CLICK HERE :View Indiana House Democrats' 2024 Economic Freedom Agenda.

Klinker wins award for lifetime mental health advocacy

News & Media, Media Releases, Member Featured

Last week, State Rep. Sheila Klinker (D-Lafayette) received an award from Mental Health America-Wabash Valley Region Inc. The award was presented by the President of the MHAWV, Brandi Christiansen, to Klinker for her lifelong advocacy for mental health support. 

Serving over 40 years as a legislator, Rep. Klinker has worked tirelessly to expand assistance for those who are mentally ill or developmentally disabled. The list of legislation she has proposed advocating for mental health is extensive. As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, Klinker has supported funding for services that support individuals with mental illness. Thanks to her support, services across that state have vastly improved. In 2018, she co-authored HB 1141, which specified that counties must provide funding to community mental health centers. This increased the uniformity of mental healthcare centers across Indiana, especially in more rural regions. Most recently, Klinker has called attention to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on mental health, especially on younger Americans. She believes there is still more to be done including increasing awareness among students, destigmatizing illness and expanding access to support. 

“I’m very humbled to have been selected for this award,” Klinker said. “Indiana, in fact the United States as a whole, has had a long, questionable history with the awareness of mental illness. For too long, we stigmatized mental health and even refused to acknowledge that mental illness existed. Many Americans suffer from mental illness. By raising awareness and erasing the stigma, we can get individuals who are struggling the support they need. Mental Health America- Wabash Valley Region and Brandi Christiansen have been committed to fulfilling that vision in Lafayette. I’m honored to have been presented this award, and I will continue to advocate for mental health in the upcoming 2024 legislative session.” 

Share Article