National Alliance on Mental Illness honors California state senator

California state Sen. Anthony Portantino received the 2022 Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Award from the Urban Los Angeles National Alliance on Mental Illness in recognition of his influence on mental health policy in the state.

Mr. Portantino was chosen for his dedication to change public policy to improve mental health outcomes of his constituents. 

"We were impressed by Sen. Anthony Portantino's record of prolific legislation, namely his initiation of SB 224 in January 2021, and signed into law in October 2021. This legislation is crucial in having matters of mental health be a part of the curriculum of instruction for students in California. Thus, we honored Sen. Portantino for 'leading through innovative legislation'," Ann Shough, secretary of the National Alliance on Mental Illness–Urban Los Angeles' board of directors, said in a July 27 news release from the California Senate.

Mr. Portantino's introduced SB 224, which made mental health education a requirement in school curriculums.It also requiresCalifornia's education department to improve mental health education in public schools on or before January 1, 2024. 

He also authored SB 14,  which would require California schools to incorporate training programs to support youth mental health and allow absences from school for mental health issues to be excused. 

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