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Community Behavioral Healthcare Associaton of Illinois

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Archive for the ‘Illinois Mental Health Care’ Category

Governor Pat Quinn’s Budget Will Eliminate Mental Health Care for 70,000, Including 4,200 Children, Illinois Budget Documents Reveal

Posted by Frank Anselmo on April 8, 2010

Frank Anselmo, CEO, CBHA

(Springfield, IL) – Governor Pat Quinn’s proposed state budget for next year will eliminate basic mental health services for more than 72,000 individuals, including 4,200 children in Illinois next year, according to the state’s own estimates.

“Governor Pat Quinn’s proposed budget is telling mental health providers to toss more than 70,000 individuals, including 4,200 children, into the wood chipper. And we won’t do it,” said Community Behavioral Healthcare Association CEO Frank Anselmo.

According to the budget briefing conducted last month by Illinois Department of Human Service Secretary Michelle Saddler, the state budget for community mental health services decreased $90.7 million from last year. The $90.7 million reduction represents a 23.6% cut which eliminate care for 72,300 individuals currently receiving care across Illinois.

Anselmo offers a statewide breakdown of the loss of care for 72,300 individuals:

  • 28,197—Chicago
  • 14,460—Suburban Cook
  • 8,876—Collar Counties
  • 3,616—Northwest Illinois
  • 6,507—Central Illinois
  • 10,644—Southern Illinois

Among those losing mental health care, more than 4,000 individuals on the road to recovery will be displaced from existing community-based residential settings, with most transferred into nursing homes.

Mark Heyrman

However, such a transfer would threaten the state’s ability to comply with terms of a proposed consent decree settling a federal lawsuit involving some 4,500 mentally ill nursing home residents, according to Anselmo

“Simply put, the state is making a promise it cannot keep,” said Anselmo.

In the proposed federal consent decree the state pledges, over the next five years, to reevaluate the treatment currently provided to residents of two dozen nursing homes designated as “institutions for mental illness” and to relocate those wishing to leave those facilities into smaller community-based settings.

“On the one hand,” Anselmo said, “the state proposes to virtually destroy the existing infrastructure, while on the other it vows to expand treatment options.”

“It’s budget madness—and it is a budget that does not work,” said Anselmo. “Governor Quinn and lawmakers need to go back to square one and design a budget that meets needs of residents and the state’s legal promises to a federal court.”

Mark Heyrman, a University of Chicago Law School Professor and Chair of Public Policy for Mental Health America of Illinois, agreed that the budget proposal seemed to contradict the promises made in the proposed consent decree.

“What the state pledges to do in the consent decree, its FY 2011 budget proposal will undo and deliver the exact opposite result.”

“In the coming weeks, our plea is for the General Assembly to reshape the state budget proposal in order to avoid a $90 million cut to mental health services and to approve legislation, HB 5326, that creates a plan to move mentally ill from nursing homes into community settings,” said Anselmo.

The legislation is sponsored by State Representatives: Esther Golar (D), Karen May (D), Paul Froehlich (D), Dan Beiser (D), Harry Osterman (D), Elizabeth Hernandez (D), Sara Feigenholtz (D) and Beth Coulson (R). 

“Reversal of the $90 million cut will rescue care for more than 70,000 people and help 4,500 individuals leave nursing homes for more appropriate community settings.”

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Posted in Governor Pat Quinn, Illinois Budget, Illinois Mental Health Care, Illinois Nursing Homes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Pat Quinn Should Not Sign Illinois Doomsday Budget, Mental Health Advocates Urge

Posted by Frank Anselmo on June 16, 2009

(Springfield, IL) — Governor Pat Quinn should not sign the Illinois Doomsday budget approved by the Illinois General Assembly on May 31, Illinois’ leading mental health advocates today urged.

“Increasing teen suicides, abandoning recovering mothers onto the street, and jailing the mentally ill are the

Frank Anselmo, CEO, CBHA

Frank Anselmo, CEO, CBHA

outcomes that the legislature’s budget offers,” said Frank Anselmo, CEO of the Community Behavioral Healthcare Association of Illinois. Governor Quinn needs to clearly state he won’t sign the ‘Doomsday budget'”.

The legislature appropriated only 50% of last year’s budget to several state department for the coming fiscal year that begins on July 1.

As a result, the new budget guts human services, including mental health care and substance abuse treatment.

  • 175,000 people will lose community mental health services, dramatically increasing homelessness, institutionalization and incarceration rates.
  • 65,000 people with alcohol and substance addictions will lose treatment.

