Lawson received the award from Mental Health America of Indiana at the 14th annual Mental Health Symposium held in Indianapolis. Mental Health America of Indiana is a statewide organization, with more than 60 local chapters and branch offices, making it the largest mental health association in the country.
"I am humbled to receive this award," Lawson said. "I have tried to engage as a state senator to be an advocate for all Hoosiers and will continue to work toward improving access to mental health services in Indiana."
During the 2011 legislative session, lawmakers faced possibly scaling back access to mental health medications due to the tight state budget. Lawson worked with fellow legislators, mental health advocates and administration officials to examine what the long-term costs of cutting access to these medications would be and in the end, was able to preserve vital funding.
Mental Health America of Indiana is a broad-based group of citizens, consumers, individuals in recovery, families, and professionals created to work for the mental health of all citizens and victory over mental illness.
Each year, the group selects state legislators who promote mental health awareness, programs and policies.