Bernice A. Pescosolido
Bernice A. Pescosolido, PhD is a Distinguished Professor of Sociology at Indiana University and Director of the Indiana Consortium for Mental Health Services Research. She has focused her research and teaching on social issues in health, illness, and healing. More specifically, Pescosolido’s research agenda addresses how social networks connect individuals to their communities and to institutional structures, providing the “wires” through which people’s attitudes and actions are influenced.
This agenda encompasses three basic areas: health care services, stigma, and suicide research. In the area of stigma research, Pescosolido has led a team of researchers on a series of national and international stigma studies including the first US national study in 40 years, the first national study of children’s mental health, and the first global study of 16 countries representing all six inhabited continents. As a result, she and her colleagues developed a model on the underlying roots of stigma, designed to provide a scientific foundation for new efforts to alter this basic barrier to care. Pescosolido has received numerous career, scientific, and community awards from the NIH, the ASA, the APHA, and Mental Health America, and in 2011 was the recipient of the prestigious Wilbur Lucius Cross Medal from Yale University. She works closely with mental health advocacy organizations such as Bring Change 2 Mind and the Carter Center to use research to foster public awareness and improve public policy and decision-making regarding these devastating illnesses.