SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Deb Conroy, D-Villa Park, will continue on as chair of the House Mental Health Committee in the 101st General Assembly. She is sponsoring new legislation to incorporate mental health into Illinois schools’ existing health education curriculum.
“As Chair of the House Mental Health Committee, I work with mental health advocates, parents and educators to brainstorm new ways we can appropriately address mental health issues in young people,” Conroy said. “The need for increased education for all, but especially for young people, is a constant theme in these discussions. We have to talk about mental health and have open and honest conversations with our children if we want to remove the stigma that mental health isn’t important, or that mental illness is something to be ashamed of. This bill is one step towards opening those discussions and ensuring that young people receive comprehensive and accurate information on mental health.”
Currently, school health education curriculum must include topics in human growth and development, disease prevention, public and environmental health, and alcohol and drug use. Conroy’s House Bill 205 adds instruction on the relationship between mental and physical health to existing curriculum topics.
“We have made great strides over the past few years to provide our citizens with the quality of health care they need but there is still much work to be done,” Conroy said. “I am honored to be given the opportunity, privilege and challenge to continue the pursuit in the legislature for strong mental health services.”
Conroy has served as the chair of the House Mental Health Committee, which considers and advances mental health legislation to the House floor since 2017. The committee worked to pass important legislation to increase mental health education and expand insurance coverage for mental health testing and diagnoses.