Somers to Receive National Leadership Award for Mental Health Policy Advocacy

July 17, 2023

For Immediate Release

Somers to Receive National Leadership Award
for Mental Health Policy Advocacy

Mental Health America (MHA) has named Sen. Heather Somers as a “2023 Mental Health Legislative Champion” in recognition of Somers’ support and advocacy for mental health policies.

MHA is the nation’s leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and promoting the overall mental health of all people. Somers will receive the leadership award in-person on Aug. 15 at MHA’s Regional Policy Council Legislative Awards Lunch in Indianapolis. The meeting will coincide with the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Legislative Summit Indy 2023.

MHA said it nominated Somers for her “outstanding work on mental health, actively engaging with mental health organizations, professionals, and community members to understand their needs and concerns,” as well her advocacy “for improved access to care.”

“I am grateful for this recognition from MHA,” Somers said.  “We have a mental health crisis in Connecticut. We must continue working on a bipartisan basis to remove the stigma of mental illness.  We must continue to promote mental health as a critical part of overall wellness.  That includes prevention services for all, early identification and intervention for those at risk, integrated care, services, and support for those who need it, with recovery as the goal. We are making positive strides here in Connecticut in passing policies to help people living with mental health and substance use conditions, but there is much more work to do.”

A Chief Deputy Senate Republican Leader, Somers serves as Ranking Senator on the Connecticut General Assembly’s Public Health Committee.  Somers helped expose a pattern of abuse at the state-run Whiting Forensic mental health facility which led to systemic reforms. She represents Griswold, Groton, North Stonington, Plainfield, Preston, Sterling, Stonington and Voluntown.