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American Psychiatric Foundation Names 2009 Recipients of Awards for Advancing Minority Mental Health

Awards Honoring Mental Health Programs Supported by a Grant from Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc.

ROCKVILLE, Md., May 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Enhancing the quality of care and increasing awareness of and access to mental health care for underserved minority communities are all values held by the 2009 recipients of the American Psychiatric Foundation's (APF) Awards for Advancing Minority Mental Health.

The awards, presented by the APF and supported by a grant from Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc. (OAPI), honor the commitment and efforts undertaken by psychiatrists and mental health providers who have organized timely and sustainable programs that help to provide for the mental health needs of minorities.

"We are proud to present these awards to these mental health professionals and organizations, which continue the strong commitment to reducing mental health disparities for racial and ethnic minorities," said Richard K. Harding, M.D., American Psychiatric Foundation president. "I congratulate all the recipients of the Awards for Advancing Minority Mental Health, and as a psychiatrist, commend all their efforts to educate and raise awareness of the mental health needs and services available. With education, we are well on our way to a national movement to eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness."

"We are proud to support the Awards for Advancing Minority Mental Health as part of our commitment to help eliminate health disparities among underserved populations," said Mark Altmeyer, president and chief executive officer of Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc. "Otsuka congratulates the award recipients and applauds their efforts toward advancing minority mental health."

The Awards

Siloam Family Health Center of Nashville, TN received an award for the provision of health care to low-income, uninsured people in Middle Tennessee. The integration of behavioral health services into the primary clinic setting has provided immigrants and refugees access to affordable, culturally sensitive mental health services as well as opportunities for ongoing mental health treatment. This helps foreign-born patients accept treatment and progress towards a productive life. During the past year, patients at the Center spoke more than 60 languages and were assisted by a pool of 80 volunteer interpreters.

Asian Counseling and Referral Service of Seattle, WA received their award for their New Life program, a consumer-driven, holistic model through which individuals with a mental illness find empowerment, companionship, and skill-building while enjoying the social support and network gained through participation in the program. New Life provides culturally competent and linguistically accessible prevocational and vocational rehabilitation services, increases the accessibility of recovery support services and raises public awareness of mental health issues. It does so by empowering clients to serve as peer helpers, consumer representatives in the area of governance, and presenters at speakers' bureaus and testimonies.

St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, HIV Center for Comprehensive Care in New York City, NY received an award for the development, implementation and evaluation of the Mental Health and HIV Services Collaborative, which expands capacity and access to culturally competent and non-stigmatizing HIV-related mental health services at the Center's two outpatient clinics. The program achieved near-universal mental health screening by primary care providers and social workers, the elimination of disparities in mental health treatment among racial/ethnic minorities, and increased delivery of culturally competent mental health care to a multi-cultural population of patients.

Venice Family Clinic in Venice, CA received an award for their work to provide mental health care to more than 2,100 low-income, uninsured and homeless men, women and children each year. Comprehensive mental and behavioral health services are provided through staff, volunteers and partnerships in the community. The Clinic has a Program for Victims of Torture which offers on-site counseling services. Additionally, they have an art therapist and also offer two parenting groups. With the identification of need, a clinic social worker will meet with a patient as part of a primary care visit. Venice Family Clinic received an Award for Advancing Minority Mental Health Certificate of Recognition for this program in 2008.

Imperial County Behavioral Health and Sun Valley Research Center of Imperial, CA received an award for the work of Dr. Alvaro Camacho, who directs the efforts of both agencies for the underserved rural community. Home services and medical management are provided to residents in areas where there is no electricity or public utilities. Programs to improve access to care and to decrease the level of stigma have been implemented to increase the awareness to the public and private sector about the unmet needs of individuals with mental illness among Latinos living in rural Southern California.

The awards will be presented at the May 16, 2009 APF Annual Benefit in San Francisco, California. Each organization or individual will be presented a plaque, along with an award of $5,000 in honor of their work and commitment to advancing minority mental health. The awards are made possible through an unrestricted educational grant from Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc.

About the Awards for Advancing Minority Mental Health

The American Psychiatric Foundation Awards for Advancing Minority Mental Health honor psychiatrists and mental health programs that are undertaking special efforts to increase public awareness of mental health care, increasing access to mental health services, and enhancing the quality of care for underserved minorities, especially those who suffer from severe mental illness.

About the American Psychiatric Foundation

The American Psychiatric Foundation is the philanthropic and educational arm of the American Psychiatric Association. The mission of the foundation is to advance understanding that mental illnesses are real and can be effectively treated. For more information, please visit the foundation's Web site at

About Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc.

Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc. (OAPI) is a successful, innovative, fast-growing healthcare company that commercializes Otsuka-discovered and other product opportunities in North America, with a strong focus on and commitment to neuroscience, cardiovascular, oncologic, and gastrointestinal therapeutic treatments. OAPI is dedicated to improving patients' health and the quality of human life. The company is part of the Otsuka Pharmaceutical Group, which is comprised of 103 companies and approximately 33,000 people in 18 countries and regions around the world. OAPI is wholly owned by Otsuka America, Inc. (OAI), which is the holding company for Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.'s (OPC) interests in the US. OAI is wholly owned by OPC. For additional information, please visit

SOURCE Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc.
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