CBHA News Weblog

Community Behavioral Healthcare Associaton of Illinois

Posts Tagged ‘Illinois Mental Health Care’

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 »

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 »

Thresholds Receives Grants Totaling $114,000 to Help Improve Care

Posted by Frank Anselmo on June 10, 2008

(Chicago, IL) — The Thresholds mental health agency announced on June 9 that it has recently received grants totaling $114,000 to help improve services for people with mental illness:

  • $64,000 from the Retirement Research Foundation for an 18-month study of medical care for older adults with serious mental illness. The lifespans of people with serious mental illness are 25 years shorter than average, research shows. This study will examine combined physical and mental health care and compare results of the integrated approach with those of traditional medical care. Findings will help guide the mental health field in best practices for treatment of medical problems.
  • $50,000 from the Michael Reese Health Trust to support a full-time staff member who will provide on-site consultation and training in services for people who have serious mental illness and co-occurring substance abuse conditions. The Health Trust’s support will allow Thresholds to train more staff in Integrated Dual Disorders Treatment, an innovative, stage-based program proven effective by scientific evidence.
With 30 service locations and more than 75 housing developments in the Chicagoland area, Thresholds serves about 6,000 people with mental illness each year. 

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Thresholds Conference to Discuss Transitioning Youth With Mental Illiness

Posted by Frank Anselmo on May 30, 2008

(Chicago, IL) — Service providers who work with children and young adults will be among those in attendance for a Thresholds Institute conference July 18 – “From Cliff to Slope: Easing the Transition to Adulthood for Youth with Mental Health Needs.”

This conference will discuss best clinical and psycho-educational practices for young adults with mental illness to help young adults make educated choices.

The event will be co-sponsored by the Illinois Division of Mental Health and Department of Children & Family Services.

It will include a keynote address by Tanya R. Anderson, M.D., Illinois Division of Mental Health’s Acting Chief of Clinical Services.

More information on the one-day conference in Evanston is available by contacting Whitney Key at (773) 572-5138 or wkey@thresholds.org or by going to http://www.thresholds.org/pdf/clifftoslopesavedate.pdf

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NAMI honors Thresholds CEO Tony Zipple with Gordon Nash Public Education Award

Posted by Frank Anselmo on May 30, 2008

(Chicago) — The National Alliance on Mental Illness – Chicago chapter honored Chicago-based Thresholds Psychiatric Rehabilitation Centers CEO Dr. Tony Zipple with the Gordon B. Nash, Sr. Public Education Award at NAMI’s 29th anniversary celebration in March.

In presenting the award, Eddy Eisenberg, NAMI’s board president, cited Zipple’s vision and focus on recovery and on honoring the dignity and full potential of individuals with mental illness.

“To be honored by (NAMI of Greater Chicago) makes this very special,” Zipple said during his acceptance remarks. “This award honors not only me but Thresholds and its staff.

One of the nation’s largest non-profit providers of mental health services, Thresholds provides a comprehensive program of therapeutic support, case management, education, job training and placement, and housing. With 30 service locations and more than 75 housing developments in the Chicagoland area, Thresholds serves about 6,000 people with mental illness each year.

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C4 Among First in Nation to Pilot Mental Health ‘First Aid’ Project

Posted by Frank Anselmo on May 21, 2008

(Chicago, IL) — Community Counseling Centers of Chicago (C4) was selected as one of seven sites nationwide to pilot Mental Health First Aid, an innovative program to help the general public to provide ‘first aid’ to someone experiencing a mental health crisis.

C4 Regional Director Viviana Ploper and C4 Ridge Site Director Claudia Kottwitz participated in the initial February 4-8 training in Palm Springs, California, sponsored by the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare (NCCBH). Both members are now certified to present the MHFA training.

“It’s the mental health equivalent of CPR,” observes Ploper, who will conduct C4’s first training session –targeted for C4 nonclinical staff. “The 12-hour training focuses on the more common mental health crises of depression and anxiety, substance use, psychotic behavior and impulse and control disorders.”

“If someone is having a panic attack on a bus, an adult trained in mental health first aid could help the person,” explains Ploper.

