March 12, 2012

New Mexico State Senator Mary Kay Papen Recognized for Advocacy Work on Mental Health Issues

In recognition of her legislative accomplishments to support behavioral health access and awareness, New Mexico State Senator Mary Kay Papen received the 2012 State Legislator of the Year Award

WASHINGTON—New Mexico State Senator Mary Kay Papen received the 2012 State Legislator of the Year Award from the American Psychological Association Practice Organization (APAPO) in recognition of her legislative accomplishments to support behavioral health access and awareness, and promote greater public well-being. Senator Papen, a Democrat, was presented with the award at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. on March 11.

"Support for mental and behavioral health starts at the local and state level, and Senator Papen has been an ally of mental health consumers and practitioners. APA is proud to present this award to someone who has advocated for mental health,” said Katherine C. Nordal, PhD, executive director for professional practice at the American Psychological Association.

Papen has been a long-time proponent of mental and behavioral health legislation in New Mexico. She has introduced a number of bills supporting programs for behavioral and mental health services, including school based programs. Most recently, she proposed a bill to designate February 8, 2012 “Behavioral Health Day” in New Mexico, which was signed.

Papen represents District 38, Dona Ana County, in New Mexico. She has served in the New Mexico State Senate since 2001, and is chair of the Behavioral Health Subcommittee. 

“Senator Papen has been a champion for mental and behavioral health in New Mexico. Her sponsorship of bills that support mental health consumers and practitioners should be applauded,” said Amelia Myer, executive director of the New Mexico Psychological Association.

APAPO’s State Legislator of the Year Award has been presented annually since 2002 to a state legislator who has prominently championed the goals of professional psychology.

The New Mexico Psychological Association is the state affiliate of the American Psychological Association, the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. NMPA's membership includes clinicians, researchers, educators, consultants and students.

The American Psychological Association Practice Organization is an affiliate of the American Psychological Association, the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. APA's membership includes more than 154,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students.