Mental Health Advocates Make Strides in Illinois’ Statehouse

In the past year, Thresholds alongside our advocacy partners have made ground-breaking success and progress in legislation that supports mental health, substance use treatment, and harm reduction.

Recent major achievements include:

  • $170M in Medicaid Rate Increases for Most Mental Health and Substance Use Services! This is the largest increase in state funding for these services in decades.  Every community across the state will see the benefit of these increased dollars, aimed at addressing the workforce crisis and improving access to care.  Thresholds leadership is continuing to analyze the impact to Thresholds and is committed to investing as much as possible in our amazing staff.
  • IM+CANS Reform Discussions Continue to Make Progress.  The state-issued guidance on IM+CANS documentation requirements in response to legislation we spearheaded through a coalition effort.  In addition, Thresholds’ Eileen Niccolai and Virginia Rossi are serving on a state-led workgroup to further streamline the assessment tool.  Once the state has determined what workgroup recommendations it will adopt, Thresholds will work extra hard to make the IM+CANS process easier for both members and staff.  Stay tuned for future updates.
  • Establishment of the Human Services Professional Loan Repayment Program.  Once funded, this program will provide assistance for student/educational loan repayment.
  • Housing is Recovery Pilot Program Funding.  Thresholds, in partnership with many coalition partners, passed the Housing is Recovery Pilot Program last year, with $10M in statewide funding.  We expect this statewide program to launch in the summer.  The pilot will pair a rental subsidy with support service using a Housing First approach for people with a mental illness or substance use condition experiencing homelessness.
  • We are on the Front Lines of the Fight to Establish Overdose Prevention Sites for People Using Substances.  As an organization committed to harm reduction, Thresholds continues to build support in Springfield for sanctioned, safe places for people to use their own pre-obtained drugs.  Overdose Prevention Sites prevent overdose deaths, meet people where they are in their substance use, and connect individuals to support services.
  • No Insurance Co-Pay for Naloxone.  We supported other advocates leading the fight to prevent insurance companies from charging a co-pay on life-saving naloxone.
  • Expanded Eligibility for DHS’s Child Care Assistance Program.  Youth in care under DCFS who are parents will now be eligible for this child care assistance program.

Thresholds continues to fight to transform the lives of people living with mental health and substance use disorders and break cycles through advocacy and research.

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