Logo for Children's Service Fund
Logo for Children's Service Fund

John M. Anderson Excellence in Mental Health Award.

The John M. Anderson Excellence in Mental Health Award celebrates and recognizes unsung mental health professionals who have helped reduce the stigma of mental health in the African American/Black community in the St. Louis region. The St. Louis County Children’s Service Fund now presents two Excellence in Mental Health Awards: the Excellence in the Field of Mental Health Award and the Community Mental Health Provider Award. 

Nominations typically open in February of each year, and winners are announced in April. This award is sponsored by CSF as part of The St. Louis American’s Salute to Excellence in Health Care.

Nominations for the 2024 Excellence in Mental Health Awards are now closed. Thank you to all who submitted nominations! Award recipients will be announced in the coming weeks.

professional working with a parent and young child during a prevention services session

Qualifications for the Excellence in the Field of Mental Health Awardee.

The Excellence in Mental Health – Excellence in the Field of Mental Health awardee is someone who demonstrates clinical excellence in mental health. They have a body of work that illustrates large-scale impact and supports their commitment to addressing systemic inequities in mental health care for children and families in St. Louis. They have taken great steps to reduce the stigma of seeking care in the Black/African American community.

The Excellence in the Field of Mental Health awardee must fit the following criteria:

  • Is a clinician, either in direct practice or leads a program that has a direct practice component.
  • Delivers direct clinical services to children and youth or is committed to a clinical program that directly impacts the lives of kids in the St. Louis region.
  • Demonstrates clinical excellence in quality and practice.
  • Committed to following current best practices and generating new best practices.
  • Demonstrates a clear commitment to and understanding of the St. Louis region.
  • Has a body of research that shows large-scale impact and willingness to build research and evidence that seeks to address systemic inequities in mental health care for children and families.
  • Demonstrates a commitment to improving the lives of kids and families in the St. Louis region.

Qualifications for Community Mental Health Provider Awardee.

The Excellence in Mental Health – Community Mental Health Provider awardee is someone who is known and trusted in the community they serve, and as a mental health professional, advocates for children’s mental and behavioral health. They are recognized as someone whose work directly addresses needs that have been identified by the community, who is striving to increase access to services, and who is actively working to reduce the stigma of mental illness in the Black/African American community.

Candidates for this award fit the following criteria:

  • Is known and trusted in the community they serve.
  • Can clearly illustrate the impact of their work on kids and families in the St. Louis region.
  • Is working to increase access to mental and behavioral health services for kids and families in the St. Louis region.
  • Works actively with the community they serve to develop solutions to community-identified issues.
  • Works toward changing attitudes and beliefs around mental illness.
  • Works toward long-term improvement of the mental health system within the St. Louis region.
child working with a teacher or therapist.
Two teenagers sitting and smiling.

Selection Process.

The award involves an extensive application process, and each nominee is assessed across a comprehensive scoring rubric and must meet the above criteria.

Awardees are chosen by a review panel consisting of mental/public health professionals, a previous award winner, education experts, community administrators, and CSF board members and staff.  

History of the Award.

In 2014, CSF created the Dr. John M. Anderson Mental Health Award to further bolster the positive mission of the fund and the support of mental health care in the St. Louis metropolitan region. The award was named in honor of Dr. John M. Anderson, a psychiatrist, who was a pioneer in mental health in St. Louis. Past recipients of the award are:

  • 2014 – Dr. Laurent Javois, State of Missouri – Behavioral Health
  • 2015 – Dr. Collins Lewis, Washington University-Dept. of Psychiatry
  • 2016 – Patricia Coleman, CEO Behavioral Health Response
  • 2017 – Dr. Norman White, St. Louis University – College for Public Health and Social Justice
  • 2018 – Dr. Renee Cunningham-Williams, Washington University – Brown School
  • 2019 – Dr. Cynthia Rogers, Washington University – Dept. of Psychiatry
  • 2020 – Dr. Kanika Turner, Family Health Care Center
  • 2021 – Dr. Daniel Mamah, Washington University-Dept. of Psychiatry
  • 2022 – Yolanda Rodgers-Garvin, Ferguson-Florissant School District 
  • 2023 Excellence in the Field of Mental Health – Dr. Lizette Smith, Our Little Haven (pictured)
  • 2023 Community Mental Health Provider – Latosha Fowlkes, The Core Collective at Saint Vincent (pictured)
A photo of Yolanda Rodgers-Garvin, the 2022 Excellence in Mental Health Award recipient.

Learn all about the life and legacy of Dr. John M. Anderson on our blog.