Statement on State of the State
Thresholds, the state’s largest provider of community mental health services, praised the Governor’s remarks regarding mental health in yesterday’s the State of the State. Following is a statement from CEO Mark Ishaug.
“The time has come to enhance and expand community mental health services in Illinois. We’re very pleased that the Governor and other lawmakers appear ready redress the wrongs created by a fragmented and underfunded behavioral health system in our state.
The Governor talked about the importance of investing in community care for those with mental illnesses. He talked about the importance of investing in people, in supportive housing, in skills training, counseling, and services that help the vulnerable become productive members of their communities. We could not agree more.
Given the importance of access to mental healthcare in the overall health and safety of our community, it’s clear that we need to be spending more on critical services, not less. The men and women we serve need safe, decent, affordable, and permanent housing with supportive services, linkages to psychiatry and primary healthcare, employment guidance, and education counseling. Thresholds and our partners in the behavioral health community look forward to working with the Governor and the Legislature to fund these critical community services — community services that keep people healthy, and reduce unnecessary hospitalization and nursing home care.
We also join the Governor in his call for action on the terrible violence and crime in Illinois. A stronger commitment to early detection and treatment of mental illnesses is long overdue and equally important to improved gun laws in order to prevent future tragedies. That said, people with mental illnesses are no more violent than people without mental illnesses. Restrictions on access to guns should be applied equally to all people, rather than targeting persons with mental illness. This only reinforces stigma and misconceptions that create an environment where people in need are less likely to seek help, support and treatment.”
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Director of Public Relations and Marketing