Connect 4 Mental Health™ Announces 2015 Community Innovation Award Recipients

For the second year, the Community Innovation Awards program honors
four local organizations for innovative approaches to improving mental

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and the National Council
for Behavioral Health (National Council), along with Otsuka
Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization, Inc. and Lundbeck,
announced the winners of the 2015 Connect 4 Mental Health™ (C4MH)
Community Innovation Awards.
Amidst a national landscape
increasingly focused on lack of access to mental health care, C4MH
advocates that change begins at home. C4MH celebrates
organizations delivering community-driven, solutions-based approaches
that help people with serious mental illnesses.

Now in its second year, the Awards program was designed to honor local
mental health organizations that have successfully introduced novel
approaches to address mental health in one of four program categories:
early intervention, creative use of technology, continuity of care and
service integration.

“Too often jails, emergency departments and homeless shelters become the
refuge of last resort for individuals living with serious mental
illness,” said Linda Rosenberg, president and CEO of the National
Council. “That’s why Connect 4 Mental Health is pleased to
recognize four local organizations through the Community Innovation
, for their positive impact on the lives of people with
serious mental illness living in their communities. They are true
community problem solvers.”

The 2015 winning organizations in each category are:

  • Early Intervention: MHA
    of Northern Kentucky and Southwest Ohio

    Mental Health
    America (MHA) of Northern Kentucky and Southwest Ohio (Covington, KY)
    is dedicated to promoting mental health and working to prevent mental
    and substance use disorders through education, advocacy, and service.
    The organization established and supports MHA’s Tri-State Mental
    Health First Aid (MHFA) Hub (Tri-State Hub), which oversees a
    multi-state MHFA initiative to improve mental health literacy, reduce
    stigma and provide early identification and intervention. In
    cooperation with partner agencies, the Tri-State Hub has held 36 MHFA
    courses, certifying 790 people in mental health first aid literacy
    since its inception.
  • Creative Use of Technology: NAMI
    San Diego

    NAMI San Diego (San Diego, CA), in
    collaboration with the County of San Diego and other mental health
    organizations, created the “Tech CAFÉ” to address the technology
    divide by ensuring that technology tools such as hardware, software
    and training are easily accessible for individuals with mental illness
    and their families. The resources and education provided by Tech CAFÉ
    are meant to empower individuals to find independence and resilience
    through technology by learning to access online health and wellness
    resources, gain employment and access online education.
  • Continuity of Care: NAMI
    Greater Cleveland

    NAMI Greater Cleveland (Cleveland, OH)
    is dedicated to empowering persons affected by mental illness and
    their family members to achieve a better quality of life by providing
    them with support, education, referral and advocacy. The
    organization’s Emotional Wellness Programming supports high-poverty
    public housing residents who have experienced long lapses in treatment
    or have never received services for suspected mental illness. The
    program has been implemented at two inner-city public housing
    complexes in Cleveland. As a result, residents at each facility have
    improved their physical and mental well-being, nurtured a supportive
    community of peers, and successfully avoided eviction. NAMI Greater
    Cleveland was awarded NAMI’s 2014 National Affiliate of the Year.
  • Service Integration: Jefferson
    Center for Mental Health

    Jefferson Center for Mental
    Health (Wheat Ridge, CO) serves people throughout Jefferson, Gilpin
    and Clear Creek counties at over 23 locations, as well as schools,
    nursing homes, and other community settings. Jefferson Center
    partnered with community organizations to develop Union Square Health
    Home, a fully integrated health care home for adults with serious
    mental illness that offers psychiatric and mental health treatment,
    substance use disorder treatment, primary care, wellness services, and
    peer health coaching under one roof. Union Square was developed to
    ensure that people who suffer from mental illness receive the best
    possible care and are diverted from inappropriate and costly care
    settings. Since its inception in 2013, 653 patients have enrolled in
    Union Square.

