, etiology, prevention, treatment, or cure of mental disorders, or to the promotion of mental health. As defined by the nominating criteria, the field of mental health encompasses neuroscience, psychology, social work, nursing, psychiatry, and advocacy.
The award is supported by an endowment created by Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat of Los Angeles. Rhoda Sarnat was a licensed clinical social worker, and Bernard Sarnat was a plastic and reconstructive surgeon and researcher. The Sarnats’ concern about the destructive effects of mental illness inspired them to establish the award. This year’s selection committee was chaired by Gary L. Gottlieb, MD, MBA, professor of psychiatry, McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School.