Sen. Bob Hertzberg receives first-ever award from state mental health group

Honor recognizes efforts to reduce disparities in mental health care

July 2, 2015

SACRAMENTO – In recognition of his efforts to champion greater access to mental health care, Sen. Bob Hertzberg received a first-ever leadership award from a statewide advocacy group.

“By honoring the legacy of Bebe Moore Campbell (for whom the award is named) and recognizing (Hertzberg)… for reducing mental health care disparities, NAMI California recommits our organization to ensuring that mental health care is accessible to all and the stigma surrounding mental illness is eliminated,” said Jessica Cruz, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Campbell, an author who founded NAMI Urban Los Angeles, dedicated her life to fighting for improved mental health care. Author of three New York Times bestsellers, Campbell's interest in mental health was the catalyst for her first children's book, Sometimes My Mommy Gets Angry, which was published in September 2003. She died of brain cancer in 2006.

Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys, successfully pushed for $3 million in additional funding in the recently adopted state budget to help prevent mentally ill inmates from returning to prison through the state’s Mentally Ill Offender Crime Reduction Grant program. 

“This money will go toward paying for programs to help jailed persons living with mental illness,” Hertzberg said. “It can be used to provide treatment and training for people suffering from mental illness.”  

NAMI presented the award to Hertzberg and three other lawmakers on Wednesday, the first day of National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, which has been recognized by both the U.S. Congress and the California State Legislature. The others were Sen. Holly Mitchell and Asms. Rocky Chavez and Rob Bonta.

PHOTO CAPTION: Jessica Cruz, executive director of NAMI California, joins Sen. Hertzberg in presenting his award. (Photo by Phillip Bibby). 

For more, including a picture of Hertzberg receiving the award, visit his Web site at the address below.

Bob Hertzberg, chair of the Senate Committee on Governance and Finance, represents nearly 1 million San Fernando Valley residents of Senate District 18, which includes part of Burbank and the following communities in Los Angeles: Arleta, Granada Hills, Hansen Dam, Lake View Terrace, Mission Hills, North Hills, North Hollywood, part of Northridge, Pacoima, Panorama City, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, part of Sun Valley, Sylmar, Toluca Lake, Valley Glen, Valley Village, Van Nuys, the City of San Fernando and Universal City. See a district map HERE or at  After serving in the Assembly from 1996-2002, including two years as Speaker, Hertzberg invested in solar, wind and electric-car projects; and worked for structural changes in government through the Think Long Committee of California. More HERE or at


Communications Director
Sen. Bob Hertzberg, Senate District 18
Capitol Building, Room 4038
Sacramento, Calif. 95814
(916) 651-4018 office; 916 834-1128 cell; or




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