Dr. Kita S. Curry Honored as “Pioneer Woman of the Year”

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Kim Kowsky
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Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services
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Didi Hirsch President/CEO Dr. Kita S. Curry Honored as “Pioneer Woman of the Year”

Work with Homeless Families Highlighted

CULVER CITY, Calif.  March 23, 2016— The Los Angeles Commission on the Status of Women, Mayor Eric Garcetti, and the Los Angeles City Council honoured Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services’ President/CEO Dr. Kita Curry as a 2016 “Pioneer Women of the Year” today as part of its celebration of Women’s History Month.  Councilmember Felipe Fuentes, representing Council District 7, selected her for this distinct honor, which recognizes remarkable leaders whose lifelong work has enriched the lives of women and girls. 

Councilmember Fuentes thanked Dr. Curry for being “a strong leader in our communities” and praised Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services’ care for homeless women and children at Via Avanta, its treatment center in Pacoima.  In this supportive communal living environment, women with histories of substance use, mental health disorders, and domestic violence rebuild their lives and strengthen bonds with their young children, who may live with them on site.  Few such centers exist in Los Angeles County.

 “I want girls everywhere to know they can achieve their dreams.  So many of us start out without advantages.  A girl who has lived in public housing, suffered from depression, and known homelessness, as I did, can go on to become a psychologist and CEO,” says Curry.    

Dr. Curry has been an advocate for the disadvantaged throughout her distinguished career.  She was one of the first volunteers on the scene at her local shelter after the 1994 Northridge earthquake.  At the helm of Didi Hirsch since 1999, she has overseen service expansion for low-income children and adults who experience serious mental illness and family challenges.  Dr. Curry is frequently sought out by the media for her expertise in suicide prevention and other mental health topics.  She serves on the board of the National Council for Behavioral Health and the Steering Committee for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.  She has been honored by the National Alliance on Mental Illness and the Los Angeles Child Guidance Clinic, among others. 

Following a breakfast award ceremony, Dr. Curry and the other 14 “Pioneer Women of the Year” proceeded to the Los Angeles City Council Chambers, where they were presented with scrolls by their nominating councilmembers.


About Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services
With more than 70 years of experience, Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services transforms lives by providing quality mental health and substance use treatment in communities where stigma or poverty limits access. From 11 locations throughout Los Angeles and Orange Counties and about 100 schools, Didi Hirsch helps more than 90,000 children, families and adults each year. 

The nation’s first, Didi Hirsch’s Suicide Prevention Center is a leader in training, research and services.  We help people contemplating suicide, concerned loved ones and those who have attempted or are grieving a loss.  Our multilingual crisis line answered more than 70,000 calls/chats/texts nationwide in 2015 and was one of the three recently selected for the national Disaster Distress Helpline.  Learn more at www.didihirsch.org or follow on Twitter and Facebook.