Patrick Hendry, Senior Director for Consumer Advocacy at Mental Health America, was presented the National Council for Behavioral Health’s Reintegration Lifetime Achievement award at its Annual Conference this past week.
The award, which is supported by Eli Lilly and Company, recognizes a mental health leader and champion who has devoted his/her life to helping persons with mental illness recover; achieve their goals; and live full, productive lives in the community.
Hendry is generously donating the $10,000 cash prize that accompanies the award to Mental Health America.
Hendry was the recipient in 2012 of the Clifford W. Beers Award, Mental Health America’s highest honor, which is presented to a mental health consumer who best reflects the example set by Mental Health America founder Clifford W. Beers in his or her efforts to improve conditions for and attitudes toward people living with mental health conditions.
Hendry battled the serious mental illness that robbed him of his business, home, marriage, and friends and nearly destroyed his life. He became an advocate and an educator helping others overcome the challenges of poverty, loneliness, exclusion and isolation imposed by mental illness. He started peer-run, self-directed mental health care programs in Florida and Virginia. He travels around the country organizing grassroots peer networks to help underscore the rights of people with mental illness and to help them recover by reintegrating into the community.
Those who have received Hendry’s leadership training for peers have described the experience as empowering and life-changing. He is masterful at promoting the concept of recovery to any audience.
He is also the author of Common Threads, Stories of Survival and Recovery from Mental Illness and the producer of a documentary, “From Asylums to Recovery: The History of the Battle of Civil and Human Rights for People in the Mental Health Care System.”
Hendry has also devoted his time and talent to the national memorial at Saint Elizabeths for psychiatric patients buried at state hospitals nationwide. He has given of his time voluntarily to present the memorial plan at national mental health conferences, work with city officials on the details of the project, and help develop a sustainable fundraising plan.
You can view Patrick’s remarks when he accepted the award here.