Senator Stabenow Secures Michigan’s Selection for Nationwide Behavioral Health Initiative

Stabenow Created the National Demonstration Program to Ensure Community Behavioral Health Clinics Receive the Same Kind of Permanent and Equal Funding as Community Health Clinics

Monday, August 10, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow today announced she has secured the State of Michigan’s selection for a nationwide demonstration program that is transforming the way mental health services and addiction treatment are delivered across the country. Senators Stabenow and Roy Blunt (R-MO) established this initiative in their bipartisan Excellence in Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Act. Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics in Michigan, which provide quality, comprehensive services, will now be reimbursed through Medicaid for the full cost of providing services—the same way we fund community health centers for physical health services. This will close the gap in funding between physical and behavioral health care in communities across our state.


Stabenow has previously secured over $88 million in grant funding to establish and support 18 certified clinics across Michigan. These clinics are required to provide a comprehensive set of high-quality services including 24/7/365 crisis services; outpatient mental health and substance abuse treatment services; immediate screenings, risk assessments, and diagnoses; and care coordination with emergency rooms, law enforcement, and veteran groups. Michigan’s participation in the demonstration program is a critical next step that will ensure community behavioral health clinics receive permanent and full funding.


“No person struggling with mental illness or addiction should go without the treatment they need because grant funding runs out in their community,” said Senator Stabenow. “For years, I have been committed to funding behavioral health services the same way we fund physical health services. Now we finally have a way to make that a reality. This is a major step forward that comes at such an important time with so many Michigan families in urgent need of help during this pandemic.”


“The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is committed to the mental and physical health of all Michiganders – now both more urgent than ever due to the pandemic. The breakthrough approach announced today will help us achieve critical goals of expanding access, lifting quality, and integrating mental and physical health care,” said Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon.


“I am proud to support the expansion of Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics in the state of Michigan, and throughout the country, as it is imperative to invest in mental health services now more than ever. Our nation is experiencing extremely difficult times and these comprehensive services will continue to address barriers in our healthcare system. I look forward to a continued partnership with Senator Stabenow to ensure Michiganders continue to receive adequate mental and behavioral health care,” said Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence.


“The recent announcement of Michigan as a participating state in the federal Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) Demonstration initiative is welcome news and is a testimony to the commitment, vision, and grit of the senior senator from Michigan, Senator Debbie Stabenow, the co-sponsor of the bill upon which the CCBHC initiative is founded,” said CEO of the Community Mental Health Association of Michigan Robert Sheehan. “While the federal grant funding provided to Michigan’s nine current CCBHC sites has powerfully and dramatically improved access to mental health care in those communities – with nine more sites coming on board later this year – the designation of Michigan as a CCBHC Demonstration State now moves this comprehensive community-based approach to mental health services and supports from one temporarily funded with federal grants to one with permanent funding built on a federal-state partnership. This signals a new day for Michigan’s public mental health system and the hundreds of thousands of Michiganders who are served by that system every year.”


“Investing in mental health services in Kalamazoo has changed our community for the better. Integrated Services of Kalamazoo formerly, Kalamazoo Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services provides services for adults and families with mental illness, substance abuse issues and intellectual and developmental disabilities. Senator Stabenow’s work to improve the way we fund centers like the one in Kalamazoo will provide people across Michigan the resources they need,” said Kalamazoo County Sheriff Richard Fuller.


“This announcement will allow HealthWest to continue helping people in our community that otherwise may not have been eligible for our services,” said HealthWest Executive Director Julia Rupp. “We are excited about the opportunities this program will provide us in reaching our goal of a healthier Muskegon County.”


Mental illness and substance use affect about one in five people in our country. Only 12% of Americans struggling with addiction receive treatment in any given year, and only 43% of people with mental illness receive the care they need. Suicide is now the second-leading cause of death for ages 10-34, and drug overdoses are the leading cause of death for Americans under 50.