Submissions Open: $1,000 for Story of Teen/Adolescent’s Struggle to Find Treatment

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Submissions are now open nationwide for the 2017 PVI Hope Award, honoring a first-person patient or family story about an adolescent or teen’s struggle to get appropriate help with a mental health and/or substance abuse crisis. The award, co-sponsored by The Patients’ View Institute (PVI) and the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF), comes with a $1,000 cash prize and the opportunity to be honored during PVI’s annual Impact Award ceremony this December in Washington, DC.

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ABHI Blog pic 4-21-17The award was borne of the Adolescent Behavioral Health Initiative (ABHI), a project of JHF, which is based in Pittsburgh and serves Allegheny County. JHF identified the trauma experienced by the entire family when a teen or adolescent can’t access critically needed services – something JHF found to be the rule far too often. They launched ABHI, a three-year initiative, to find out where gaps in service exist, and then to foster the ideal adolescent behavioral health system. JHF brought in PVI to gather first-hand accounts of families/ experiences in both Allegheny County and nationwide, in order to develop a comprehensive picture of what’s needed.

“PVI’s core mission is to understand and amplify the patient voice in health care,” said PVI Executive Director Diane Stollenwerk. “The PVI Hope Award recognizes the critical value of authentic patient experience to inform research and policy – and to offer hope to other families undergoing similar crises. The cash prize recognizes that the act of sharing these experiences can also be painful and difficult. We hope that by encouraging more people to come forward with their stories, we can surface the full extent of the problem, while helping to de-stigmatize an experience that’s so prevalent and devastating.”

PVI is actively soliciting stories that “paint a picture” of the challenges – and successes – families are experiencing (or have experienced in the past) – with a family member who is or was under the age of 21, anywhere in the country. PVI accepts stories through its on-line platform at, or via voice mail or letter, or through art, video, poetry, dance, etc. Entries of all types are encouraged, and privacy controls are in the hands of the submitter. However the Hope Award winner must be identified (last name not necessary) at the awards ceremony in December.

“We have to work at changing the way mental health, substance abuse and addiction are treated in our healthcare system,” said Karen Feinstein, JHF President. “With the right services and attention, these young people can overcome dysfunction that can harm themselves, their families, and our communities. We’re all in this together. Please spread the word about the Hope Award.”

PVI annually recognizes outstanding patient achievements through The Patients’ View Impact Award, the only national award to highlight the power that patients can have in changing health care for the better. The Leapfrog Group, which serves as a national voice for health care purchasers and publishes the annual Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, co-presents the Awards with PVI. PVI is committed to building a community of support, information, and encouragement through our #TellYourStory social media campaign where individual voices join with those of families facing the same challenges, with the same passion to have their child’s health restored. Join the conversation by engaging with Patients’ View Institute on Facebook and Twitter. Share the #TellYourStory flier with families whose voices need to be heard.

Read PVI’s original News Release for more details of PVI’s role in the Adolescent Behavioral Health Initiative.

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