Cameron Carter, director of the UC Davis Center for Neuroscience, has been honored by the Division of Behavioral Health Services of the Sacramento County Department of Health and Human Services as a Mental Health Champion.
Carter, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, was one of six people honored on Sept. 5 during a meeting of the Sacramento County Mental Health Board. The recognition is conferred upon individuals who make significant contributions to reduce the stigma experienced by people with mental illness and who advance knowledge about mental illness through mental-health research and treatment. Among the other honorees was California state Senate President pro tempore Darrell Steinberg. Carter received a plaque, which was presented by Division of Behavioral Health Director Mary Ann Carrasco.
Carter was recognized for his research and clinical activities, including founding the Early Diagnosis and Preventive Treatment of Psychotic Illness (EDAPT) program in 2004. EDAPT provides state-of-the-art assessments and evidence-based practices for early identification and intervention for psychotic disorders, primarily among youth and young adults in the early stages of psychosis. Through EDAPT, patients receive targeted medication and psychosocial interventions and occupational therapy, with the goals of early diagnosis, treatment and disability prevention.
"It is an honor to receive this award," Carter said. "One way to reduce stigma is to provide patients and families with the care that they need to recover from their illness and achieve the quality of life to which we all aspire. The EDAPT early psychosis programs are provided by a dedicated staff, and we are proud to be able to translate the latest advances in care based upon our academic research into state-of-the-art clinical care serving our community.
"And, we are grateful for the opportunity to partner with Sacramento County to improve the mental health of our youth and reduce the stigma associated with mental illness," he said.
Carter's other research activities include investigations of the pathophysiology of disturbances in cognition in mental disorders such as schizophrenia and obsessive-compulsive disorder, with the goal of developing more effective therapies that can improve patients' wellness and recovery.
Carrasco noted that Carter "is passionate about providing youth with the best opportunities for recovery and is committed to supporting and educating families and caregivers" of people living with mental illness.
"Dr. Carter's critical work provides hope and understanding for countless consumers and families," Carrasco said. She thanked him for his "longstanding contributions" to the welfare of people with mental illnesses in the Sacramento region.