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President signs Sen. Stabenow's 'Excellence in Mental Health Act'

(NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Community health services took a big step forward on Tuesday, as Senator Debbie Stabenow's 'Excellence in Mental Health Act' was passed by the Senate late Monday night and--according to a Stabenow spokesperson was signed Tuesday by the President.

The bi-partisan legislation is expected to expand access to community mental health services, and strengthen the quality of care provided for those living with mental illness.

Senator Stabenow says school violence was one factor pushing the legislation.

"One out of four people in Michigan or across the country are touched by mental health issues," Sen. Stabenow said. "A majority of them are victims, not perpetrators, of crimes, but if we don't have good treatment, we can see some devastating things happen."

The legislation establishes pilot programs in eight states not yet selected to improve mental health centers.