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State Mental Health Cuts: 

A National Crisis 



















View the report by the National Alliance on Mental Illness

View the State Mental Health Spending Rank Chart




A Report on America's Health Care System for Adults with Serious Mental Illness

Illinois Gets D for Mental Health Care  

Improvement From Last Report Card

State Budget Cuts Threaten Recovery

March 11, 2009

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) issued a national report card today that gives Illinois a D grade for its public mental health care system.  

The report is a follow-up to a NAMI report published three years ago to measure the progress of states in achieving the goals of a presidential commission that called for transformation of the mental health care system – which too often is fragmented, outmoded and inadequate.  

In the previous report, Illinois received a grade of F.  This year it is one of 16 states that saw their grades improve.  The national average is D, remaining stagnant from three years ago.  Six states received Bs. Six received Fs.  No state got an A.  

See www.nami.org/grades2009 for the full report.

“Even slight progress is welcome,” said Verla Demopoulos, President, Board of Directors, NAMI Illinois.  “But you can’t applaud too loud when a grade increases from an F to a D.  There is a lot more work to be done.  State budget cuts won’t help.

“We need now, more than ever, to build momentum for change,” said Linda Virgil, Chair, NAMI Illinois.  We need leadership, political will and investment from Governor Quinn, each and every Legislator, and other champions to preserve – and build on – the modest progress Illinois has made in improving mental health care.  We know what to do; we need to make the strong commitment to actually do it.”

“An effective community mental health system that provides continuity of care, can keep individuals out of emergency rooms, hospitals, prisons and jails, and off the rolls of the homeless,” added Lora Thomas, Executive Director of NAMI Illinois.  “Crisis creates opportunities; now, more than ever before, it’s time to support many of the most vulnerable among us.”

The NAMI Grading the States report card is based on 65 criteria, including access to medication, housing, family education, and support to National Guard members.  It includes policy recommendations for federal and state leaders.  State governments provided most of the information on which the grades are based.


 Click here to read Illinois' report

Click here for talking points