Wahl Wins National Mental Health Award

Posted: May 9, 2002 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Otto Wahl, Psychology, has won a Welcome Back Award for his outstanding work in the depression community. The Welcome Back Awards, sponsored by Eli Lilly and Company, is a national program that fights the stigma associated with depression and helps the public understand that depression is treatable. Wahl received $5,000, which he is donating to the National Stigma Clearinghouse.

Wahl received the Welcome Back Award for Destigmatization in recognition of his research and advocacy targeting stigma associated with depression and other mental illnesses in the media. His research examines the impact of the depiction of mental illnesses on public attitudes, health care policies, and the lives of mental health consumers.

Wahl is the author of the award-winning book Media Madness: Public Images of Mental Illness, which documents misconceptions about psychiatric disorders in news and entertainment coverage, advertising, cartoons, and everyday language.

“Stigma not only discourages people with mental illnesses from seeking treatment, it also deprives society of their services and contributions,” says Wahl. “More than 50 percent of people with mental disorders don’t seek treatment, and stigma is a major reason for this. An even greater percentage are hurt, offended, and discouraged by the stigma and discrimination they face.”

Write to at