However, Anselmo noted that the legislature’s budget fully funds certain areas of state government operations and programs:

  • All state employee payroll costs, including funds for minimum 4% salary increases for union employees.
  • All Medicaid grants for Physicians, Hospitals and Nursing Homes.
  • All operation costs for public universities and community colleges.  Spending in these areas actually was increased.
  • Elementary and secondary education grants such as general state aid and special education.  Funding in these areas increases from last year.

Governor Pat Quinn and top legislative leaders–House Speaker Michael Madigan, House Minority Leader Tom Cross, Senate President John Cullerton, and Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno–have been meeting regularly to seek solutions to the budget impasse. They meet again tomorrow.

The governor could instruct agencies to continue operating at current levels leaving lawmakers to agree on an income tax increase later this year, Anselmo says.

Leaders Radogno and Cross have said reforms and more cuts need to be agreed to before raising taxes.

At the moment, the doomsday budget (50% GRF in a lump sum for state departments) will not be sent to the Governor.  President Cullerton filed a motion to reconsider the vote on Senate Bill 1197–the budget bill, and Cullertons’ motion prevents the bill from being sent to the Governor at this time.

Posted in Governor Pat Quinn, Illinois Budget, Illinois General Assembly, Illinois Mental Health Care, Illinois Politics, Illinois Substance Abuse Treatment | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Our View: Quinn, Lawmakers Must Deliver Rescue to Prevent 45,000 Illinois Residents from Losing Mental Health Care, Drug Treatment

Posted by Frank Anselmo on May 19, 2009

Without a $92 million state financial rescue, mental health care and drug treatment services will be lost for more than 45,000 Illinois residents—by June 30, 2010.

Essentially, the Illinois mental health care and drug treatment system is in a slow motion bankruptcy because of the failure of the state of Illinois to adequately fund care.

A survey by the Community Behavioral Health Care Association of Illinois reveals that drug treatment and mental health care for 16,612 Illinois residents—9,625 children—will be eliminated and care another 29,812 Illinois residents—16,387 adults and 13,425 children—will be reduced during the next 12 months.

Mental health and drug treatment advocates are seeking a $93 million financial rescue from the state to staunch the loss of care.

Illinois political leaders must use available federal government money or other new state revenues to avert an unfolding humanitarian crisis.

This loss of care can still be avoided if Governor Pat Quinn, Speaker Michael Madigan, Senate President John Cullerton, House Minority Leader Tom Cross, and Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno commit the political will and the money to a rescue of behavioral healthcare as they finalize the state budget before May 31.

If they fail to stage the $93 million financial rescue, then more than 45,000 Illinois residents—of whom 25,000 of whom are children–will lose behavioral healthcare.

Quinn, Madigan, Cross, Cullerton, and Radogno must hear from voters to take action.

Frank Anselmo, CEO, Community Behavioral Healthcare Association

Posted in Governor Pat Quinn, Illinois Budget, Illinois Mental Health Care | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Feigenholtz, Winters Push “5¢ a Drink” Illinois Alcohol Tax Hike to Rescue Mental Health Care, Drug Treatment

Posted by Frank Anselmo on May 19, 2009

(Springfield, IL) — Illinois’ leading drug treatment and mental health advocates today unveiled legislation at a Springfield press conference that increases the Illinois’s alcohol tax by 5¢ a drink to help fund state human services and reduce drinking.

State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz

State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago)

The bill, HB 4557, sponsored by State Representatives Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) and Dave Winters (R-Shirland), would raise $254 million for cash-strapped Illinois and boost addiction healthcare services by $140 million and mental health care services by $92 million and the remaining $22 million would be deposited in the state’s general revenue fund—its daily checkbook.

“A nickel-a-drink increase will raise $254 million to help offset the state budget deficit and provide critical investments to addiction healthcare services,” said Sara Moscato Howe, CEO of the Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association (IADDA).

Frank Anselmo, CEO, CBHA

Frank Anselmo, CEO, CBHA

“Without a financial rescue, without $92 million invested in community mental health care, more than 45,000 will lose mental health services by June 30, 2010 according to our new survey,” said Frank Anselmo, CEO of the Community Behavioral Healthcare Association.

“Illinois’ chronically under funded addiction and mental health care services need dedicated money from an alcohol tax to maintain care and taxpayers need to know their money is being wisely spent,” said Feigenholtz, Chair of the House Human Services Appropriations Committee and a state budget negotiator, who noted Governor Pat Quinn’s budget cuts the programs further.

