Mental health campaigner wins Melbourne Award

18/11/2014

Congratulations to Professor Jayashri Kulkarni, Director, Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre who has won a Melbourne Award.  Prof Kulkarni has been named the 2014 winner of the Contribution to Community by an Individual award.

The Melbourne Awards, given out by the City of Melbourne, celebrate the inspirational Melburnians who dedicate their time and energy for the benefit of the city.  Now in its 12th year, the Awards were introduced to reward the outstanding achievements of organisations and individuals whose passion and commitment makes Melbourne such a unique place to live, visit and do business.

Prof Kulkarni was recognised for her work over more than two decades in tirelessly contributing to the mental health field and the greater Melbourne community by bringing new and innovative treatments to patients who desperately need it.

A passionate advocate for women's mental health, Prof Kulkarni has delivered a range of reforms, including the establishment of the Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre Women's Mental Health Clinic; establishment of a women's only in-patient unit at Alfred Psychiatry; development of a world-first treatment approach for women with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression using hormones; and establishment of a national register to improve the management of pregnant women needing treatment with antipsychotic medications.

She was also acknowledged for leading the way in discovering new understandings of gender-specific mental illness and improved treatment options. Countering the traditionally 'gender blind' approach to psychiatric care, Professor Kulkarni has risen to be a world recognised pioneer and advocate in highlighting the hormonal, social and cultural factors at play in women's mental health.

The Awards recognise significant achievements in the areas of Sustainability, Community and Profile - celebrating those who contribute to the social, economic and sustainable benefit of the city and enhance Melbourne's reputation as one of the world's most liveable cities.

Former Alfred staff member Professor Sharon Lewin won the Award's 2014 Melburnian of the Year category.