Health careHot SheetLegislature

Herod, Michaelson-Jenet get high-profile praise for mental health advocacy

Author: Joey Bunch - August 2, 2018 - Updated: August 2, 2018

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mental health
Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet, center, receives an award from the Colorado Psychological Association, presented by past president Rebecca Richey, at right, and board member Rebecca Jacobs. (Courtesy photo)

Colorado Reps. Leslie Herod, D-Denver, and Dafna Michaelson-Jenet, D-Commerce City, were honored Wednesday for their work on mental health issues.

They were lauded at Mental Health America’s Regional Policy Council breakfast in Los Angeles, coinciding with the National Conference of State Legislators’ Summit.

Herod, who is leading a sales tax ballot measure called Caring 4 Denver to fund mental health and addiction services in Denver, was named the Mental Health Legislative Champion by Mental Health America. Michaelson Jenet was recognized for her work on Colorado’s House Bill 1357 to create an ombudsman’s office to connect people to mental health resources.

Leslie Herod
Rep. Leslie Herod, D-Denver. (Photo courtesy of the Colorado General Assembly)

“I am proud to be named a champion for people in our communities who are living with mental illness and addiction challenges,” Herod said in a statement. “I look forward to continuing to address this issue by working to pass the Caring 4 Denver ballot measure in November.”

Mental Health Colorado president and CEO Andrew Romanoff, a former state House speaker, is supporting that measure, as well, and praised Herod’s work.

“State Rep. Leslie Herod is a champion for the mental health and substance use community in Colorado,” he stated. “She has played a big role in helping more Coloradans get the quality mental health care they deserve.”

Michaelson-Jenet recently received the first Friend of Psychology award from the Colorado Psychological Association.

She sponsored House Bill 1017, to make Colorado the fourth state to join the Psychologists Interstate Compact. The bill is said to make psychological services more accessible to rural areas across state lines via telephone, internet and others telecommunications.

“I am honored to be recognized by Colorado Psychological Association and Mental Health America – two vital organizations on the front lines of advancing mental health issues,” Michaelson-Jenet said Wednesday. “I will continue working at the legislature and in our community to help expand access to mental health treatment and to end the stigma that too often prevents our friends, family and colleagues from seeking the care they need.”

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch is the senior political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has a 31-year career in journalism, including the last 15 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and is a two-time Pulitzer finalist. His resume includes covering high school sports, the environment, the casino industry and civil rights in the South, as well as a short stint at CNN.