State Senator Laura FineSPRINGFIELD – Individuals in crisis nationwide will soon be able to utilize a 9-8-8 universal hotline number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which would be funded and maintained in Illinois under legislation sponsored by State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview).

“A fully functioning and well-funded crisis hotline is critical to prevent suicides nationwide,” Senator Fine said. “Mental health is as important as physical health, and 9-8-8 will soon become a household number that is as easily remembered in times of crisis as 9-1-1.”

Senator Fine’s measure would create the Statewide 9-8-8 Trust Fund in the State Treasury, which would be used by the Department of Human Services to establish and maintain a statewide 9-8-8 suicide prevention and mental health crisis system.

“The 9-8-8 Lifeline will prioritize suicide prevention by increasing access to behavioral and mental health resources and treatments," Senator Fine said. "This legislation will provide people with the support they need and save lives."

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s 9-8-8 number will be live across the nation by July 2022, pursuant to the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act of 2020. However, people in crisis should continue to call the Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) until then.

SB 2945 passed the Behavioral and Mental Health Committee on Tuesday and now goes to the full Senate.

Category: Press Releases

State Senator Laura Fine on the Senate floorSPRINGFIELD – Families across Illinois will now have more resources to help support relatives seeking treatment in mental health facilities under a new law sponsored by State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) that took effect in the new year.

“Family members can feel helpless if they aren’t able to receive any updates about the status of a loved one receiving treatment in a mental health facility,” Senator Fine said. “This law will inform families, which will in turn help them create a plan of action to support the individual receiving treatment after discharge.”

Senator Fine’s Access to Basic Mental Health Information Act gives certain family members access to information about their loved one’s care, including whether the individual is located at the mental health facility, their current physical and mental condition, diagnosis, treatment needs, services provided, services and medication needed, discharge planning or continuity of care, and a physician’s report if clinically appropriate.

The parent, adult sibling, adult child, spouse or adult grandchild of the individual in care can request information from the mental health facility if they meet certain criteria.

“Mental health care can be a lifelong journey, and having a well-informed support system is critical for healing,” Senator Fine said. “These changes will help ensure people seeking treatment have a safe space to return after their care so they can continue on a positive path forward.”

Public Act 102-0372 was signed into law Aug. 13, 2021, and took effect Jan. 1, 2022.

Category: Press Releases

State Senator Laura FineCHICAGO – Concerned about the lack of resources for youth residential mental health services, State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) led a joint hearing Wednesday with the Senator Behavioral and Mental Health Committee and the House Mental Health and Addiction Committee.

“The resources available for residential and inpatient mental health services for children across Illinois are severely lacking,” Senator Fine said. “This has been a crisis for a long time, but the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have put it in the spotlight.”

Children are suffering even more due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and there are not enough in-patient and residential beds for Illinois youth, especially for those on Medicaid. Committee members and panelists discussed solutions to expand access to behavioral and mental health care while addressing the funding gap in our system.

The joint hearing included testimony from advocates representing Rosecrance Health Network, Advocate Children’s Hospital, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Chasing Hope Foundation, Illinois Collaboration on Youth, Illinois Probation and Court Services Association, Community and Residential Services Authority and the Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

“Children should be able to receive appropriate mental and behavioral health treatment without having to go far from home or stay in a hospital unnecessarily,” Senator Fine said. “We can and must do better by increasing our mental health workforce so children can be placed appropriately and get the right care at the right time.”

Committee proceedings are streamed live and can be viewed at ILGA.gov.

Category: Press Releases

State Senator Laura FineSPRINGFIELD – State Senators Laura Fine (D-Glenview) and Karina Villa (D-West Chicago) led a hearing of the Senate Behavioral and Mental Health Committee on Friday to listen to testimony regarding mental and behavioral health workforce shortages.

“Finding a solution to labor shortages in the mental and behavioral health community is imperative to protecting people who rely on their services,” Senator Fine said. “Mental health care is health care, and it’s important that we find a way for patients across Illinois to receive the timely, accessible treatment they deserve.”

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to present challenges, resulting in labor shortages that are affecting the mental and behavioral health workforce. These shortages could significantly impact both patients and providers as demand for mental health services continues to grow.

Advocates from the Illinois Department of Human Services, the Illinois Association of Behavioral Health, the Community Behavioral Healthcare Association of Illinois, Illinois Partners for Human Services, the Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities and Thresholds testified at the hearing.

“It’s critical that we find a way to ensure the number of mental health professionals can keep up with the ever increasing demand of people seeking treatment,” Senator Villa said. “We must address this issue before it drastically affects our neighbors, friends, family or even ourselves.”

Committee proceedings are streamed live and can be viewed at ILGA.gov.

Category: Press Releases

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Contact Information

Springfield Office:
121C Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-2119

District Office:
1812 Waukegan Road
Suite A
Glenview, IL 60025
(847) 998-1717

laura@senatorfine.com