OLYMPIA – State Representative Tana Senn, D-Mercer Island, was recently named a 2019 Behavioral Health Champion by the Washington branch of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI WA) for improving the mental health of youth and adults across Washington.
“Rep. Senn displayed pivotal leadership in reforming our state’s behavioral health system this year,” NAMI WA Director of Public Policy & Advocacy Brad Forbes said. “Her particular focus on improving behavioral health access for children and adolescents will provide care to families in our state who need it most.”
This year alone Rep. Senn helped to secure funding for a mental health childcare consultation program, HERO House in Bellevue, and a UW Bothell program for mental health training for educators. Moreover, Rep. Senn championed legislation to ensure that teachers receive at least one day of mental health professional development bi-annually and caseworkers receive the necessary training to provide trauma-informed care.
“Our communities face incredible mental health challenges,” said Senn. “We can help overcome these challenges when we focus on early interventions for our children in numerous settings and create upstream solutions to avoid crises.”
“It is an honor to join the hardworking advocates of NAMI WA and every mental health service provider in our great state in increasing mental health support for young people and adults.”
Rep. Senn currently chairs the Human Services and Early Learning Committee and sits on the Local Government Committee and the Appropriations Committee. She also serves as Co-Chair of the Oversight Board for the newly created Department of Children, Youth and Family Services.