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October 27, 2016

Reynolds honored for mental health work

REYNOLDS_CHARLES_MD_20150510_09Charles F. Reynolds III, UPMC Endowed Professor of Geriatric Psychiatry and director of the Aging Institute at UPMC and the University, is one of two winners of the 2016 Pardes Humanitarian Prize in Mental Health given by the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation.

The annual prize recognizes individuals whose contributions have made a profound and lasting impact in advancing the understanding of mental health and improving the lives of people suffering from mental illness. It focuses public attention on the burden mental illness places on individuals and society, and the urgent need to expand mental health services globally.

Reynolds’ prize, which carries an honorarium of $300,000, will be presented tomorrow, Oct. 28, in New York City.

He is being recognized for his pioneering work in geriatric psychiatry and the prevention and treatment of late-life depression. Reynolds helped to define a new global health priority as depression prevention in older adults, now recognized as a feasible public health goal.

He and his colleagues also have demonstrated that depression treatment reduces both suicidal risk and cancer-related mortality risk in elderly medical patients, and his work has informed longterm treatment strategies to prevent recurrence and delay dementia in depression with mild cognitive impairment.

“It is a privilege and an honor to be a recipient of the Pardes Humanitarian Prize. In our youth-focused culture, the elderly and their struggles with mental illness are often overlooked and neglected,” said Reynolds.

“Late-life depression is a global health priority that has immense impact on older individuals and their families. It is my sincere hope that as a society we can work to restore the joy of living to older adults affected by mental illness.”

This year’s other Pardes winner is Vikram Patel, who is being honored for his work in advancing mental health care in resource-poor countries.

Filed under: Feature,Volume 49 Issue 5

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