Association for Behavioral Healthcare Recognizes Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez with the “Legislator of the Year” Award for being a Behavioral Health Champion

The Association for Behavioral Healthcare (ABH) honored the House Ways & Means Committee Chairman, Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez, with its “Legislator of the Year” Award this morning for his outstanding leadership in drafting and passing the state’s new budget. The House version of the budget made historic investments in community-based mental health and addiction treatment and recovery services. The ceremony took place at the Longwood Community Crisis Stabilization Unit, a Bay Cove Human Services facility in Boston.

“We are thrilled to honor Rep. Sanchez this “Legislator of the Year Award for his leadership on these critical investments and we look forward to working with him on future legislation,” said Vic DiGravio, president and CEO of ABH. “Rep. Sanchez has long advocated for essential behavioral health programs, and we are fortunate to have him in such an influential position where he can assure robust funding for the individuals we serve. This year’s state budget clearly reflects the progressive values of our Commonwealth.”

Under Sanchez’ leadership of the budget process, the House of Representatives made unprecedented commitments to funding community-based addiction treatment and mental health programs including the following:

  • $94.7 million in increases for adult community services for individuals living with serious mental illnesses;
  • Funding for five new recovery centers to serve individuals suffering from addiction and $5 million for services to divert individuals from the criminal justice system
  • An increase of $5.3 million for Family Resource Centers that serve families and children in crisis
  • $4 million for increased reimbursement rates to expand access to outpatient behavioral health services