Snowden honored with APA Public Interest Award for lifetime contributions to improve mental health policy

April 23, 2014

For extraordinary lifetime contributions, Lonnie Snowden, a mental health policy expert and Professor of the Graduate School at UC Berkeley School of Public Health, was recently named the winner of the 2014 Award for Distinguished Contributions to Research in Public Policy by the American Psychological Association (APA). The award honors a psychologist who has made a distinguished empirical and/or theoretical contribution to research in public policy, either through a single extraordinary achievement or a lifetime of work dedicated to informing public policy through psychological understanding.

“Snowden represents the best among psychologist doing research with critical public policy implications,” stated the APA about his selection. “Perhaps more than any other clinical/community psychologist, [he] has addressed disparities in access and quality of mental health care from a mental health policies, systems, and program perspective.”

The award acknowledges the more than 35 years Snowden has dedicated to improving mental health treatment access and quality of care, with a particular focus on effectiveness of care to minority and underserved populations. His research of the financing and organization of mental health services has important implications for current health care reform policy.

Snowden has made frequent contributions to the mental health services research literature, including more than 150 peer-reviewed research articles and book chapters. At the invitation of then U.S. Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher, Snowden contributed to “Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General” and was co-scientific editor of “Mental Health: Culture, Race, and Ethnicity: A Supplement to: ‘Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General.” 

The award will be presented to Snowden at the APA's 2014 Annual Convention in August, in Washington, D.C. , where he will also present an invited address on Poverty, Safety Net Programs, and African-Americans’ Mental Health.

Snowden’s past awards include The Society for Community Research and Action’s Distinguished Contributions to Theory and Research in Community Psychology, the Surgeon General’s Exemplary Service Award, and the Berkeley Citation.