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2020 Change Maker Awards

Our annual Change Maker Awards celebrate individuals and organizations making real change in the mental health care system – and in the lives of children and adolescents who struggle with mental health and learning disorders.

The Change Maker Awards celebrate people and organizations creating real, meaningful change for children who struggle with mental health and learning disorders. From the professionals putting in long hours to the advocates bringing mental health awareness to the national stage, our honorees inspire us with their passion for changing the way we understand and treat our children.

Learn more about our 20152016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 Change Maker Award Winners.


Champion Award –
Bill Hader

Actor, producer and outspoken mental health advocate
Bill Hader made the switch from being a master of impressions on Saturday  Night Live to creating, directing, writing, producing and starring as a burned-out assassin trying to break into the LA theater scene in HBO’s Barry.

In its second season, Barry only got darker, funnier and more addictive, culminating in a whopping 17 Emmy Award nominations, including nominations in all of the major categories: Series, Writing, Directing and Actor (which he won).

Hader is also co-creator of IFC’s Documentary Now! and he has starred in such films as Trainwreck, Superbad, Pineapple Express, Tropic Thunderthe Skeleton Twins and, most recently in the 2019 box office hit, It Chapter Two.

Hader is an outspoken mental health advocate who is helping to remove the stigma around anxiety disorders.  He recorded a video for the Child Mind Institute’s 2019 #MyYoungerSelf campaign encouraging young people to seek help and learn to manage their anxiety. In it, he said a lot of people have anxiety. “But you can manage it and you can figure it out. Doing it when you’re younger is the best, and I wish I’d done it. When I figured it out I was 37. You guys can figure it out.” The video went viral, and Hader continued speaking out, including during an appearance on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.

Visionary Award –
Kenneth Cole

Fashion designer and founder of the Mental Health Coalition
Kenneth Cole is an American designer, social activist and visionary who believes business and philanthropy are interdependent. For over 35 years, Cole has leveraged his passion and brand platform — Kenneth Cole Productions — to make a meaningful impact on people’s wardrobes, as well as in communities in need.

In 1985 he launched the first HIV/AIDS public service campaign. He then joined amfAR’s board of directors in 1987, and in 2004 he assumed the chairmanship. He served in that position for 14 years.

In 2016 Cole accepted an appointment as a UNAIDS International Goodwill Ambassador with the goal of helping to end AIDS as a public health crisis by 2030.

In 2020 Cole launched the Mental Health Coalition to end the stigma attached to mental health conditions. This effort began with the formation of a coalition of the most respected mental health service providers, academics, and creative and media organizations. The Mental Health Coalition was launched with an innovative digital storytelling platform called, “HOW ARE YOU, REALLY?,” which creates a safe social space for individuals to share their stories.

Outstanding Organization Award –
The National Alliance on Mental Illness

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness through advocacy, education, support and public awareness.

Community Builder Award –
Erika’s Lighthouse

Erika’s Lighthouse: A Beacon of Hope for Adolescent Depression is a non-profit organization committed to raising awareness about teen depression in middle school and high school communities at no cost to schools. Erika’s Lighthouse works to eliminate the stigma surrounding depression and empower young people to take ownership of their mental health.


Outstanding Organization Award
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Outstanding Organization Award
Autism Speaks

Outstanding Organization Award
California Children’s Trust

Outstanding Organization Award
Center on Addiction

Outstanding Organization Award
National Association of Social Workers

Community Builder Award
American School Counselor Association

Community Builder Award
Crisis Text Line

Community Builder Award
Learning Disabilities Association of America

Community Builder Award
National Association of Special Education Teachers

Community Builder Award
The Steve Fund