“Instead of throwing these services a lifeline, Governor Quinn’s budget throws then an anchor,” said

State Rep. Dave Winters (R-Shirland)

State Rep. Dave Winters (R-Shirland)

Feigenholtz.

The nickel-a-drink tax would be applied on wholesale alcohol by the gallon that is distributed as packaged beer, wine, or distilled spirits to stores or as beverages purchased at bars, restaurants, and hotels.

A “drink” is 12 oz of beer (bottle), 5 oz of wine (glass), and 1.5 oz of liquor (1.5 shots). Using this definition, a nickel-a-drink tax would add 30 cents per six-pack of beer, 25 cents per bottle of wine, and 85 cents per 750 ml bottle of liquor.

In addition to funding state addiction prevention, treatment and mental health services, the nickel-a-drink would reduce drinking consumption by five million gallons or 2 percent annually. The estimated drop in consumption would be up to 3.94% for beer and cider, 2.5% for wine, and 6.76% for spirits

State Rep. Naomi Jakobbson (D-Champaign)

State Rep. Naomi Jakobbson (D-Champaign)

“We will reduce the probability of accidents among adults and youth alike,” said Howe.

Howe noted alcohol abuse and drunk driving continue to exact a terrible, deadly toll on youth and children in communities throughout Illinois.

She pointed to the most recent media reports of drug and alcohol-related driving tragedies which reinforce the need for adequate addiction healthcare funding.

  • February 5 Edwardsville, IL – “A wrong-way driver whose license was yanked several times for alcohol-related offenses caused the crash early today that killed two adults and a boy and left an 11-year-old girl hospitalized.
  • February 17 Johnsburg, IL –“Police are investigating who provided alcohol to a 17-year-old Johnsburg High School student who froze to death after a minor car accident last month.
  • February 18 Elgin, IL – “The blood-alcohol level of an Elgin teen who crashed into a house last fall, killing his passenger, was nearly three times the legal limit for driving, police said…

Howe also noted an Illinois Department of Human Services study revealed that in 2006 nearly 40 percent of Illinois 12th graders had ridden in a car with a drunk or high teenager in the last year and 30 percent had the same experience with a drunk or high adult.

Illinois last raised the alcohol tax in 1999 and before that in 1969.

State Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago)

State Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago)

Joining Feigenholtz as co-sponsors of the legislation are State Representatives: Deborah Mell (D-Chicago),  Greg Harris (D-Chicago), Kathy Ryg (D-Vernon Hills), Esther Golar (D-Chicago), Naomi Jakobbson (D-Champaign).

Advocates are also looking to gain Governor Quinn’s support for the nickel-a-drink tax increase to reverse his initial budget cuts.

Lawmakers are expected to vote on the final state budget by their scheduled May 31 adjournment.

A simple majority of lawmakers is required to pass a budget if voted on or before May 31. If after May 31, a 3/5th super-majority would be needed to approve the annual state spending plan.

Posted in Governor Pat Quinn, Illinois Drug Treatment, Illinois Mental Health Care | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Without Financial Rescue, Mental Health Care, Drug Treatment for 16,000 Illinois Residents—9,600 Kids—Will be Eliminated, Survey Says

Posted by Frank Anselmo on April 20, 2009

(Springfield, IL) – Without tapping cash from dormant state health funds and a tax increase to stage a financial rescue, mental health care and drug treatment services will be eliminated for more than 16,000 Illinois residents—of which more than 9,600 are children—by June 30, 2010, according to a new survey of community behavioral health care providers in Illinois.

Frank Anselmo, CEO, CBHA

Frank Anselmo, CEO, CBHA

Advocate Michelle Schneiderheinze discusses the reduced mental health care available to severely mentally ill children in Illinois.

Advocate Michelle Schneiderheinze discusses the reduced mental health care available to severely mentally ill children in Illinois.

Released at a press conference in Springfield today, the survey by the Community Behavioral Healthcare Association of Illinois estimates that community providers—without any increased state funding—will eliminate care for 16,612 people—6,987 adults and 9,625 children between July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2010, the end of the state’s next fiscal year.

“The Illinois mental health care and drug treatment system is in a slow motion bankruptcy because of the failure of the state to adequately fund care,” said Frank Anselmo, CEO of the Community Behavioral Healthcare Association of Illinois.

“Without a financial rescue, providers will accelerate the elimination of care and for more than 16,000 Illinois men, women, and children will be without care by June 30, 2010,” said Anselmo. “The risk of teen suicide will rise without any question.”

