Sheryl Kubiak named 2021 Mental Health Champion of the Year by the Mental Health Association in Michigan

School of Social Work Dean Sheryl Kubiak was honored as the Mental Health Champion of the year by the Mental Health Association of Michigan at their annual Tribute dinner on Thursday, October 28 alongside Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton.

Dean Sheryl Kubiak accepting MHAM Tribute Award
Social Work Dean and CBHJ Director Sheryl Kubiak accepting the Mental Health Champion of the Year award

Kubiak shared the honor with the staff of the Center for Behavioral Health and Justice, a community-based technical assistance and research center at Wayne State University School of Social Work, that provides support for counties in efforts to divert and deflect individuals from the criminal/legal system. The work of the Center uses a model of external facilitation in working with 27 counties across Michigan to build their capacity and commitment for diverting and deflecting individuals with mental health and/or substance use disorders. Kubiak said of the 41 staff members of the CBHJ, “I shine because they shine”.

Kubiak highlighted research findings of the CBHJ, emphasizing the importance of collaborations across criminal/legal and behavioral health systems and of addressing cooccurring mental health and substance use disorders. She discussed the value of Community Mental Health agencies, saying “when we’ve looked at jails across the state at who is more likely to go into treatment, who’s more likely to stay in treatment, it’s the people who had a connection to Community Mental Health.” 

Congratulations to champions Dean Sheryl Kubiak and Sheriff Jerry Clayton for the well-deserved recognition.

Pictured in the headline photo from left to right: Director of Constituent Services for Rep. Brabec Morgan Foreman, Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton, MHA-MI President & CEO Marianne Huff, Dean Sheryl Kubiak, and NASW-MI Director of Public Policy Algeria Wilson

About the Center for Behavioral Health and Justice: The Wayne State University School of Social Work Center for Behavioral Health and envisions communities in which research, data, and best practices are used by multiple stakeholders to enhance the optimal well-being of individuals with mental illness and/or substance use disorders who come into contact with the criminal/legal system. Learn more

About the Mental Health Association in Michigan: The Mental Health Association in Michigan is a voluntary membership citizens’ organization representing a broad base of people working together as an advocate for individuals with mental illness affiliated with Mental Health America. Learn more

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