The Evanston/North Shore Branch of the NAACP honored Larry and Marilyn Cohen with its Community Service Award on November 21, 2015. Announced at the NAACP’s annual Freedom Fund Banquet, the Community Service Award was given to the Cohens in recognition of their work on behalf of the community through the organization they founded, the Naomi Ruth Cohen Institute for Mental Health Education(NRCI). NRCI’s goal is to overcome the stigma of mental illness, and in selecting the Cohens for the recognition, the NAACP noted their “commitment to mental health and the removal of stigmas, especially in underserved communities.” The Naomi Ruth Cohen Institute for Mental Health Education is a program at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.
The Cohens were chosen based on merit in a process that includes committee nomination and selection. The event was held at the Evanston Golf Club.
The Naomi Ruth Cohen Institute was established by Larry and Marilyn Cohen in memory of their daughter Naomi.  NRCI’s goals include decreasing the stigma of mental illness by providing the public with a foundation for understanding mental health issues, recognizing signs and symptoms and knowing where to seek help.  Through partnerships with schools, community-based organizations, and religious congregations, NRCI raises awareness about the impact and consequences of mental health diagnoses on individual and community scales.