The Award


Breaking the Chains of Stigma

The Dr. Guislain Award 'Breaking the Chains of Stigma' is an initiative of Museum Dr. Guislain and Janssen Research & Development, LLC, uniting two institutes that have a longstanding involvement and heritage in the field of mental health care and research.

On October 10 2012 Bagus Utomo was the first to receive the Award, which refers to Dr. Joseph Guislain (1797-1860), the first Belgian psychiatrist and pioneer in the treatment of people with mental illness.

Dr. Joseph Guislain

As the head of institutions for the mentally ill in Ghent, Joseph Guislain was the first to provide treatment based on science.

He always tried to find innovative treatment techniques, where special attention was paid to the social integration of his patients.

As a professor at the University of Ghent, he lectured and published work about mental illness and enjoyed considerable recognition by his contemporaries. He did not limit himself to medical science but also actively used other disciplines such as architecture and cultural life.

He was a driven activist for a more humane treatment of people with mental illness, he did all he could to stand up for their rights and improve their social position. The logo is based on the floor plan of the Guislain Institute, which is an exemplary display of Joseph Guislain's conviction on the importance of architecture as a therapeutic element in a patient's recovery process. It is a universal symbol for innovating, social, and cultural projects within the context of mental health care that also contributes to bringing down the stigma surrounding mental illness.