(NASHVILLE, TN), September 23, 2011 – State Senator Rusty Crowe (R- Johnson City) has been named 2011 “Legislator of the Year” in Tennessee for his efforts on behalf of citizens with mental illness. The award “in recognition of his dedication to the health and mental health of the people of Tennessee” was announced today by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), a nationwide advocacy group.
“I am very honored to receive this award,” said Senator Crowe, who is Chairman of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee. “I appreciate this recognition and am glad to partner with NAMI to help improve healthcare services for those who suffer from mental illness in Tennessee.”
Tennessee’s Deputy Director of NAMI, Roger Stewart, praised Crowe for sponsoring legislation that calls for training police officers to respond to calls involving a person with a mental illness. The new law, which took effect in April, requires annual training for police also include the proper procedures for responding to mentally ill persons.
NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots organization for people with mental illness and their families. Founded in 1979, NAMI has affiliates in every state and in more than 1,100 local communities across the country. The organization is dedicated to the eradication of mental illnesses and to the improvement of the quality of life for persons of all ages who are affected by mental illnesses.