Dent receives award for child mental health efforts

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Tom Dent/courtesy photo Rep. Tom Dent receives an award for his work on child mental health legislation.

MOSES LAKE — Rep. Tom Dent, R-Moses Lake, recently won an award for his longstanding effort to push child mental health legislation

Dent received the 2017 National Child Health Advocate of the Year Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Dent and fellow Washington lawmaker Rep. Tana Senn, D-Mercer Island, were the only two people to receive the award nationwide. The award highlights the accomplishments of public officials and private sector advocates who serve as voices for children in state and local governments.

“I am truly humbled to receive this award, knowing I was one of only two recipients. Children’s mental health issues are not a partisan issue. It doesn’t have anything to do with politics and everything to do with solutions,” Dent stated.

Dent and Senn were nominated for the award by the Washington Chapter of the AAP’s Legislative Committee co-chair, Lelach Rave, for their work and leadership on the Children’s Mental Health Work Group and their efforts with child mental health legislation.

“I have a child who battled mental health issues and we have had foster kids who have also struggled with mental health. It has helped me gain an understanding of the issues and how important it is we do a better job of addressing the mental health needs of our youth,” said Dent.

Richard Byrd can be reached via email at city@columbiabasinherald.com.

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