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The National Council for Mental Wellbeing has recognized Larimer County for its extraordinary advocacy work during Hill Day at Home, the organization’s annual advocacy event to promote bipartisan solutions for mental health and substance providers and patients.
The National Council for Mental Wellbeing’s 2021 Advocacy Leadership Awards recognize individuals and organizations that have led legislative or regulatory advocacy and public policy efforts to expand access to services and supports for people with mental health and/or substance use challenges.
“Faced with a pandemic, workforce challenges and rising demand for mental health and substance use treatment services, this year’s advocacy award winners have risen to the challenge and gone above and beyond to improve the mental wellbeing of their communities,” said National Council for Mental Wellbeing President and CEO Chuck Ingoglia. “Under their proactive leadership, innovative new programs and partnerships were created, and new funding was secured to get people the care they need. Their work – and their relentless drive to realize their visions – will have a lasting impact and is a blueprint for smart and effective advocacy.”
Larimer County is leading the way 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 treatment for its residents.
Along with behavioral health leaders from the community, Larimer County sponsored an initiative to create a countywide recommendations report that showed the community benefits that could be realized by creating a strong behavioral health continuum of care in the community. The goal is to increase access to affordable and appropriate care by expanding community capacity.
“It is an honor to receive this award on behalf of the Larimer County Board of County Commissioners, and their advocacy, for the work being done in Larimer County. Without the will of our community leaders, we would not have the dedicated funding to pursue the creative solutions we have as viable options now. We look forward with optimism and hope. We strive to be seen as national leaders in this effort and hope our work improves health outcomes for everyone served.” said Laurie Stolen, Larimer County Behavioral Health Services Director, on receiving the Award for Organizational Achievement in Advocacy.