Dafna Michaelson Jenet

State Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet speaks before a hearing on Feb. 6, 2020, with, at her right, Sen. Rhonda Fields and Rep. Emily Sirota on two bills aimed at improving mental health for K-12 students on campus.

State Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet is a Community Behavioral Health Champion, as she was lauded last weekend by the Colorado Behavioral Healthcare Council and the Aurora Mental Health Center.

Though Michaelson Jenet carries more than her share of behavioral health legislation, the award is about more than that, according to the organizations that present the awards annually.

It's also about engaging colleagues around the issues and working across party lines to "strengthen Colorado’s well-established, community-based behavioral health system," they said, calling Michaelson Jenet "a relentless advocate when it comes to addressing mental health and substance use disorder services and training in the state of Colorado."

“Behavioral health has been one of my top priorities since I decided to run for office, and receiving this award is honoring and humbling,” the Democrat from Commerce City said in a statement. “Now more than ever, we need to consider the behavioral health impacts of all of our policy decisions, and we need to take behavioral health concerns as seriously as we take physical health. Although this year posed a series of unique challenges, I’m proud of the work we did in the legislature for the people of Colorado.

"From channeling federal funds towards mental and substance use treatments, to working to reduce stigma by ensuring Colorado’s kids can take mental health days, I’m humbled to have played a part in working to improve the behavioral health of all Coloradans. I look forward to continuing to work with organizations like CBHC and the Aurora Mental Health Center to build on this progress.”

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