ASH psychologist honored with national award

Bill Safarjan, a longtime staff psychologist at Atascadero State Hospital, has received the 2007 Outstanding Psychologist Award for his work to expand services available to people with serious mental illness.

Members of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, a prominent advocacy group, said that Safarjan has helped reduce high failure rates by implementing skill building programs that better help those with psychological disorders cope with life pressures and achieve greater independence.

Safarjan, who is also a fellow of the American Psychological Association and has served as president of the Atascadero Rotary Club, has also acted as a consistent advocate for greater salaries for employees at ASH and other facilities for the criminally insane.

Safarjan holds an undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley and a doctorate from Rutgers University in New Jersey. He has worked at ASH for 22 years.

-- Stephen Curran