On Tuesday, October 19, nearly 1,000 people from across the country united online to learn, network and raise their voice for life-saving legislation during Hill Day at Home 2021. As the National Council for Mental Wellbeing’s annual advocacy event, Hill Day offers health care professionals the chance to hear from policy experts, gain insight into Capitol Hill activities and make a mark through advocacy asks.
It’s also an opportunity for us to honor individuals and organizations that are advancing mental health and substance use care through advocacy. We recognize them through our Advocacy Leadership Awards program; specifically, in the categories of “Award for Individual Achievement in Advocacy,” “Award for Public Service in Advocacy” and “Award for Organizational Achievement in Advocacy.”
This year, with generous support from our sponsor, Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, and alongside hundreds of attendees, we celebrated the following 2021 Advocacy Leadership Award winners:
- Award for Individual Achievement in Advocacy – Kanzoni Asabigi, MD, PhD, MPH
As vice president of the Detroit Recovery Project, Dr. Asabigi has been instrumental in innovating public health and behavioral health response efforts throughout Michigan. He is currently championing initiatives to combat the opioid crisis through health system interventions, increasing access and referral to mental health and substance use treatment services, and supporting safe drug disposal efforts.
- Award for Public Service in Advocacy – California Assemblymember James C. Ramos
During his tenure in the California legislator, Assemblymember Ramos has become the champion of children’s mental health. He has successfully introduced legislation to expand school suicide prevention policies to cover K-6 students and combat student bullying. This year, he introduced a measure to streamline the process for creating children’s crisis residential programs and ensure those services are available to families.
- Award for Organizational Achievement in Advocacy – Larimer County, Colorado
Larimer County is paving the way for others by creating an integrated behavioral health system of care not found in other parts of the country. In 2018, the Larimer County Board of County Commissioners and its staff laid the foundation to improve mental health and substance use care for its residents by sponsoring an initiative to create a countywide recommendations report that showed the cost analysis and ROI that could be realized by creating a strong behavioral health continuum of care in the community.
On behalf of the National Council, thank you, Dr. Asabigi, Assemblymember Ramos and Larimer County for your advocacy and ongoing contributions to mental health and substance use treatment.
Didn’t get a chance to attend Hill Day at Home? Learn on-demand today and watch a video below highlighting our award winners’ impact in and beyond their communities.
Director of Content Marketing
National Council for Mental Wellbeing