The survey also reveals that another 29,812 Illinois residents—16,387 adults and 13,425 children—will face a reduction of existing mental health care and drug treatment June 30, 2010 due to state under-funding, according to Anselmo.

Diana Knaebe, President, Heritage Behavioral Health Center, Decatur, spoke at the press conference, noting that possibly 1,000 fewer people in the Macon County area would receive care due to underfunding.

Diana Knaebe, President, Heritage Behavioral Health Center, Decatur, spoke at the press conference, noting that possibly 1,000 fewer people in the Macon County area would receive care due to underfunding.

Advocates are seeking a $93 million financial rescue from the state to staunch the loss of care.

“The loss of care is an ongoing tragedy that can still be avoided if Governor Pat Quinn and lawmakers decide to use the dedicated but dormant money or provide new money from a tax increase,” said Anselmo.

Anselmo says a bi-partisan group of lawmakers are already pushing a plan to avoid the massive loss of care by drawing on the $35.3 million special health and mental health trust funds some of which have languished untapped for more than three years, and additional available federal dollars.

State Senators Jeff Schoenberg, Michael Noland, Dan Kotowski, William Delgado, Kimberly Lightford, Chris Lauzen, John Sullivan,

Chicago Tribune reporter Ray Long poses a question.

Chicago Tribune reporter Ray Long poses a question.

Don Harmon, Maggie Crotty, and David Koehler are sponsoring Senate Joint Resolution 31 that calls on the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget to utilize the available funds from the Mental Health Medicaid Trust Fund to increase Medicaid rates for mental health and drug treatment providers.

“If Governor Quinn and lawmakers stage a $92.8 million financial rescue by drawing on idle mental health care money, available federal funds, or a tax increase, the state can rescue care for the more than 16,000 people,” said Anselmo.

Posted in Governor Pat Quinn, Illinois Budget, Illinois Drug Treatment, Illinois Mental Health Care, Illinois Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Coulson Bill Aims to Speed Payment to Struggling Illinois Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, Drug Treatment Providers

Posted by Frank Anselmo on March 4, 2009

(Springfield, IL) – An Illinois House panel last week unanimously supported legislation to help speed state payments owed to Illinois mental health, developmental disabilities, and drug treatment providers

State Rep. Beth Coulson

State Rep. Beth Coulson

struggling under the weight of unpaid state bills.

The House State Government Administration Committee on February 25 voted 17-0 to approve House Bill 616, sponsored by State Rep. Beth Coulson (R-Glenview).

“Local community health care providers, who are helping people to deter suicide, forestall family violence, or care for disabled children, are withering on the financial vine because they are not getting paid on time,” said Frank Anselmo, CEO of the Community Behavioral Healthcare Association of Illinois.

“I get a telephone call nearly every week from a provider who is only two or three weeks shy of disbanding care and shutting their doors because the state is 90 days to 120 days late paying its bills, “ said Anselmo.

“Behavioral health care is on the brink of collapse in multiple communities around the state.”

Coulson’s legislation requires the Comptroller to give priority to mental health, developmental disabilities, and drug treatment providers after the state’s debt service obligations and payroll have been met.

The bill’s bipartisan co-sponsors include: State Representatives LaShawn Ford, Daniel Beiser, Thomas Holbrook, Mike Smith, Patricia Bellock, Jim Watson, Rosemary Mulligan, Lisa Dugan, Jim Sacia, Robert Pritchard, Greg Harris, Kay Hatcher, Fred Crespo, Mike Bost, Sandra Pihos, Dan Reitz, Jack Franks, Suzanne Bassi and Lou Lang.

The full Illinois House is soon expected to vote on the measure.

Posted in Illinois Developmental Disabilities, Illinois Mental Health Care, Illinois Substance Abuse Treatment | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Kopera to Chair National Behavioral Healthcare Association

Posted by Frank Anselmo on March 4, 2009

(Chicago, IL) — MHCA, a national association of high performing behavioral healthcare organizations, has announced the new Chairman of the Board of Directors is Anthony A. Kopera, PhD.

Kopera is President and Chief Executive Officer of Community Counseling Centers of Chicago (C4). He will serve the serve February 2009 – February 2010 term.

First elected to the MHCA Board in 2000, Kopera has served on the organization’s Executive Committee since 2002 and held the offices of Director-at-Large, Secretary, Treasurer and Vice Chairman.  He has also served as Chairman of MHCA’s Futures Forum.

