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Senator Stabenow Receives Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Council for Mental Wellbeing for Her Leadership in Transforming Behavioral Health Services in our Country

Michigan Business Network
June 5, 2024 4:00 PM

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Stabenow Honored for Lifelong Effort to Create High-Quality Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Services in Communities Across the Country 

WASHINGTON, D.C.  Senator Debbie Stabenow received the Lifetime Achievement award from the National Council for Mental Wellbeing for her tireless work to expand access to mental health and substance use disorder care for millions across the country. Her focus has been on funding behavioral health care the same way we fund physical health care. 

Our behavioral health initiative is a proven success story and is transforming community services across our country. The National Council for Mental Wellbeing has played a huge role in the success of this initiative. Thanks to their partnership and dedication, more than 3 million people across the country are receiving the care they need right in their communities. It’s been an honor to work with them to make sure health care above the neck is treated the same as health care below the neck,” said Senator Debbie Stabenow. 

“Senator Stabenow has been with us since the very beginning of the effort to promote CCBHCs. Beginning with her introduction of the Excellence in Mental Health Act, Senator Stabenow has done everything humanly possible to ensure every community across the country can more easily access high-quality mental health and substance use care,” National Council President and CEO Chuck Ingoglia said. “We are honored to present her with our Lifetime Achievement Award.” 

Senator Stabenow is the leader in the United States Senate of the movement to increase access to mental health and substance use disorder services. She authored the mental health parity provisions in the Affordable Care Act, and her Excellence in Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Act created a new, transformational system that funds community behavioral health services the same way we fund physical health services. 

Senator Stabenow formed an effective partnership with Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) in this 10-year effort to finally fund health care above the neck the same as health care below the neck. They achieved their goal in the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which secured full funding for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs) and expanded the model nationwide. Since then, 20 states have joined this successful initiative with more to come. 

A video on Senator Stabenow’s work, narrated by Senator Roy Blunt, can be found here. 

This new approach is expanding services nationwide, including in Michigan, which now has 41 Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics with more on the way. CCBHCs provide 24-hour crisis services so people get the care they need instead of sitting in jail or in the emergency department of the hospital. This new movement is also reducing the stigma around mental illness and addiction and moving us closer to true parity between physical and mental health care. 

Senator Stabenow has been advocating for mental health since her time in the Michigan State Legislature, where she served as Chairwoman of the House Mental Health Committee. As a state legislator, she authored major legislation to strengthen Michigan’s Mental Health Code, including the Children’s Mental Health Act and the nationally recognized Family Support Subsidy Act. 

In honor of her work, Senator Stabenow has received the Outstanding Legislator Award and Champion for Mental Health Award from NAMI and the Allies for Action Award from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. She also has been named a Behavioral Health Champion by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing. 

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