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The Road Map to Mental Health Reform lays out what the state must do to create a strong mental health system. Our partners in moving this agenda forward include advocates, providers, individuals with lived experience, families, and policymakers from across the state.

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Check out our Road Map to Mental Health Reform Overview Fact Sheet to learn more!

Early Intervention: Improving Coverage for First Episode Treatment
Challenge: Most living with a serious mental illness (SMI) experience their first episode of psychosis by age 24. Unfortunately, public and private insurance coverage has not focused on clinically proven best practice for early intervention.
Solution: Early treatment has been shown by the National Institute of Mental Health to reduce symptoms, improve quality of life, and decrease hospitalizations and high doses of medication.
Download our First Episode Coverage Fact Sheet

Building the Capacity to Serve
Challenge: Because of below cost reimbursement rates and antiquated administrative rules, mental health treatment providers are unable to grow to meet need.
Solution: Rate and rule reform will allow providers to grow to meet community need.
Download our Building Capacity Fact Sheet

Addressing the Mental Health Professional Workforce Shortage
Challenge: One hundred and twenty-three areas in Illinois, many in rural parts of the state, have less than 1 psychiatrist per 30,000 people. With 60% of psychiatrists concentrated in the Chicagoland area, access to critical services is especially acute in outstate regions, creating a significant barrier to care.
Solution: Improving Medicaid coverage for psychologists would go a long way to addressing this workforce shortfall.
Download our Addressing Workforce Shortage Fact Sheet

Improving Access to Affordable Housing
Challenge: Approximately 1/3 of the homeless population has untreated serious mental illness. Having a safe, stable place to live is essential to managing any illness.
Solution: Innovative approaches to providing rental subsidies to high need, high cost populations who are experiencing housing instability will enable affordable housing and allow them to stabilize their illness.
Download our Rental Subsidies Fact Sheet

Connecting Justice Population to Treatment at Release
Challenge: Twenty percent of the State’s correctional population has a mental health condition. Over 6000 individuals with mental health conditions leave Illinois prisons annually. Without access to the treatment and affordable housing, many will become homeless and return to prison.
Solution: Connecting this population with access to treatment and resources upon release preserves their continuity of care and prepares them for successful reintegration into the community.
Download our Connecting Justice Population to Treatment at Release Fact Sheet

Establishing a Text Hotline
Challenge: Youth today are increasingly more comfortable with text as a primary form of communication. It is a quick, easy, and anonymous way to reach out for help.
Solution: Establishing a statewide text hotline assists those in crisis and connects those with mental health concerns for themselves or loved ones to local resources. Text hotlines have been a powerful tool in other states as well as some Illinois counties.

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Taking Action? Check out our advocacy resources below!
Talking Points and Tips on Writing a Letter to the Editor
5 Ways You Can Take Action
Sign Our Petition
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Have Questions?
For more information on the Road Map or how to get involved, please contact:
Heather O’Donnell – Thresholds, Vice President of Public Policy & Advocacy | hodonnell@thresholds.org