Berkeley Daily Planet columnist Jack Bragen was honored with a Community Service Award by the Alameda County Mental Health Board at a dinner May 16 for his column in the Berkeley Daily Planet "On Mental Health". Among other honorees that night was Brian Copeland for his one man play "Exit Strategy'. Because I was the one who nominated Jack (but not on the Selection Committee that chose him among six candidates in the Consumer category) I was privileged to introduce him and I read portions of one of his columns to the audience, which was extremely well received.
The Berkeley Daily Planet also deserve kudos for publishing Jack's column which appears to me to be unique in journalistic history, in providing a look at mental illness from the inside. Mental illness is one of the last conditions that our society stigmatizes without reflection. Jack's column shows the humanity of someone with mental illness and goes a long way to reducing that stigma. Congratulations to Jack and the Berkeley Daily Planet!