Oct 18, 2021

This past Wednesday, October 13th, MAMH honored leaders in Massachusetts who collectively guided us through the first 18 months of the coronavirus pandemic at the 108th Friend & Leader Awards this October.

At our Annual Friend and Leader Award Dinner on October 13th, MAMH celebrated the policymakers, vaccine manufacturers, and other mental health stakeholders who collectively guided us through the coronavirus pandemic and prioritized the growing demands for behavioral health services.

The awards were filled with moving remarks from some of the most prominent champions for mental health and well being. Governor Charlie Baker emphasized that the major barrier to tackle to improve access to mental health services is to ensure true parity in insurance reimbursement, including government payers like Medicare.

Executive Office of Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders, shared her optimism with the changing discourse about how mental health is viewed, "for the first time, when I hear people talk about mental health it's not about the stigma," she said. "Instead, it's about the fact that the pandemic has exposed mental health for what it is, a conversation that we all need to have."

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Emmy award-winning journalist and Boston NBC 10's JC Monahan closed the night with a powerful and moving testimony of her personal struggles with mental health. She stressed the need to normalize conversations, treatment, and education around mental health conditions. Monahan broker her silence earlier this year when she released an article in Boston Magazine.

“I learned the only way I was really going to get help was to talk about it. If I can’t talk about it, how can I expect the culture around mental health to change?" she said. "We need to be the leaders in changing a culture of silence and shame that benefits no one."

Thanks to our honorees, sponsors, and all our supporters who helped make our 2021 Friend & Leader Awards Dinner a huge success! Your support is everything. We are stronger when we stand together to promote the mental health and well being of residents of the Commonwealth.

If you weren't able to join us, you can watch our virtual program below!

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