nominate candidate

Winner 2016

Dr. Chantharavady Choulamany

The Dr. Guislain Museum and Janssen Research & Development, LLC named Chantharavady Choulamany, M.D., the 2016 recipient of the Dr. Guislain "Breaking the Chains of Stigma" Award. The award recognizes Laotian psychiatrist, Dr. Choulamany, for her impact on the quality of life for individuals who are living with mental illness. As only one of two qualified psychiatrists in Lao People's Democratic Republic (PDR), a country of more than 6 million people, Dr. Choulamany has dedicated her life to increasing access to mental health services and developing education programs to treat and improve understanding of mental illness.

Dr. Choulamany, Program Manager in her country for BasicNeeds, an international, non-governmental, mental-health focused organization, has worked to address mental health issues and needs with a uniquely successful approach. She works with all levels of government, advocating for better treatment services, more funding and pushing for more trained health professionals. Several of the 17 district and 7 provincial hospitals have now set up mental health teams, comprising of a doctor and two nurses, who have participated in a four-day mental health training program from BasicNeeds. To further overcome the shortage of trained health workers, Dr. Choulamany has enlisted the help of cultural groups to raise awareness of mental illness and to fight stigma. She has also provided training to Buddhist monks to help care for people with mental illness through counseling and prayer. More than 8,000 patients and family members have already benefited directly from Dr. Choulamany's work.  

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