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The Giovanna Nuesslein AWARD

Mental Health Affairs Blog is proud to present the Giovanna Nuesslein Award. The Giovanna Nuesslein award honors people in deferred recovery and progress. The award is bestowed to people in ongoing mental health treatment and not experiencing sustainable relief from their symptoms and stabilization.

Giovanna Nuesslein and I met in GBHC Binghamton State Hospital in 2008.

Discharged a mere week apart from me, Giovanna and I kept in contact upon returning to our homes. We lived hundreds of miles apart, so our communication was restricted to emails and messaging. While we only communicated online, we planned to see each other outside the confines of a psychiatric unit.

Soon after returning home, I knew something was wrong with Giovanna. She was making less and less sense and more resistant to recovery. After a few weeks of intermittent communication, her messages sounded like she had lost all hope.

Another two weeks passed without hearing from Giovanna. That was when I got the call. Giovanna’s friend reached out to me and told me she had just committed suicide. She had jumped from her apartment balcony to her death.

Named after Giovanna’s memory, this award honors people who might not achieve their full recovery from unresolved mental health issues. Mental Health Affairs hopes her memory shines bright and urges advocatespeer specialists, and clinicians to hurl our system towards new heights and possibilities for people to recover.

Eligible recipients must have a diagnosed mental health condition. The potential award winner must be in treatment for a mental health issue.

To be eligible to be considered for this award, Mental Health Affairs does not require candidates to have an ‘SMI’ (Serious Mental Illness). This award is for people that cannot manage their mental health diagnosis.

Mental Health Affairs will also consider other ‘co-morbid’ health issues contributing to the award candidate’s overall clinical picture.

Mental Health Affairs honors the struggle, not the person’s diagnosis with a mental health issue. After all, understanding people may experience hardship with any mental health condition is the reality of mental health recovery.

To be considered for this honor, in collaboration with your treatment provider, please nominate yourself as the next winner of the Giovanna Nuesslein Award for Deferred Recovery and Progress.

Please send nominations to Editor-in-Chief J. Peters by October 15th, 2023, to maxwellguttman@gmail.com, with the subject line GN AWARD. After considering all the nominations, the MHA editorial board will announce the award winner on January 22nd, 2023.

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