CHICAGO – A pair of bills spearheaded by state Rep. Lindsey LaPointe, D-Chicago, to connect more residents with mental health support and transform the state’s approach to children’s behavioral health are now law.
“It’s critical that we break down barriers to accessing mental health support for our kids and adults – both day to day and in times of crisis,” LaPointe said. “We should think of mental health care as health care, and continue to change policies so more people can easily pursue support across the spectrum, including annual wellness visits through their insurance.”
LaPointe’s House Bill 2847 will require most insurance plans to offer an annual mental health wellness visit at no cost and no diagnosis. Illinois is the third state to enact this kind of law, which encourages Illinoisans to integrate mental health and wellness into their day to day.
LaPointe also led the passage of Senate Bill 724, which implements recommendations from the Governor’s Children’s Behavioral Health Transformation Initiative. The new law aims to increase and streamline access to care, provide for earlier intervention, improve accountability and transparency in service delivery, and create greater flexibility for state systems to respond to the changing needs of the youth population.
“Drastically improving children’s mental health care in Illinois is a ‘must do’,” LaPointe said. “It’s unacceptable that most Illinois parents don’t know where to turn, and often have to send their children out of state for acute residential care. We have tremendous work ahead to build out our state’s mental health services, including the workforce and system navigation help, but I’m encouraged by the direction we are going and the momentum to expand access for families across the state.”
Both measures passed with bipartisan support and were signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Friday.
“I appreciate the strong advocacy from state Sen. Laura Fine and state Sen. Sara Feigenholtz who led efforts in the Senate to get these passed,” LaPointe said. “I also want to thank Thresholds who was the lead advocate behind House Bill 2847. These bills are the result of hard work and dedication from passionate advocates across our state who are making an impactful difference to improve the lives of countless residents. I am incredibly grateful for their partnership.”
For more information, please contact Info@RepLaPointe.com.