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Peer recovery specialist from Bloomington, Ind., to participate in congressional briefing on Capitol Hill

Indiana,

Bloomington, Ind. — Stacy Cary, a certified peer recovery specialist and health coach at Centerstone in Bloomington, Ind., will be a panelist at a congressional briefing on Wednesday, March 11 in Washington, D.C. Cary will join three other panelists with backgrounds in law enforcement and behavioral health to advocate for the renewal and expansion of the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) model through the Excellence in Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Expansion Act (S. 824/H.R. 1767).

CCBHCs provide comprehensive behavioral health and substance use treatment services to the most vulnerable individuals. CCBHCs represent a low-cost, effective health care option for millions of Americans. CCBHCs also dramatically increase access to treatment. The clinics are leading a bold shift to integrate physical and mental health care, address social determinants of health, provide 24/7 crisis care, collaborate with law enforcement and schools and coordinate with hospitals to reduce emergency department visits and re-admissions. Without quick action from Congress, these lifesaving services are set to expire on May 22.

As a certified peer recovery specialist, Cary knows the value of being able to access behavioral health and addiction services offered by CCBHCs. She came to Centerstone in 2015 to begin treatment for alcoholism and drug addiction. Now, she is using her lived experience as a tool to help others facing similar situations. “Working at Centerstone has provided the perfect outlet for me to utilize my personal experience and my education to help others.  It’s been very meaningful to support people in achieving wellness, both physically and mentally,” Cary said.

Congress has recognized the value of CCBHCs and the needs they fill by repeatedly extending the program, and CCBHCs have the support of both parties, both chambers of Congress and the president. The president’s proposed 2021 budget, released on February 10, provides opportunities to open clinics in many new communities with $1.1 billion in funding for mental health services. However, congressional action is still needed to extend and expand this critical program.

The congressional briefing is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, March 11 from 11:30 A.M. to 12:30 P.M. EDT in the Kennedy Caucus Room, located at 325 Russell Senate Office Building in Washington D.C.

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