Abraham L. Halpern Humanitarian Award 

The Abraham L. Halpern Humanitarian Award is bestowed by the American Association for Social Psychiatry for extraordinary achievement in advancing human rights. While accomplishments specific to the promotion of improved mental health and justice are especially of interest to the Award Committee, the ideal recipient has championed causes of importance directly or even indirectly to the best practice of psychiatric medicine. Advances in ethics and professionalism, medical education, civic action, reform of legal jurisprudence, significant advances in medical practice and/or treatment, leadership taken at a political, societal or cultural level – anywhere that one person’s efforts have made all the difference in the world and thereby contributed to improved mental health care and psychological wellness: these are the nominees we seek for the Humanitarian Award. Accordingly, both psychiatrists and non-psychiatrists may be nominated.

The awardee is invited to give a lecture at the Annual Forum of the American Association for Social Psychiatry at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association.

The Award is named after the forensic psychiatrist and human rights activist Abraham L. Halpern, M.D. (1925-2013). He never shied from publicly taking a stand against injustice and repeatedly pushed organized medicine to do the same. Recipient of the APA's Human Rights Award, AMA's Isaac Hays, MD and John Bell, MD Award for Leadership in Medical Ethics and Professionalism, American College of Physicians' William C. Menninger Memorial Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Science of Mental Health, and this award now named in his honor, Abe Halpern embodied those values central to the American Association for Social Psychiatry. We seek nominees who, like Dr. Halpern, inspire our idealism and persistence and remind us that to do some good is woven into the very soul of what it means to be a doctor.