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David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
Schizophrenia Advocate to Receive Top Canadian Award - The Order of Canada
by Goura Fotadar
October 24, 2007

Alberta's Own "Beautiful Mind" to be Appointed to the Order of Canada - the highest award that can be given to a Canadian citizen. This award is typically given by the Prime Minister of Canada (equivalent to the President in the US).

The Schizophrenia Society of Alberta (SSA) held a reception today to congratulate Austin Mardon. Mardon, who has schizophrenia, and who will receive the Order of Canada in Ottawa later this week in recognition of his lifetime of achievements related to advocacy efforts focused on improved treatment of people who have schizophrenia.

His list of personal and academic achievements is extensive. Despite his illness, Mardon has made remarkable strides in academic study, scientific exploration, published research and public service. He has been a strong advocate for the more than 30,000 Albertans affected by this debilitating illness.

"My life took a major detour when I became ill with schizophrenia at the age of 30," said Mardon. "I changed course and pursued a life of service and advocacy for those who fight to overcome barriers including social stigma."

Mardon is an example of someone who has made significant achievements despite being severely affected by schizophrenia. "With adequate medical treatment and the support of his family and his community, he has defied the odds," said SSA vice-chair, Terry Wispinski. "Mardon holds three university degrees and is the author of more than 20 books and 110 scholarly publications."

Mardon serves on several community boards and committees, including the Premier's Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities. "As an active member of the Premier's Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities, Mardon helps the Council to better understand mental health issues and to be well informed on cross disability issues. I appreciate his insight and advice as he helps guide decisions made by the Government of Alberta," said Rob Lougheed, chair, Premier's Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities.

"It is my hope that those with schizophrenia see my appointment to the Order of Canada as motivation to accept treatment and try to make a contribution to our great nation in whatever manner they are capable of," added Mardon.

Austin Mardon's Website
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