The Giovanna Nuesslein AWARD

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

Giovanna Nuesslein and I met in GBHC Binghamton State Hospital in 2008. Giovanna was discharged a mere week apart from me, and we kept in contact upon returning to our homes.

Soon after returning home, I knew something was wrong with my friend. She was making less and less sense and more resistant to the idea of recovery. Two weeks passed without hearing from her. 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 advocates, peer 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). However, prizes will be shortlisted for people suffering from high degrees of chronic, unmanageable mental health issues.

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 to be the next winner of the Giovanna Nuesslein Award for Deferred Recovery and Progress.

Please send the one-page self-nomination to Editor-in-Chief J. Peters no later than September 1st, 2022 to maxwellguttman@gmail.com, with subject line GN AWARD. The award winner will be selected upon the editorial board completing their review of all the nominations.

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