U.S. Rep. Ron Barber will be honored for his work furthering understand of mental illness and mental health resources.

Si Schorr, who created the award with his wife Ellie in the 1990s, said he wanted to recognize people whose work reduced the stigma of mental illness.

Barber meets that description, Schorr said, because of his response to the Jan. 8, 2011 shooting that killed six people and injured 13 others, including Barber.

"He's always been an advocate for the mentally ill," Schorr said. Barber further showed his commitment in his response to the tragedy and what he said to Jared Lee Loughner the day Loughner was sentenced, Schorr said.

Barber's statement in court was a request to the community to renew its efforts at addressing and treating mental illness, Schorr said, and that reaction surprised Schorr.

The Community Partnership of Southern Arizona will present the award with the Schorr family at 3 p.m. Thursday at the Berger Performing Arts Center at the Arizona Schools for the Deaf and the Blind.

The Community Partnership works is the local conduit for federal funding for mental and behavioral health services.

Public understanding of mental health can help reduce stigma, which can prevent fear of people with mental illness, said Neal Cash, president and CEO of the partnership.