SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A new law backed by state Rep. Mike Halpin, D-Rock Island, will expand treatment options for teens with psychological problems by requiring the Department of Human Services (DHS) to make a database of resources about mental health care available to teachers, school workers, parents and anyone around troubled teens.
“Our kids should never have to face mental health conditions alone,” Halpin said. “We need to give them as much support as possible, but we also need information from professionals who know how to handle these situations. Teachers and parents, friends and anyone else who knows a kid who is struggling with a problem like depression or who has to deal with daily bullying; they have to know the best ways to help.”
Halpin supported House Bill 907, which requires DHS to make a database of information on mental health treatment options available on their website for parents, teachers, school social workers and any others who might be able to provide help. The goal is to create an environment of information sharing and understanding about the underlying causes and treatments for bullying, depression and other problems which can lead to school shootings and suicide. Gov. J.B. Pritzker recently signed this legislation into law.
“After a tragedy, we can often look back and see a point, frequently multiple points, where informed intervention by a friend or teacher or parent could have averted disaster,” Halpin said. “This legislation will give those people the tools to help their friend or student or son when it’s most important. Kids dealing with mental health issues need our support, and we have to give it to them.”