The travails of the “Doonesbury” character B.D. as he readjusts to civilian life after losing a leg in Iraq won the comic strip’s creator, Garry Trudeau, the annual Mental Health Research Advocacy Award from the Department of Psychiatry in April. The award recognizes contributions that advance research designed to improve the lives of people with mental illness. The department cited Trudeau’s “humorous but moving” accounts of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
“Trudeau provides millions of Americans with a gut-level appreciation of the impact of post-traumatic stress disorder on soldiers and their families as well as the real opportunities for obtaining help with the readjustment process,” said John Krystal, M.D., professor of clinical pharmacology and deputy chair for research in psychiatry. “He is helping to raise awareness about the importance of PTSD as a national challenge, where investment in treatment and research could have an important and lasting impact.”