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American Psychiatric Association Honors Sen. Chris Murphy with Jacob K. Javits Award for Public Service

  • October 16, 2023

Washington, D.C. — The American Psychiatric Association (APA) presented Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) with the Jacob K. Javits Award for Public Service during its Federal Advocacy Conference today. Sen. Murphy is recognized for his leadership and dedication in advancing mental health policy in Congress that has led to the passing of critical bipartisan legislation to help improve the lives of millions of Americans with mental illness and substance use disorders (SUD).

APA established the Jacob K. Javits Award in 1986 in honor of Senator Javits, who represented New York State in the U.S. Senate from 1957 to 1981 and was a staunch advocate for people with mental illness and substance use disorders. Each year, the APA’s Council on Advocacy and Government Relations grants the award to a state or federal public servant who has been a champion for the advancement of mental health.

Sen. Murphy is a legislative champion and steadfast mental health advocate who has worked tirelessly to provide resources and increased access to vital mental health and SUD services. He has advanced legislation focused on mental health parity enforcement, resources to address the substance use epidemic, and comprehensive programs in the 2016 Mental Health Reform Act. Sen. Murphy was also instrumental in the passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, a measure that invested significant resources into mental health and gun violence prevention.

“Since I first came to Congress, I’ve made it my mission to help more people access the mental health care they need. We’ve secured some incredible victories, including a $15 billion investment in mental health services as part of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. But there is still a lot of work to do to address the growing epidemic of loneliness that has deepened this country’s mental health and addiction crisis. This year, I introduced legislation to foster social connection and tackle the opioid epidemic, and I’ll continue to advocate for more investments in mental health. It’s an honor to receive the Jacob K. Javits Award for Public Service, and I’m grateful for the APA’s partnership in this work,” said Murphy.

“I applaud Senator Murphy for using his influence and platform to champion mental health, especially through the pandemic, when so many Americans faced mental health and substance use challenges,” said APA President Petros Levounis, M.D., M.A. “Senator Murphy’s efforts help ensure a brighter future where all Americans can access mental health care when they need it.”

American Psychiatric Association

The American Psychiatric Association, founded in 1844, is the oldest medical association in the country. The APA is also the largest psychiatric association in the world with more than 38,000 physician members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and research of mental illnesses. APA’s vision is to ensure access to quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. For more information, please visit

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