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Mental Health Advocates in Springfield, Urge Illinois Lawmakers to Oppose ‘Sweep’ of Mental Health Care Money

Posted by Frank Anselmo on May 16, 2008

(Springfield, IL) — More than 200 mental health advocates came to Springfield on Wednesday asking legislators to forbid Governor Rod Blagojevich from sweeping away existing mental health care money and to ask for more money fund to mental health programs.

Advocates from Stepping Stones and Janet Wattles Center were among 55 people who traveled from Rockford to lobby the Illinois General Assembly.

“The reason we’re here is because treatment works — if we can get it,” said Mark Heyrman, a prominent mental health advocate in Illinois. “In order to have treatment, you have to have money to provide the treatment.”

Heyrman said mental health agencies need the dedicated mental health money to care for thousands of mentally ill individuals and it should not be used to plug a hole in this year’s budget.

The Senate has approved a bill, S.B. 530, to empower the governor to sweep $530 million from dedicated funds into the operating budget. Steve Brown, spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago), said, however, the House has no plan to vote on the legislation.

Meanwhile, Frank Anselmo, left, CEO of the Community Behavioral Healthcare Association of Illinois, expressed concern that $10 million appropriated in this year’s budget for mental health care has gone unspent by the state.

But Kelley Quinn, spokeswoman for the governor, said the money is being allocated to agencies.

“Nothing is being held,” she said. “It’s not like it’s just sitting there.”

Quinn said there might have been a delay because the budget for this fiscal year, which ends June 30, was not finalized until last fall.

The money remains in a special account managed by the Illinois Comptroller Dan Hynes.

“It’s unspent,” said Anselmo.

Posted in Governor Rod Blagojevich, Illinois Budget, Illinois General Assembly, Illinois Mental Health Care, Illinois Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

New Health Care Plan Aims to Help 17,000 More Illinois Residents Get Mental Health Care

Posted by Frank Anselmo on April 25, 2008

(Springfield, IL) – On March 5th, Illinois mental health advocates announced at a Springfield press conference a new health care initiative that could extend mental health care to an additional 17,000 residents in Illinois.

Under the “Bridging the Health Care Gap” plan developed by the Community Behavioral Healthcare Association of Illinois, an additional 16,829 Illinois residents—of which 8,830 are children—fighting depression or teen suicide could soon get the help they need once the state of Illinois starts spending existing mental health care dollars.

“Any decent Illinois health care plan needs to provide mental health care too; otherwise, the health plan is a mirage,” said Frank Anselmo, CEO of the Community Behavioral Health Care Association. “This new health plan does that—it provides mental health care to more people in Illinois.”

“Once the legislature and the Governor give the green light, the $42 million available and designated for mental health can be used to provide mental health care to more people in Illinois,” said CBHA Board President, Diana Knaebe, above.

For example, Anselmo says local mental health care providers will be able to:

  • Provide more mental health clinics to help students at local high schools.
  • Initiate house calls to homebound seniors who can no longer drive or navigate public transportation.
  • Help children to get child psychiatrist services, saving parents the need to travel for hours to another state with their suffering child.
  • Hire bi-lingual and bi-cultural mental health counselors to explain the purpose, value, and directions of prescribed medications to non-English speaking patients.

The plan would cost an estimated $42 million. Key to CBHA’s plan is drawing on $42 million from the Hospital Tax Assessment money received from the federal government nearly a year ago and money from the state’s Mental Health Trust Fund.

Anselmo, above, worries, however, that Governor Rod Blagojevich will sweep away mental health care money to plug the emerging state budget hole, sacrificing the mental health care and alcohol and drug abuse treatment needs of residents.

“The Illinois General Assembly appropriated $10 million six months ago for mental health care, yet not a single dollar has reached mental health care agencies in Illinois,” said Anselmo.

“The legislature must ensure that the Governor does not sweep mental health care money, but spends it on mental health care.”

Posted in Governor Rod Blagojevich, Illinois Budget, Illinois General Assembly, Illinois Mental Health Care, Illinois Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »