Issues: Mental Health
Position in Brief
The League supports a comprehensive and coordinated system of treatment and rehabilitation services for mentally ill adults and children. There should be adequate funding, planning, program standards, and personnel training requirements for both state facilities and community programs.
The League supports a broad array of adequate and accessible community services. Although primary responsibility should rest with the state, funding from local, federal, and non-governmental sources should be encouraged. A system of local boards to levy taxes, administer all funds, and to plan and coordinate services should be required throughout the state. The State should require local governments to provide in their zoning ordinances for residential programs for mentally ill persons.
In November, 2009, then-League President Nancy Marcus, Mental Health Issue Specialist Darlene Bakk, and Criminal Justice Issue Specialist Eileen Subak submitted written testimony for the Governor's Nursing Home Task Force based on our mental health and criminal justice positions. Additional testimonies and information can be found at www2.illinois.gov/nursinghomesafety.
In the mid-1980s the League adopted the mental health position found in Where We Stand.
Since that time, the League has participated with other organizations who share our goal of adequate funding and planning with a broad array of adequate and accessible services for persons with serious mental illnesses.
Local Leagues across Illinois have done their own studies and taken action targeting mental health issues in their own communities. In 2007, the Leagues in Kane County (LWV of the Elgin Area, LWV of the Carpentersville-Dundee Area [now LWV of the Elgin Area], and LWV of Geneva-St. Charles and Batavia [now LWV of Central Kane County]) put together a mental health resource titled "A Profile of Community Services for Adults with Serious Mental Illness and/or Developmental Disabilities."
To learn more, please contact the LWVIL Issues Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org .