Statement on Gov. Quinn’s Proposed FY14 Budget
Governor Quinn’s Budget Proposal Highlights Increased Investment in Mental Health Services
March 6, Chicago – Thresholds, the state’s largest provider of mental health services, and its CEO Mark Ishaug, weighed in on the implications of the Governor’s proposed budget for mental health services and our economy:
“The Governor’s budget proposes an additional $25 million investment in mental health services, recognizing that this investment has a direct relationship to the health of our State’s economy, our businesses, and our families.
We urge the General Assembly of Illinois to support the Governor’s commitment to community mental health services in our state, and we look forward to working with them to ensure that the FY14 budget protects critical mental health funding. Community care is a less costly alternative to institutional care that promotes better quality of life and independence.
In Illinois, more than 700,000 adults struggle with severe mental illness. The direct and indirect cost for the state is more than $2.6 billion. Every Illinoisan knows someone who has experienced the challenges of mental illness: 1 in 4 adults struggle with mental illness in the United States. The governor’s additional investment in mental health services would go a long way in ensuring that people get the services they need to recover.
Rather than overburdening costly emergency rooms, community hospitals, law enforcement agencies, correctional facilities, and homeless shelters, the Governor’s proposed budget would save our state and communities money by investing dollars to repair a mental health system in crisis. Untreated mental illness costs the U.S. at least $105 billion in lost productivity annually, according to research by Harvard University Medical School.
We are also pleased to hear that the Governor plans to make good on long overdue bills by addressing outstanding Medicaid payments and nearly $200 million of overdue reimbursements for the Department of Human Services by the end of the fiscal year.
While we believe that this proposed investment is a major step forward in reengineering our community behavioral health safety net, we must continue to work to protect the individual services and treatments that persons with mental illness need and deserve. Thresholds and our partners in the behavioral health community look forward to working with the Governor and our State representatives to fund these critical community services.”