NASHVILLE, Tenn.), July 26, 2013 — State Senator Doug Overbey (R-Maryville) has received the Tennessee Mental Health Consumers’ Association “Legislator of the Year Award” in recognition of his outstanding support in helping those suffering from mental illness. The recognition was given at a recent statewide meeting at Monteagle, Tennessee as the group celebrated their 25th anniversary.
“Senator Overbey sponsored legislation that allows people with mental illness that have emergent needs to be transported with dignity to inpatient services,” said Anthony Fox, Executive Director of the Tennessee Mental Health Consumers Association (TMHCA). “Without his support this legislation could not have been possible. The legislation not only helps people with mental illness. Instead of using a Police Officer or Sheriff Deputy for transport, this legislation allows a family member or friend to provide the transportation, lessening the strain on Law Enforcement who already has limited resources. This bill was a monumental step in our movement to de-stimatize mental illness.”
“I am honored to receive this award,” said Senator Overbey. “It is very important that patients have access to treatment and the kind of supports needed to improve our mental health system. It is also important that we treat these individuals with the dignity and respect that they deserve.”
The Tennessee Mental Health Consumers’ Association is Tennessee’s only statewide consumer owned and operated organization with a board of directors and staff composed entirely of individuals with a mental illness. It is an organization that understands and lives the concept of peer-support.