Doonesbury Cartoonist Garry Trudeau to Receive Yale Award for Raising Awareness about War-Related Mental Health

Cartoonist Garry Trudeau will receive the annual Mental Health Research Advocacy Award from Yale School of Medicine April 5 for his outstanding portrayal of the readjustment issues faced by soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Trudeau, a Yale College graduate and creator of the popular comic strip “Doonesbury,” will be honored at the Department of Psychiatry’s Neuroscience 2008 symposium, “Stress, Resilience and Recovery.”

The symposium will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Harkness Auditorium, Sterling Hall of Medicine, 333 Cedar St.

Click for larger image. Copyright 2008 G.B. Trudeau, distributed by Universal Press Syndicate

“The Mental Health Research Advocacy Award is given annually by the Department of Psychiatry to someone who has made an important contribution to the effort to advance research designed to improve the lives of people with mental illness,” said John Krystal, M.D., professor of clinical pharmacology and deputy chair for research in psychiatry.

“Our committee felt that the Doonesbury comic strip has provided our country with a humorous, but moving, fictional portrayal of the adjustment challenges faced by soldiers returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Krystal said. “In this way, Mr. Trudeau provides millions of Americans with a gut level appreciation of the impact of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) on soldiers and their families as well as the real opportunities for obtaining help with the readjustment process. In so doing, he is helping to raise awareness about the importance of PTSD as a national challenge, where investment in treatment and research could have an important and lasting impact.”

The symposium, now in its 17th year, is aimed at mental health professionals as well as consumers and their families throughout the state. The symposium highlights recent advances in basic and clinical neuroscience and explains the promise for revolutionary advances in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental illness. The presentations are designed for a general audience.

Also sponsoring the event are the Connecticut Mental Health Center, the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, the Yale Mental Health Education Program, and the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, Connecticut chapter.

The symposium is free and open to the general public. The complete program is available online. For more information, please contact Georgia Miller at 203-974-7723.