P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 17, 2016
AUSTIN - Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, was named the 2016 recipient of the Mary Elizabeth Holdsworth Butt Award for Mental Health by Mental Health America of Texas during the organization's 53rd Annual Honoring Dinner last night.
"I am proud of our efforts to help Texans struggling with mental illness and substance abuse. Left untreated, mental health problems impact our jails, burden our emergency rooms or result in tragedy," Senator Nelson said. "It is a great honor to be recognized by such a stalwart advocacy group. We have more work to do in this area, and together we will continue working on solutions to help those who are battling with these disorders."
Mental Health America of Texas selected Senator Nelson for her accomplishments on mental health, including her effort to increase funding for mental health by more than $500 million over the last two sessions as chair of the Article II Workgroup in 2013 and the Senate Finance Committee in 2015. In 2013, Senator Nelson created a peer counseling program for veterans and authored SB 58 which integrated behavioral health with physical health for Medicaid patients. This past session she worked to create the Texas Veterans Initiative - a $20 million grant program to support veterans and their families struggling with PTSD and other issues. The program requires a 50% match from the private sector, leveraging $40 million to help veterans across Texas.
"Mental Health America of Texas is honored to recognize Senator Nelson for her commitment to Texas and to mental health as part of the overall health for every individual in our state,” said MHA Texas President & CEO Lynn Lasky Clark. “She has a long history of bringing about positive change for Texans including increasing funding for much needed mental health treatment and services.”
For more information on Mental Health America of Texas visit www.mhatexas.org