Congratulations to Dr. Harry Karlinsky, Recipient of the 2023 ACPC Annual Award for Creative Professional Activity!

The Association of Chairs of Psychiatry in Canada (ACPC) Annual Award for Creative Professional Activity highlights the importance of creative professional activity in Canadian Departments of Psychiatry by rewarding exceptional contributions.

Congratulations to this year’s winner: Dr. Harry Karlinsky, Clinical Professor and a clinical faculty member in the UBC Department of Psychiatry for over thirty years. Dr. Karlinsky was recognized for his role as the driving force behind numerous initiatives that have integrated mental health education and advocacy into various creative arts platforms, in order to engage fellow clinicians, healthcare providers, and broader audiences that include patients, their families, and the general public.

Notable contributions have included his roles as the founder and ongoing director of the long-running and award-winning Frames of Mind Mental Health Film Series since its inception in 2002, and founder and ongoing director of the Canadian Psychiatric Association’s CPA-at-the-Movies Series, an extremely well received initiative which over the last 15 years has been a highlight of the annual CPA conferences.

Additionally, as an alumnus of Simon Fraser University’s Writers’ Studio, Dr. Karlinsky himself has made original contributions to Canadian literature, producing two highly acclaimed works wherein his knowledge and expertise as a psychiatrist are woven into rich, compelling storytelling. In the first of his two celebrated novels, The Evolution of Inanimate Objects: The Life and Collected Works of Thomas Darwin (1857-1879), he tackled the fine line separating creativity and madness by blending historical fact and fiction in a reimagining of the tragically short life of Thomas Darwin. Of note, The Evolution of Inanimate Objects was one of 11 books longlisted for the prestigious Wellcome Trust Book Prize which celebrates books which illuminate the theme of health, illness, and medicine. Dr. Karlinsky’s second novel The Stonehenge Letters, was also well-received and followed a retired psychiatrist who uncovers a hidden history when seeking to determine why the famed psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud never received a Nobel Prize.

Over the last three decades, Dr. Karlinsky has done a superb job in leveraging creativity and artistic expression to broaden the lens through which the communities view mental health and addictions.

Congratulations once again to Dr. Karlinsky on this significant and well-deserved recognition!