Gov. J.B. Pritzker recently signed into law an omnibus mental health bill that addresses the shortage of mental health care workers in Illinois. The bill includes several key provisions, including making it easier to reinstate a mental health license, streamlining the process of out-of-state mental health professionals acquiring a license, and awarding employers with tax incentives for hiring people recovering from a mental illness, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or addiction. Making mental health care more accessible for Illinois residents addresses the shortage of qualified therapists and ensures that people can find the help that they need. That’s why more private equity mental health practices are opening as well, such as Geode Health in Westmont, Illinois. Here’s what you need to know about this new law.
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What the Omnibus Mental Health Bill Provides
The new law that Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into effect provides a variety of important mental health services for all state residents. Some of its provisions include making it easier for retired mental health professionals like psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and professional counselors to renew their license if it has been inactive for up to 5 years. The bill is also designed to streamline the process for out-of-state therapists to apply for a license that allows them to treat mental health patients. By eliminating barriers such as continuing education credit completion, passing additional examinations, and fee payments, Illinois residents will have greater access to a number of qualified, high-quality mental health care workers.
It also incentivizes employers to hire recovering mental health patients who have undergone 500 hours a year of voluntary mental health treatment. “This is another big step toward an Illinois where mental and physical health care is truly accessible for all our communities,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said after signing the bill into law. The passage marks a positive development in mental health advocacy at both state and national levels, as it is believed to be one of the most comprehensive pieces of legislation enacted in years that addresses mental illness and addiction issues on a broad level. Its enactment will hopefully lead to similarly comprehensive action elsewhere.
Geode Health established itself as a leading provider of mental health services throughout Chicago and beyond. Therapists at Geode Health have been helping Illinois residents manage or overcome their mental health conditions through therapy programs tailored specifically for each individual’s needs. This legislation will help Geode Health in Westmont grow its mental health capabilities by providing more access to Illinoisians seeking mental health treatment.
Mental Health In America
According to a 2020 report by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 21% of U.S. adults experienced mental illness (52.9 million people). This represents 1 in 5 adults. 5.6% of U.S. adults experienced serious mental illness (14.2 million people). This represents 1 in 20 adults. So it’s not surprising that many states are pushing for better access to treatment. Illinois is one of them. By providing greater access to more mental health professionals, the omnibus mental health bill could help people with serious mental illnesses, like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, get into treatment more quickly and efficiently than they could before.
Lawmakers’ Support of the Bill
The passage of this bill has been close to the heart of Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) who introduced this legislation back in January where it was passed with bipartisan support by both chambers of the General Assembly. “Mental health is just as important as physical health,” Fine said. “With this law, we are able to reduce barriers to improve the mental health workforce so that all who are seeking mental and behavioral health care will have access to this necessary care.”
Looking for Mental Health Help?
No one should have to travel or have difficulty searching for proper mental health care. Many mental health services are available in-person or virtually through mental health practices like Geode Health in Westmont. If you or someone you love suffers from any type of mental health disorder, please contact us today at 630-407-1764 to schedule an appointment. Our caring staff members are ready to help you achieve true recovery.