After a decade of work and more than 100,000 people helped, Bedford’s nonprofit Peter C. Alderman Foundation, whose mission is to heal the emotional wounds of victims of terrorism and violence in post-conflict countries, awarded former U.S. Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy its 2013 Humanitarian Award at the Foundation’s 10th anniversary celebration April 9 at the Pierre Hotel in Manhattan. NBC-TV’s Erica Hill of Larchmont was emcee.
Kennedy is the co-founder of One Mind for Research, a newly formed national coalition seeking new treatments and cures for neurologic and psychiatric diseases of the brain that afflict one in three Americans. In selecting him, the foundation cited his 16 years in Congress and authorship of the Mental Health Parity & Addiction Equity Act of 2008, which provides those who were previously denied care with access to mental health treatment.
Announcing Kennedy’s award, Elizabeth Alderman, foundation co-founder and mother of Peter, who died in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, said, “We are honored to present Congressman Patrick Kennedy with the 2013 Peter C. Alderman Foundation Humanitarian Award. As a Congressman, private citizen and through his current activities with One Mind, Patrick Kennedy is working hard to find treatment and cures for all neurological disorders that affect one in three Americans.
“The Peter C. Alderman Foundation is one of a few organizations that fill this need on a global basis,” she said. “While governments and many global organizations strive to meet the physical needs of people caught in conflict, they often ignore the psychological damage. If people do not care whether they live or die, they will not seek solutions for problems such as disease, poverty and lack of education. Over the last 10 years, PCAF has established eight trauma clinics: two in Cambodia, four in Uganda, one in Liberia and one in a maternal child health clinic in one of Africa’s largest slums in Kibera, Kenya, and treated more than 100,000 patients. We run workshops and conferences in Africa that have trained thousands of mental health professionals.”
Kennedy said, “Mental health is the world’s biggest health care challenge. I am enormously proud and honored to be here today to share the Peter C. Alderman Foundation’s 10th Anniversary celebration of outstanding global mental health care.”