Casper, May 3, 2106 — It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Mike Huston, former Executive Director of the Central Wyoming Counseling Center.
Mr. Huston’s career spanned over 60 years in the mental health care industry, right here in Wyoming. Mike served Central Wyoming Counseling Center for over 39 years; and grew a small staff in downtown Casper into a team of 150 employees in two buildings totaling 74,000 square feet on the CWCC Campus.
Mike Huston shepherded CWCC through the bust of the 80’s and again in the energy downturn of 2009. Even when state funding was cut by 10%, Mike was able to maintain staffs’ jobs while other facilities had to resort to layoffs. Mr. Huston explained that the bust had a significant impact on the people of Wyoming; and that the centers saw an increased need for all services from alcohol abuse treatments to depression counseling.
Mike’s hand also guided the creation of Wyoming Association of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Centers, an organization of non-profit Community Behavioral Health Centers, to insure that every Wyoming Resident would have the appropriate care in their own community. Huston’s work to emphasize local mental healthcare (through WAMHSAC, the Wyoming Legislature, and the Wyoming Department of Health)strengthened the community-based model and increased services available to Wyoming residents.
Mr. Huston said, “Wyoming is really one of the few states that have held on to the original true intent of the Mental Health Centers Act. Our services are available to anybody regardless of their income within their community.” And we know that this is in large part due to Mike’s efforts.