Columbus - 
State Senator Dave Burke (R-Marysville) received the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Ohio's 2012 Legislator of the Year Award. The award was presented today at NAMI Ohio's statewide conference entitled, "The Great Mental Health Debate" at the Hyatt Regency in Columbus. "This award is our way of publicly expressing our appreciation to Senator Burke for his efforts to ensure that people with serious mental illness who rely on Medicaid Managed Care have access to the mental health medications they need to get and stay well," said Terry Russell, Executive Director of NAMI Ohio. "NAMI Ohio is also very grateful to Senator Burke for his willingness to soon sponsor a bill that will provide clarity to Ohio's court ordered outpatient treatment law." Senator Burke was nominated by Josie Setzler, Executive Director of NAMI Seneca, Sandusky & Wyandot Counties. In her nomination letter, she said, "Senator Burke has been instrumental in securing critical legislation to help ensure that those with serious mental illness have access to life saving medications by eliminating some of the hoops that psychiatrists must jump through when writing prescriptions for individuals served by Medicaid Managed Care. Passage of the psychiatric exemption was a huge win for mental health consumers and would not have been possible without the leadership of the Senator." NAMI Ohio salutes Senator Burke for his support of recovery and improved health in our communities. NAMI Ohio serves as the voice on mental illness. The organization is comprised of thousands of individuals with mental illness, family members, advocates and professionals working together to ensure that Ohioans with mental illness and their loved ones receive the treatment and support they need. Serious mental illness includes such illnesses as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression.
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