Posted in Illinois Mental Health Care | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

C4 Client Spies Governor Blagojevich Jogging During Impeachment Vote, Joins Him in the Jog–and Plugs Funding for Mental Health Care

Posted by Frank Anselmo on January 21, 2009

(Chicago, IL) — Ayesha McClendon couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw a guy with a shaggy mane of hair running toward her on Lawrence Avenue last Thursday morning in Uptown.

Usually when you see someone running down the sidewalk like that in Uptown, you jump into a vestibule. You start walking in the opposite direction, so you don’t accidentally get hit in the head with a bag full of quarters, or a bullet.

Except the guy McClendon saw was Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who was jogging back to Ravenswood Manor around the same time he was getting impeached by Illinois House representatives.

Read More …

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Heritage Behavioral Health Center and the Community Health Improvement Center Complete National Project to Improve Healthcare for People with Mental Illness

Posted by Frank Anselmo on January 9, 2009

(Decatur, IL) — Representatives from Heritage Behavioral Health Center (Heritage) and the Community Health Improvement Center (CHIC) joined healthcare organizations from six other states in Washington, DC in December to present findings from a yearlong project to improve the health and wellness of the patients.

Heritage and CHIC were chosen to participate in the Primary Care and Behavioral Health Collaborative project conducted by the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare (National Council).

The national collaborative helped communities establish working relationships between community health centers and community mental health centers to ensure that care for individuals with mental illnesses is effectively coordinated.

Nearly one in five Americans has a mental disorder and nearly two-thirds of people with mental illness do not get the help they need. Increasingly, we are learning that mental illness takes a severe toll on people’s physical health as well. A 2006 federal study revealed that persons with mental illnesses die 25 years younger than the general population, largely due to chronic medical conditions.

Diabetes, hypertension, and coronary artery disease are common medical conditions that manifest in persons with serious mental illness, owing to metabolic and lifestyle issues and lack of access to adequate healthcare. These people are often too debilitated to seek care from multiple providers for their mental and physical illnesses, and the collaborative project looked at ways to address this reality.

“Clearly, overall well-being is a function of both mental and physical health,” said Linda Rosenberg, MSW, President and CEO of the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare. “Healthcare providers must work together to identify and treat mental illnesses…”

As a result of participating , CHIC providers learned to use screening tools to assess for Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Suicide Risk, and Substance Abuse Disorders, and developed criteria for referral when patients needed further assessment. Heritage expanded physical health assessment, for clients taking medications, which require close vital sign and laboratory monitoring.

“Participating in the National Council’s collaborative project showed us new possibilities for expanding access to comprehensive healthcare for mind and body,” said Diana Knaebe. “When organizations in the community work together, we can help people get better and live productive lives.”

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Blagojevich Budget Cuts to Mental Health Care Take Toll on Cicero Community

Posted by Frank Anselmo on January 9, 2009

(Cicero, IL) — Funding cuts imposed by Governor Rod Blagojevich have hit hard the mental health system in Illinois this year, and they are taking a deep toll on the local community in Cicero, Illinois.

“Our waiting list is growing because our resources are shrinking,” said John Morgan, Executive Director of the Family Service and Mental Health Center of Cicero. “Adults and children with serious mental health concerns are waiting longer and longer for care.”

According to Morgan, Sonia, 32, is a perfect example of what is happening in Cicero.

Sonia contacted Family Service in late October seeking counseling due to feelings of uncontrolled anger and depression. She met with the agency’s intake worker at that time and reported an extensive history of physical and sexual abuse. She stated that her mother often blamed her for the sexual abuse which was perpetrated by her step-father throughout her teen years.

Sonia reported that she bottles up all her feelings then explodes in a rage. She has attempted suicide many times throughout her life and continues to have suicidal thoughts, though she denied having any current suicidal plans. Sonia has been treated with medications by her primary care physician in the past, but feels the medications were unhelpful. She has never had any counseling. She came to the agency hoping to see a therapist and was open to the idea of seeing a psychiatrist for an evaluation and trying medications again, if recommended.

However, Sonia is on the agency’s waiting list today. She is one of more than 50 children and adults waiting for someone to answer their call for help.

“It’s painful to turn people away with serious mental health problems, knowing they have nowhere else to turn,” Morgan said. “For some time now, resources have not been adequate to meet the community’s needs for affordable mental health care and the situation is only getting worse. We are now telling those who contact the Center that we will not be able to offer help until well into next year.”

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