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Michael Petruzzelli

, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Companion Excellence Act Expansion Bill Introduced in the House

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On Friday, Representatives Leonard Lance (R-NJ) and Doris Matsui (D-CA) introduced a companion bill to Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Debbie Stabenow’s (D-MI) Expand Excellence in Mental Health Act (S.2525/H.R.4567). The bill would expand the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic demonstration program to include all 24 planning grant states. The National Council applauds the leadership and continued dedication of Representatives Lance and Matsui, as well as Senators Blunt and Stabenow, for their commitment to bettering the lives of those living with mental illness and addictions.

“This measure is directly tackling one of the most significant mental health challenges – access.  The Expand Excellence in Mental Health Act will enable more states to experiment with the tools and practices to fix our Nation’s broken mental health care system.  By expanding the law to include more states, we encourage greater collaboration and testing in finding out what solutions work, how best we care for those who need treatment and what we can do to keep people safe,” said Congressman Lance, a member of the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee. “The Excellence in Mental Health Act is the most significant work Congress has done on mental health care.  We should expand it and keep the momentum going.”

“Expanding the Excellence in Mental Health demonstration project would be an important milestone in our efforts to tackle comprehensive mental health care reform,” said Congresswoman Matsui. “The Expand Excellence in Mental Health Act will give more states the opportunity to benefit from high quality, evidenced-based, and community-driven mental health care that patients and families so desperately need.  We must bring mental health up to a level playing field with the rest of our nation’s health care system, and incentivizing states to improve the delivery of mental health care at the local level through this demonstration project will help us achieve this goal.”

The National Council has advocated for an expansion of the Excellence Act since its inception in 2014 and is thrilled to see this legislation introduced. To learn more about the Excellence in Mental Health Act check out our website here and for information on the impact of Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHC) check out our “CCBHC Hub” here.