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National Alliance on Mental Illness
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NAMI's Own Honored with Welcome Back Award

May 18, 2007

NAMI is pleased to announce that Sylvia Axelrod, NAMI New Jersey’s Executive Director, is the recipient of the 2007 Welcome Back Award for Destigmatization.  The Welcome Back Awards program was established in 1998 by Eli Lilly and Company to fight the stigma associated with depression and to promote the understanding that depression is treatable.  Each year, an independent panel of national mental health leaders recognizes five individuals for their outstanding achievements, and Lilly awards a donation of between $10,000 and $15,000 to the not-for-profit organization of each winner’s choice. 

In her 14 years as Executive Director of NAMI NJ, Sylvia has been an influential NJ leader who has served as a member of Governor Codey’s Task Force on Mental Health, Vice Chair of the Governor’s Council on Mental Health Stigma and served on the NJ Post-Partum Depression Task Force.  She is a recipient of the NJ Community Health Law Project Ann Klein Advocacy Award for her outstanding contributions to mental health advocacy, including advocacy to achieve mental health Parity in NJ.  Through NAMI New Jersey she works on a program called NAMI New Jersey Expressive Arts Network which teaches children about depression at an early age in an effort to help break down mental health stigmas for future generations.  In addition, she works to reduce the stigma of depression across cultures by working with New Jersey's South Asian, Chinese, Hispanic and African American communities. 

Please join NAMI in celebrating Sylvia's recognition as recipient of the prestigious Welcome Back Destigmatization Award.  Not only is she our colleague and friend, but also a family member, a professional and a leader with a life-long commitment to advocacy, education, and enlightenment about mental illness.

Read the Press Release with all the Welcome Back Award winners. (PDF, opens in a new window)

Learn more about depression from NAMI.

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