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The National Council for Mental Wellbeing’s 2021 Advocacy Leadership Awards, supported by Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, 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.

Every day, mental health and substance use treatment professionals are stepping up to provide vital services to the people they serve. Their selfless efforts, advocacy and commitment to delivering care at all costs is saving lives and strengthening communities.

Here's a sneak peek at our 2021 Adovacacy Leadership Award winners:
 or 202


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.

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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 to 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.

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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.

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