Mental Health America to Honor Senator Al Franken with
Legislator of the Year Award
Will Be Presented at Opening Night Reception of
Annual Conference on June 9 in Washington, DC
Contact: Steve Vetzner, (703) 797-2588 or email@example.com
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (June 7 , 2011)-Mental Health America this week will honor Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) with its Legislator of the Year Award for his leadership on mental health issues in Congress.
The award will be presented on Thursday, June 9, at 6:30 p.m., at the Opening Night Reception of Mental Health America's 2011 Annual Conference at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
"Senator Franken in his short tenure in Congress has emerged as a mental health champion in Congress, cementing his state's deep commitment to these issues," said David Shern, Ph.D., president and CEO of Mental Health America. "We applaud his leadership and commitment to serving the needs of his constituents and millions of Americans living with mental health conditions."
As a member of the Judiciary and the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committees, Sen. Franken has played a critical role in shaping mental health policy.
In particular, he has led numerous efforts to have the Senate go on record in recommending to the Administration that they issue regulations to the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act that reflect the intent of Congress.
"I'm proud to follow in the footsteps of a giant, my friend and predecessor Paul Wellstone, on behalf of Americans who suffer from mental health issues and addiction," said Sen. Franken. "These problems are close to my heart and, while we've made a lot of progress on them in recent years, it's important that we continue our efforts and fully implement the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act."Sen. Franken also won passage of legislation that creates a pilot program to pair service dogs to veterans coping with the physical and psychological tolls of war. Service dogs help reduce depression, and help ward off panic attacks. He has also worked to address the problem of bullying in schools, introducing the Student Non-Discrimination Act, which would provide lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender youth with the same kind of rights that are extended to students based on race, religion, country of national origin, and language.
Mental Health America (www.mentalhealthamerica.net) is the nation's largest and oldest community-based network dedicated to helping all Americans achieve wellness by living mentally healthier lives. With our more than 300 affiliates across the country, we touch the lives of millions-Advocating for changes in mental health and wellness policy; Educating the public & providing critical information; and delivering urgently needed mental health and wellness Programs and Services.