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Jarecki Awarded the Pardes Humanitarian Prize in Mental Health

November 03, 2023

Henry Jarecki, MD, adjunct professor of psychiatry, has been awarded the Pardes Humanitarian Prize in Mental Health by the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation.

The award was given October 27 at the foundation’s annual international awards dinner in New York. It recognizes people and organizations whose extraordinary contribution has made a profound and lasting impact in advancing the understanding of mental health and improving the lives of people who are living with mental illness. It focuses public attention on the burden mental illness places on individuals and society and the urgent need to expand mental health services globally.

Jarecki was honored for his humanitarian impact on the world through his unique and lasting contribution to preserving academic and scientific freedom including in his role as the founding chair of the Scholar Rescue Fund (SRF) of the Institute of International Education (IIE).

SRF identifies scholars and scientists living in countries where their religious or ethnic background or their medical, scientific, or public activities have stimulated governmental reprisal. SRF is able to relocate these individuals to settings where they are safe and where they can continue their important work.

Since 2002, when the fund was established, SRF has assisted over 1,000 scholars from over 60 countries and placed them in over 430 host institutions from over 50 countries. SRF also developed a network of over 500 “safe haven” universities in nearly 50 countries.

In addition to assisting individual scholars, IIE-SRF has responded to large-scale crises affecting national academies. For example, in 2007, IIE-SRF launched the Iraq Scholar Rescue Project that supported more than 300 of Iraq’s most senior and threatened academics to continue their work. Since the 2011 outbreak of conflict in Syria, the program has awarded fellowships to over 100 Syrian scholars.

For its work, the SRF was awarded the Middle East Studies Association’s 2013 Academic Freedom Award.

Jarecki’s lifelong commitment to social justice is an outgrowth of his personal experience growing up in a German family that fled Nazism first to England and then to the United States. He first alleviated suffering through an illustrious career in psychiatry, and he then broadened his focus to lead and support humanitarian and scientific initiatives around the world.

“The 2023 Pardes Prize recipients inspire us all to use our knowledge, passion, and resources for the greater good of humanity,” said Herbert Pardes, MD, president of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation’s Scientific Council and executive vice chair of the Board of Trustees at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. “We applaud their work, which will impact lives for decades to come.”

Jarecki joined the psychiatry faculty at Yale after graduating from Heidelberg University in 1957 and practiced in New Haven and at Yale New Haven Hospital. He was author of numerous articles related to psychiatry and co-authored the book “Modern Psychiatric Treatment” with the late Dr. Thomas Detre, a former faculty member in the Yale Department of Psychiatry.

Outside of his career in medicine, he is an entrepreneur and investor who has founded successful enterprises in industries like metals and commodities trading, biotechnology, and telecommunications.

The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation awards research grants to develop improved treatments, cures, and methods of prevention for mental illness. Since 1987, the foundation has awarded more than $450 million to fund more than 5,400 leading scientists around the world.

Submitted by Christopher Gardner on November 03, 2023