House, Senate Mental Health Committees to Address Behavioral Health Workforce Shortage

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

The House Mental Health & Addiction Committee will meet jointly with the Senate Behavioral Mental Health Committee to discuss the ongoing issue of the behavioral health workforce shortage across the state. The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 25th. “We are at an inflection point when it comes to accessible and affordable behavioral health support, including the North Star that mental health care is healthcare,” said LaPointe. “More than ever, our residents and loved ones across Illinois have high needs and are willing to seek treatment and support. Stigma is shifting downward; and yet we simply do not have enough humans in the jobs to provide the support. Too many of us hear the words ‘waitlist’ or ‘appointment in nine months’ when we reach out for help.” As Chairperson of the House Mental Health & Addiction Committee, state Rep. Lindsey LaPointe has led efforts, in collaboration with Sen. Laura Fine, to combat the current behavioral health crisis, including expanding access to mental health resources. “The shortage of behavioral and mental health care professionals prevents Illinoisans from accessing the quality healthcare they need,” said Fine. “It is critical that we find a way to reduce barriers to improve this labor shortage and ensure mental health professionals can keep up with the high demand of patients seeking treatment. We must address this issue with urgency in order to provide our communities and our families with the timely, accessible treatment they deserve.”

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