Wayne W. Lindstrom,
Mental Health America: Richard Blumenthal, Chris Murphy are Legislators
of the Year
June 5, 2013
Mental Health America will honor Connecticut U.S. Senators Richard
Blumenthal and Chris Murphy with the organization's Legislator of the
Year Award on Thursday, June 6, during Capitol Hill Day of its 2013
Annual Conference, Why Wellness Works: Breakthroughs and Pathways to
Senators Blumenthal and Murphy are being presented the award for their
exceptional leadership in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook tragedy.
"Their awareness and sensitivity in sparking a national dialogue that
appropriately avoided conflating violence with mental illness is a
testament to their commitment to behavioral health issues," said Wayne
W. Lindstrom, Ph.D., president and CEO of Mental Health America.
"Mental Health America also applauds their support of a wide breadth of
initiatives that improve the lives of people with, or at risk of, mental
health and substance use conditions."
"People should expect and deserve the same access to quality mental
health services as other health services," Senator Blumenthal said. "As
Attorney General and now as United States Senator, I have fought for
those who desperately need diagnosis and treatment for mental illness.
Newtown is a tragic reminder of the critical and vital need for such
diagnosis and treatment and an important impetus for positive change."
Murphy said: "In the wake of the tragedy on December 14th, the debate
about how to recognize and treat mental illness has been put back in the
spotlight. We face major challenges in this country as we determine how
to get those affected by mental illness the help they need without
further stigmatizing this population. Reforming the mental health system
should be a top priority in Congress, and I'm encouraged by the strong
bipartisan vote in support of improvements to our mental health system.
I was pleased to work on that amendment with Chairman Harkin and plan to
do my best to make sure it gets past the finish line. Moving forward, we
need to ensure that those affected by mental illness get the services
they need and protections they deserve early, remembering that this
population is more often victimized by violence rather than perpetrators
of it. Thank you to Mental Health America for this honor."
Luis B. Perez, LCSW, president and CEO of the Mental Health Association
of Connecticut, will join Dr. Lindstrom in presenting the award to the
Senators. He commented: "Senators Blumenthal and Murphy have been
longtime advocates of services for people with behavioral health needs.
This recognition of their leadership is well deserved and I look forward
to working with them to achieve significant inroads in the future."