Psychiatry award honors Linehan

June 1, 2012

Dr. Marsha Linehan and Dr. Stuart Yudofsky
Dr. Marsha Linehan and Dr. Stuart Yudofsky

Dr. Marsha M. Linehan was the recipient of this year's Joan and Stanford Alexander Annual Award in Psychiatry honoring Dr. Stuart Yudofsky, professor and chair of the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at BCM.

Linehan received the award and presented grand rounds in late April. The award honors a mental health professional who has made significant contributions in research, education and clinical or community service for people suffering from severe and persistent mental illness.

Linehan is professor of psychology and director of the Behavioral Research and Therapy Clinics at the University of Washington. She developed dialectical behavior therapy – a treatment originally developed for treating suicidal behaviors that has expanded to treating borderline personality disorder and other severe and complex mental disorders. The treatment has been shown to be effective in reducing suicidal behavior and is cost-effective compared to both standard and community treatments delivered by expert therapists.

From left, Philip Burguieres, Shirley Toomim, Alice Burguieres, Stanford Alexander, Dr. Stuart Yudofsky and Joan Alexander
From left, Philip Burguieres, Shirley Toomim, Alice Burguieres, Stanford Alexander, Dr. Stuart Yudofsky and Joan Alexander

Yudofsky and Linehan were especially thankful to extraordinary Houston philanthropists Joan and Stanford Alexander, who are pioneer advocates for providing parity in the reimbursements for psychiatric care for the mentally ill and work to fight the effects of stigma on those who suffer from mental illness.

Linehan, who suffered from borderline personality disorder as a teenager, spoke of how she lived with stigma all her life and has spent her life working to help treat patients suffering from mental illnesses.