Senator Stabenow Announces Bob Sheehan, Community Mental Health Association Chief Executive Officer, as her State of the Union Guest

Sheehan Advocated for Mental Health and Addiction Transformation in the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, Sheehan Will Travel to D.C. to Attend State of the Union

Tuesday, February 07, 2023

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) today announced that her guest for the 2023 State of the Union address will be Bob Sheehan, the CEO of Community Mental Health Association of Michigan. Sheehan leads important work educating and advocating for mental health, addiction, and disability support services for people in Michigan.


Last year, Senator Stabenow led the passage of the transformational initiative to fully-fund high quality mental health and addiction services through Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics. Due to the passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, every state and the District of Columbia can expand transformational behavioral health support to their residents. Michigan began participating in Stabenow’s behavioral health initiative in 2021.


“Bob has been instrumental in getting Michigan residents the care they need for many years. Thanks to his support and the work of providers and advocates across Michigan, our mental health care and addiction initiative is a proven success story and is transforming mental health and addiction treatment across our country. Now, every state will be able to join and make sure health care above the neck is funded the same way as health care below the neck. Because of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, help through our highly successful clinics will begin to reach people in every corner of our country,” said Senator Stabenow.


“I am honored to be Senator Stabenow’s guest at the 2023 State of the Union. The honor centers around my admiration of and appreciation for Senator Stabenow in light of her given her decades long commitment to the mental health of Americans,” said Bob Sheehan, CEO of the Community Mental Health Association of Michigan. “Her tireless support for a strong, accessible, and innovative mental health system – in her current role as Michigan’s senior United States Senator, as a Congresswoman, State Senator, State Representative, and when I first met her, as a county commissioner – is unmatched. Senator Stabenow has had the vision, courage, political acumen to achieve what many thought impossible. Her work authoring and leading the passage of the Excellence in Mental Health Act fulfilled the dream of President Kennedy when he signed the Community Mental Health Act in 1963.” 


Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics are required to provide a comprehensive set of services including 24/7/365 crisis services; outpatient mental health and substance abuse treatment services; immediate screenings, risk assessments, and diagnoses; and care coordination including partnerships with emergency rooms, law enforcement, and veterans’groups.


Data from intake to most recent reassessment for individuals served in the program demonstrate that as of March 2022, clients have a:

•         72% reduction in hospitalization

•         69% reduction in Emergency Department visits


Also, 84% of these clinics either already provide direct services on site at elementary, middle, and high schools or plan to in the future.