Senator Stabenow Highlights Expansion of Comprehensive Community Mental Health and Addiction Services for Jackson and Hillsdale County Residents

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

JACKSON, MICH. – Today, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow was in Jackson to highlight her efforts to transform the way we deliver comprehensive behavioral health services in our country and what this transformation means for residents in Jackson and Hillsdale counties. Stabenow toured LifeWays Community Mental Health and met with their service providers and consumers. A photo of her visit can be found here.


Since 2018, Stabenow’s efforts have resulted in $112 million in federal funding for 24 Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics in Michigan, including $3.9 million in new federal funding for LifeWays to expand local services.


“For too long, our country has funded health care above the neck differently than health care below the neck. The COVID-19 crisis has shown a spotlight on the urgent need for high quality, comprehensive community mental health and addiction services. We are transforming the way we deliver these services in Michigan and across the country by funding behavioral health services the same way we fund physical health services. LifeWays is an important part of this transformation,” said Senator Stabenow. 


“LifeWays is honored to have been selected as a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic grantee.  Ever since Senator Stabenow passed the Excellence in Mental Health Act in 2014, LifeWays has strategically been aligning itself to meet the criteria for becoming a center of excellence. LifeWays is grateful for Senator Stabenow as a tireless advocate and her commitment to see additional funding was awarded. She has been a lifelong advocate for those often marginalized and forgotten. This grant award will allow communities like LifeWays to see improved access to care for ALL, regardless of where they are from or what type of insurance that they have,” said Maribeth Leonard, Chief Executive Officer of LifeWays.


“I believe CCBHC’s will usher in a new era of healthcare that considers the mind as well as the body. It will revolutionize how we look at healthcare in communities particularly in how we respond to people in crisis,” said Edward Woods, LifeWays Board Member.


“The Jackson Police Department is excited about continuing the collaboration with LifeWay’s to enhance our response to providing mental health services to all those in our of community,” said Elmer J. Hitt, Jackson Police Department Director.


“We’re delighted that LifeWays will be able to expand the services available to our community. Providing additional services and choices for populations who traditionally haven’t had many choices is a huge success for all of us. We appreciate Senator Stabenow’s continued efforts to sustainably improve how health care services are provided in communities across the nation,” said Molly Kaser, CEO of Center for Family Health.


In 2014, Senator Stabenow authored and passed her bipartisan Excellence in Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Act with Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO). It was the biggest step forward in expanding community mental health and addiction services in decades. Her legislation created high quality standards for services and a nationwide demonstration program that is setting the standard for care and permanently closing the gap in funding between physical and behavioral health care in communities around the country. With Senator Stabenow’s leadership and support, Michigan was selected for this demonstration program in 2020.