Prize Description

The Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health is presented annually by the National Academy of Medicine (NAM). Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat established the award in 1992 out of a commitment to improving the science base and delivery of mental health services. This international award recognizes individuals, groups, or organizations for outstanding achievement in improving mental health and is accompanied by a medal and $20,000. Each year, a selection committee appointed by the NAM reviews nominations based on selection criteria that reflect the ideals of Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat.

Past Recipients

Selection Criteria

Each year, a selection committee appointed by the National Academy of Medicine considers the following criteria when determining the winner of the Sarnat Prize.

The Sarnat Prize is awarded to individuals, groups, or organizations that have demonstrated at least one of the following criteria:

  • contributions to improve understanding of, or treatment for, mental disorders (basic biomedical or clinical research);
  • innovations in mental health services (counseling, clinical care, prevention, amelioration of symptoms, or promotion of mental health); or
  • accomplishments in public policy or public leadership that enhance public understanding of mental disorders, foster advances in science, improve access to or delivery of mental health services, or otherwise promote mental health.

To encourage a broad range of candidates, there are no constraints on the education, profession, or specific discipline of individuals, groups, or organizations. The Sarnat Prize may honor public figures, policy leaders, field leaders, patient advocates, health care professionals, treatment innovators, translational scientists, basic scientists, applied scientists, or any other individuals, groups or organizations with distinguished accomplishments in the field of mental health, and will be made without regard to nationality. For the purposes of the Sarnat Prize, the field of mental health is defined broadly and includes, but is not limited to, the neurosciences, psychology, social work, public health, nursing, psychiatry, economics, law, and other disciplines, as well as perspectives from those in non-profit organizations and foundations, among others.

Finally, the recipient must attend the ceremony to receive the prize. The 2021 Sarnat Prize will be presented during the NAM's Annual Meeting in Washington, DC in October 2021.

Nomination Process

1. Register

To create a user account, click on the "Register" link and complete and submit the registration form.

2. Log in

Once you have created an account, log in with your email address and password.

3. Create

Create your online nomination. Self nominations will not be considered.

4. Save

During the call for nominations period, your nomination can be saved as DRAFT multiple times, until all the required information is completed. As you complete each section, you will see a Checkmark appear on the section tab when the nomination is saved. Please ensure that all attachments are in PDF format. NOTE: All nominations must include THREE letters of recommendation in order to be submitted as final. At any time, you can download and print your nomination by clicking on the PDF format icon in the Nomination Summary section.

5. Submit

Upon completion, submit your nomination as FINAL by the nomination deadline. You may wish to download and print a copy of your nomination for your records by clicking on the PDF format icon in the Nomination Summary section. Note: If changes are required before the nomination deadline, you can still make updates and resubmit the updated nomination as FINAL.

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Key Dates

Nomination Open:Jan 15, 2021
Nomination Close:May 14, 2021

Contact Us

Donna Duncan
Awards Administrator
Phone: (202) 334-2553
Fax: (202) 334-1694