“We are thrilled to recognize these four organizations that are helping
individuals and families affected by mental illness—like NAMI’s own
members—move toward wellness. The mental health organizations that
honors each year are among the most innovative in the country,”
said Mary Giliberti, Executive Director of NAMI. “C4MH’s mission
is to support the estimated 10 million adults in the U.S. with a serious
mental illness.1 Each of the 2015 winners provides
inspiration and hope in that cause. There are many people who are
immensely grateful for their work.”

Winning organizations receive a $10,000 award to further their work, and
the opportunity to join with organizations previously recognized by C4MH
to encourage and facilitate best practice sharing.

Since its inception in 2013, C4MH has honored twelve local

While there is no one approach to effectively address mental illnesses,
the organizations honored with the Community Innovation Awards offer
best practices for all communities to consider. To learn more about C4MH,
the Community Innovation Awards and the need for
community-oriented solutions to address serious mental illness, visit

About Connect 4 Mental HealthTM

Connect 4 Mental Health (C4MH) is a nationwide initiative calling
for communities to prioritize serious mental illness and advocate for
new approaches that aim to help make a difference for individuals living
with these conditions, their families and their communities. The
campaign encourages collaboration among the mental health community and
other community-based organizations – such as emergency services, law
enforcement and public housing – to develop localized interventions that
provide additional support for those with serious mental illness and
also may help address larger community problems. C4MH is an
alliance between the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the
National Council for Behavioral Health (National Council), Otsuka
Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization, Inc. and Lundbeck. To
learn more, visit

The National Alliance on Mental Illness

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is the largest grassroots
mental health organization in the U.S. dedicated to building better
lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI
advocates for patient access to services, treatment, supports and
research and is steadfast in its commitment to raise awareness and build
a community of hope for all of those in need. NAMI is the foundation for
hundreds of NAMI state organizations, NAMI affiliates and volunteer
leaders who work in local communities across the country to raise
awareness and provide essential and free education, advocacy and support
group programs. To learn more about NAMI, visit

National Council for Behavioral Health (National Council)

National Council for Behavioral Health is the unifying voice of
America’s community mental health and addictions treatment
organizations. Together with 2,300 member organizations, it serves more
than eight million adults and children living with mental illnesses and
addiction disorders. The organization is committed to ensuring all
Americans have access to comprehensive, high-quality care that affords
every opportunity for recovery and full participation in community life.
The National Council, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental
Hygiene, and the Missouri Department of Mental Health pioneered Mental
Health First Aid
in the U.S. and has trained nearly 450,000
individuals to connect youth and adults in need to mental health and
addictions care in their communities. To learn more about the National
Council, visit

Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization, Inc.

Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization, Inc. (OPDC) is an
innovative, fast-growing healthcare company that discovers and develops
new compounds that address unanswered medical needs and advance human
health. With a strong focus on neuroscience, oncology, and cardio-renal
treatments, OPDC is dedicated to improving the health and quality of
human life. For more information, visit

OPDC is a subsidiary of Otsuka America, Inc. (OAI), a holding company
established in the U.S. in 1989. OAI is wholly owned by Otsuka
Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. The Otsuka Group employs approximately 42,000
people globally and its products are available in more than 80 countries
worldwide. Otsuka welcomes you to visit its global website at


Based in Deerfield, Ill., Lundbeck US is an affiliate of H. Lundbeck A/S
in Denmark, and focused solely on accelerating therapies for brain
disorders. The company is engaged in the research, development,
production, marketing and sale of innovative therapies that fulfill
unmet medical needs among people living with challenging and sometimes
rare neurologic and psychiatric disorders. In its late-stage research
pipeline, the company has neurology compounds under investigation for
Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy, in addition to therapies in
development for mental health disorders. With a special commitment to
the lives of patients, families and caregivers, Lundbeck actively
engages in hundreds of initiatives each year that support our patient
communities. To learn more, visit us at
and connect with us on Twitter at @LundbeckUS.


1. (2013). Results from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health:
Mental Health Findings. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Retrieved September 23, 2015, from


National Alliance on Mental Illness
Katrina Gay, +1 615 545 2548
Council for Behavioral Health
Heather Cobb, +1 202 684 7457 (ext.
Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization, Inc.
Whitefield, +1 609 535 9259
Przybyciel, + 1 847 282 5715