Susan Rogers to receive Mental Health America's Highest Honor

Susan Rogers will receive the Clifford W. Beers Award at 2013 Annual Conference on June 7

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (May 7, 2013)—Mental Health America will present Susan Rogers of Philadelphia with its highest honor, the Clifford W. Beers Award, for her leadership and service at the Awards Banquet of its 2013 Annual Conference, Why Wellness Works: Breakthroughs and Pathways to Whole Health, on June 7 in National Harbor, MD.

Susan Rogers is Director of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse (the Clearinghouse), a consumer-run national technical assistance center funded in part by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and is Director of Special Projects of the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania (MHASP).

Each year, Mental Health America presents the Beers Award 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.

“Throughout her 28 years as an activist in the self-help and advocacy movement of individuals with mental health conditions, Susan has exemplified the spirit of Clifford W. Beers,” said Wayne W. Lindstrom, Ph.D., president and CEO of Mental Health America. “Since the mid-1980s, Susan has been a driving force within, and behind, the consumer/survivor and recovery movements. She has continually shone a bright light on the fight for civil rights in the mental health arena even though, by choice, she herself often steps out of the spotlight and stands in the shadow of others.

“Susan has helped countless individuals and organizations acquire the knowledge and skills to make changes in the systems that serve individuals with mental health conditions.”

With the deep compassion gained from having personally experienced crippling depressions, hospitalizations, and voluntary and forced medication, Susan has spoken out against discrimination and prejudice, and has fought on behalf of individuals with lived experience of a mental health condition, and against dehumanizing and harmful practices.

She has created numerous advocacy tools and has taught thousands of people how to be effective self-advocates and system advocates, and she has trained thousands of people on how to effectively use the media in this struggle. Her writing achievements include co-authorship of an amici curiae brief accepted by the U.S. Supreme Court in the landmark Olmstead disability rights case.