The Massachusetts Association for Mental Health (MAMH) honored Sen. Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington) with its Spirit of Compassion Award at its 107th annual and first virtual awards event.
This event salutes individuals whose work contributes to progress in awareness, health promotion, prevention and effective treatment for children and adults affected by mental-health challenges throughout Massachusetts.
“As a parent of someone with a severe mental illness, I know firsthand how difficult it can be to navigate the mental-health-care system in Massachusetts,” Friedman said in a news release. “I’m honored to be recognized for my commitment to this issue, and I am grateful to MAMH’s continued collaboration and tireless advocacy on behalf of some of the most vulnerable people in our state.”
A longtime champion for improving the state’s mental-health care, Friedman continues to advocate for bills in the Senate that seek to increase access to mental-health care and divert individuals with mental illness and substance-use disorder away from the criminal-justice system.
In her award acceptance speech in September, Friedman said it’s simply “untenable” that there are people who are incarcerated simply because they have a mental illness.
Most recently, Friedman and Sen. Julian Cyr co-led an effort to craft the Senate’s Mental Health Addressing Barriers to Care Act – a comprehensive treatment bill that increases access to care by removing barriers to care, providing the state with more effective tools to enforce existing mental health parity laws, and investing in the mental and behavioral health workforce pipeline.
“We’ve made progress in the Senate this session to advance mental health access with the passage of the Mental Health ABC Act – I hope we can get that bill through the House and onto the Governor’s desk,” said Friedman. “I won’t stop fighting until mental illness is just as important as diabetes, heart disease, and other physical health conditions.”
Friedman represents the 4th Middlesex district, which includes Arlington, Billerica, Burlington, Woburn and precincts 1-2 and 4-7 in Lexington.
Oct. 9, 2020: Friedman invited to join state’s Covid-19 vaccine group
This news announcement was published Monday, Nov. 2, 2020.
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