Steele to receive Legislative Leadership Award from the Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy
PRESCOTT, Ariz. – Arizona State University’s Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy will recognize Rep. Victoria Steele, D-Tucson (District 9), for her efforts to improve access to behavioral health care in Arizona.
The CABHP selected Steele, according to a letter from the organization, because of her “profound, positive impact on behavioral health care in Arizona.” Steele, a mental health professional, said she is honored to receive the award.
“Mental and behavioral health services are important parts of overall health care services,” Steele said. “Advocating for more funding and more services is a responsibility I take to heart.”
Steele was instrumental in getting funding for Youth Mental Health First Aid and for the Drug Treatment Alternative to Prison Program. She worked on legislation that was included in the past two budgets that allocated a total of half a million dollars to the Department of Health Services to expand Youth Mental Health First Aid. The program is designed to help people identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness, eating disorders and substance abuse disorders in adolescents.
“Mental health issues manifest differently in young people,” Steele said. “This program helps prepare those who interact with kids on a regular basis to recognize the warning signs. It has already trained hundreds of Arizonans including educators, school staff, coaches and even young people. The goal is to provide the skills to recognize when a young person is struggling and how to intervene and get the appropriate help.”
Steele was also involved this year in securing $250,000 for the DTAP program, which allows drug-addicted criminal defendants to plead guilty to an offense and enter a treatment facility for three years, instead of going to prison. In the facility, the person receives addiction treatment and a variety of other training and support services, while being monitored by the court.
“In Pima County, DTAP saves lives and money while reducing crime,” Steele said. “This is an investment in the safety of our communities.”
The CABHP will present Steele with the Legislative Leadership Award during its 15th Annual Summer Institute at the Prescott Resort on July 17 at 5:30 p.m.
“I am grateful for the support that CABHP is providing to the community and hope that its work will inspire others to get involved,” Steele said.
To learn more about CABHP, go to www.cabhp.asu.edu.
For more information on Youth Mental Health First Aid, visit www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/cs/take-a-course/course-types/youth/.
For additional information about DTAP, go to http://www.pcao.pima.gov/dtap.aspx.