SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A new law backed by state Rep. Diane Pappas, D-Itasca, will require the Department of Human Services (DHS) to create a database of mental health resources to combat school shootings and lower suicide rates among teens battling mental health problems.
“Violence and suicide are tragic problems that we need to do more to address, and commonsense changes to our mental health system will prevent tremendous, unnecessary loss,” Pappas said. “Too many families have had to endure terrible experiences because we haven’t taken proper action to provide teens with mental health support, and it’s past time we did something about it.”
Pappas 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 that can lead to school shootings and suicide. Gov. Pritzker recently signed this legislation into law.
“We have many committed, caring people working in our schools, and even more parents and friends, all of whom can make a contribution in helping students get mental health care,” said Pappas. “This bill will ensure they have access to the right resources to know how to provide help effectively and quickly.”