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Upton Honored for Championing Mental Health Legislation and Issues

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, on Monday was awarded the Outstanding Legislative Leader Award from the National Association of County Behavioral Health and Development Disability Directors and the National Association for Rural Mental Health. The prestigious award is given to honor federal legislators who demonstrate outstanding courage and leadership in advancing legislation that promotes the well-being of those with mental health, substance use, and intellectual development/developmental disability conditions.

“For too long, issues related to mental health have been relegated to the shadows – but no more,” said Upton. “These are concerns that impact every community, and so many families, in one way or another. I was proud to work on a bipartisan bill that would seriously address many of these issues and we worked hard to get it through the House. Our efforts will continue. I know that by working together, we can make a real difference for families here in Southwest Michigan.”

“Fred Upton’s hard work payed off when the bill he championed that helps remove the stigma associated with mental illness passed the House and I’m so proud that he’s my representative.” said Elizabeth O’Dell, chief executive officer of Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services of St. Joseph County.

“Chairman Upton has shown outstanding bipartisan leadership throughout the 114th Congress in successfully shepherding the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act though the Energy and Commerce Committee and through the House,” noted Ron Manderscheid, executive director of the NACBHDD. “Through careful and determined leadership, in collaboration with Rep. Frank Pallone, D-NJ, the Ranking Member of the Committee, Chairman Upton was able to modify a very controversial bill into one that ultimately was able to pass the House on a 422 to 2 vote. This is a very exceptional accomplishment. We are delighted to recognize the Chairman for this very important work.” 

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