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National Council Advocacy Leadership Awards Recognize Strongest Advocates for Improved Mental Health and Addictions Care

Contact Susan Partain at or call 202.684.7457 x232

Washington, DC (September 16, 2013) — Four exceptional mental health and addiction treatment advocates will be recognized this evening at a special reception on Capitol Hill with a National Council for Mental Wellbeing Advocacy Leadership Award.

“We are pleased to honor these individuals and organizations for the tireless effort and remarkable impact they have made,” said Linda Rosenberg, president and CEO of the National Council for Mental Wellbeing. “We are proud to see the results of their efforts, knowing the importance it has to an untold number of real people in their communities.”

Selected from hundreds of nominees, the four honorees exemplify what it means to champion public policies that improve the lives of vulnerable Americans living with mental illnesses and addictions. Their dedication to improving mental health and addiction services in their community, and our nation, inspires other advocates and has prompted real change.

The 2013 Advocacy Leadership Awards are supported by Sunovion Pharmaceuticals and honor both individuals and organizations that have demonstrated exemplary efforts and results in advocating for behavioral health policies that increase access to mental health and substance use services. Award winners each receive a $5,000 grant for the non-profit organization of their choice.

This year’s honorees include:

  • Sue Abderholden, Executive Director, NAMI Minnesota, for Exceptional Individual Achievement in Advocacy
  • The Carter Center Mental Health Program for Outstanding Organizational Leadership in Advocacy
  • Darrell Steinberg, President pro Tempore, California Senate, for Visionary Leadership in Behavioral Health by an Elected Official
  • Ron Brand, former Executive Director, Minnesota Association of Community Mental Health Programs for Lifetime Achievement in Advocacy

Read about all of the 2013 Advocacy Leadership Award winners.

The National Council will honor the Advocacy Leadership award winners at a special reception on Capitol Hill during the National Council’s Hill Day ’13.
The National Council for Mental Wellbeing (National Council) is the unifying voice of America’s community mental health and addictions treatment organizations. Together with our 2,000 member organizations, we serve our nation’s most vulnerable citizens — the more than eight million adults and children living with mental illnesses and addiction disorders. We are committed to ensuring all Americans have access to comprehensive, high-quality care that affords every opportunity for recovery and full participation in community life. The National Council pioneered Mental Health First Aid in the U.S. and has trained nearly 100,000 individuals to connect youth and adults in need to mental health and addictions care in their communities. Visit  for more information.