Bill Safarjan, PhD, staff psychologist at Atascadero State Hospital, was awarded the 2007 Outstanding Psychologist Award by the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
Safarjan was honored for his efforts to improve treatment outcomes by expanding services made available to persons with serious mental illness. Traditional treatment in hospital settings has often involved little more than medication and "TV therapy." The result was high failure rates that created a revolving door as mentally ill persons would enter, leave, and then re-enter hospitals after relapsing. By adding strong psychological components, such as cognitive remediation and skill-building programs, individuals with mental illness become more able to cope with life's pressures, achieve greater independence, and utilize fewer community resources when they leave hospitals. He serves on APA's Committee for the Advancement of Professional Practice.