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Los Angeles, CA, United States, 2011/10/12 - President Pro Tem of the California Senate and author of the Mental Health Services Act, Darrell Steinberg, will receive the Advocates Award from Mental Health Advocacy Services on Thursday, October 13, in Los Angeles - MHAS-LA.org.
One of the state’s greatest champions for the mental health community, Senator Darrell Steinberg, President Pro Tem of the California Senate, will be honored tomorrow for his lifelong commitment to advocating for the rights of people with mental illness. Mental Health Advocacy Services (MHAS) will present the Senator with the Advocates Award at a reception and awards presentation ceremony at 6:30 pm. on Thursday, October 13, at the downtown offices of Munger, Tolles & Olson, LLP.
“At a time when mental health services are under a tremendous amount of budgetary pressure, we are proud to have such a strong champion in Senator Steinberg,” says Jim Preis, Executive Director of Mental Health Advocacy Services,“There is no better person to be honored with our Advocates Award for protecting and advancing the rights of people with mental disabilities.”
During his service in the Senate, and previously with the State Assembly, Steinberg has authored many groundbreaking pieces of legislation He passed the first significant expansion of community mental health programs in more than a decade, and, in 2004, the voters approved Steinberg’s Proposition 63, based on the pilot programs he championed in the Assembly. Proposition 63, now called the Mental Health Services Act, generates more than $1 billion per year in state and federal funds for community-based mental health systems of care throughout the state, and it has funded services for more than half a million Californians.
In addition to the Senator, MHAS will present its Advocates Award to Tom Sodergren, Director of Community Services at Casa Pacifica. With over 25 years of experience working with children and families in the mental health field, Sodergren is an expert in Therapeutic Behavioral Services (TBS). For the past three years, he has participated on the federal court’s Emily Q. v. Bonta Settlement Team representing the perspective of TBS providers. TBS allows thousands of children with severe mental disabilities to be treated in the community while remaining with their families, rather than in institutions.
Mental Health Advocacy Services provides free legal services to people with mental disabilities primarily in Los Angeles County. MHAS was established in 1977 as a joint project of the Los Angeles County and Beverly Hills Bar Associations. MHAS assists approximately 3,000 children and adults annually, with an emphasis on obtaining government benefits and services, protecting rights and fighting discrimination. MHAS also serves as a resource to the community by providing training and technical assistance to attorneys, mental health professionals, consumer and family member groups, and other advocates.
Previous recipients of MHAS’ Advocates Award include retired Superior Court Judge Terry Friedman, bestselling authors Terri Cheney and Elyn Saks, and Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez.
MHAS’s Annual Celebration (mhas-la.org) will be held Thursday, October 13, 2011, from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm, at the offices of Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP, 355 South Grand Avenue, 35th Floor. This is a private ticketed event. Other expected guests include Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, Los Angeles City Council President Pro Tem Jan Perry, Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health Marvin Southard, and Judge Terry Friedman (ret.).
Mental Health Advocacy Services, Inc.
3255 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 902, Los Angeles, CA 90010
P: 213-389-2077; F: 213-289-2595