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May 13, 2015

Budgets are choices.  It's time for politicians to choose Illinois children, families, and communities.

Dear Friends,

Illinois doesn't have to make the deep cuts proposed in the Governor's budget-we have a choice. Instead of painful cuts to vital programs for our children, families and communities lawmakers, the Governor and the General Assembly must choose revenue.

NAMI Illinois joins the Responsible Budget Coalition today in a Day of Action to tell lawmakers they must stand for Illinois families and communities.  It's time to prevent cuts by choosing new revenue to close Illinois' budget gap.

Too many Illinoisans already have difficulty accessing mental health treatments they need.  The mental health and Medicaid cuts proposed by Governor Rauner further threaten our mental health system.  New budget cuts will mean people cannot get the treatment they need, costing lives and dollars.

Act NOW!

Tell lawmakers to choose to stand up for Illinois families and communities and prevent cuts by choosing new revenue to close the budget hole.

Do two things NOW:

  1. Call your lawmaker toll free at 1-844-311-CUTS (1-844-311-2887) and tell them to choose new revenue to prevent cuts to children, families, and communities.

2)   Click here to email your lawmaker by entering your information below. 

Please spread the word by sending this email to your friends, and posting the action to social media. Follow RBC on twitter @RespBudgetIL and use the hashtags #chooserevenue #nocuts and #twill.

Thank you so much telling lawmakers to #chooserevenue! We'll be in touch soon.

Sincerely,

NAMI Illinois

CALL NOW! 

 

 

April 23, 2015

NAMI Illinois Has Taken a Stand on Illinois' Need for Additional Revenue; Please Join Us!

Yesterday, NAMI Illinois’ Board of Directors adopted the attached Resolution calling on the Governor and Illinois General Assembly to raise revenue instead of resorting to wholesale cuts of mental health programs and services.  Over the past several years mental health budgets have been reduced to the point that there is no more that can be cut without further devastating the lives of individuals and families living with mental illnesses.

We’ve been in this position before, and it has not gotten any easier to deal with.  At the first hint of financial crises involving state government, mental health budgets have been among the first budgets targeted for budget and service reductions.  From 2009-2012, the mental health budget was slashed more than 31% of its former allocation.  To this day, mental health has not recouped that level of funding. 

The attached Resolution will be sent to Governor Rauner, Republican and Democratic Leadership and every member of the Illinois General Assembly.  We’re asking every NAMI Affiliate in Illinois to adopt this same Resolution and also deliver it to Governor Rauner and your General Assembly representatives.  They need to hear from you – as well as NAMI Illinois.  They need to hear that as their constituents, you, too, will not accept the elimination of program services for people living with mental illnesses.  They need to hear that it’s not acceptable to reduce eligibility for services to just to save money.  They need to hear that cutting mental health budgets is short-sighted; they need to know that all savings will be eliminated as costs soar when individuals relapse because they can’t get the care they need today.  They need to understand that mental health crises won’t wait for budgets, wait lists for appointments, or for eligibility status to change.  It’s time to stabilize and rebuild Illinois’ mental health care system.

We need to take extraordinary measures NOW to make sure our voices are heard so that our sons, our daughters, our mothers, our fathers, our friends and our neighbors can get the mental health care they need.  Let’s lead the charge for healthier communities… starting today!

Please work together to take action as soon as possible.  If you have questions, please call Lora at (217) 522-1403.

Thank you!

 

April 22, 2015

ATTENTION NAMI ILLINOIS!

 

House Bill 4096 (House Amendment 1) passed out of the House Human Services Committee this morning and is currently on third reading in the House.  NAMI Illinois supports this bill; it will enable reasonable access to children's mental health care under the Individual Care Grant (ICG) Program.  Please contact your State Representatives and urge them to vote in favor of HB 4096 (HA 1)

 

 

The ICG Program is the primary way Illinois funds treatment for children with a serious mental illness.

 

HB4096, HA 1:

 

*  Removes the Psychosis Requirement for Eligibility for an ICG because Psychosis does NOT Often Manifest Until Young Adulthood.

 

*  Prevents Custody Relinquishments for Families Desperately Seeking Care. Increasing numbers of families unable to get an ICG for their child have turned to DCFS for residential treatment, but are forced to relinquish custody in this process. This rips the family apart and causes irreparable damage to the child who is already suffering with an untreated serious mental illness. Making ICG accessible where appropriate will stop this.

 

*  Creates a Children's Behavioral Health Cabinet in the Office of the Governor, and includes DHS, HFS, DJJ and other state agencies and stakeholders to more effectively design and manage children's behavioral health care across Illinois.

 

*   Transfers ICG to HFS in Response to the State's Anticipated Settlement of N.B. v. Hamos. HFS will be the primary state agency responsible for implementation of Children's Behavioral Health Reform following settlement of the lawsuit.

 

*  The ICG Psychosis Requirement has Simply Shifted Costs for Residential Treatment from DMH to DCFS. The overall cost to the state will be about the same given that many families in need of an ICG turn to custody relinquishment, or their child cycles through multiple psychiatric hospitalizations without treatment.

 

 

CALL NOW! 

 

 

NAMI Illinois Public Policy Update - February 26, 2015

As we introduced preliminary information from last week’s introduced State budget, we all had many questions and issues that were not addressed.  This information and links to supporting documents / analysis will help you get a picture of the proposed cuts.  While the state’s mental health and addiction treatment safety net is anything but robust, the proposed cuts would simply destroy existing services.  Following are just some of the proposed cuts:

Mental Health Cuts

    ·         $27M to psychiatry services

    ·         $16.2M to community specialized mental health rehabilitation services that divert people from institutional settings.

    ·         $5.5M to hospital inpatient services for people with serious mental illnesses

    ·         3.6M for eligibility and disposition assessment services

    ·         $1.3 for integrated health care

    ·         $18.5M for care coordination

    ·         $9M mental health project reductions

    ·         $525K for individual placement and support

    ·         $167.1M to eliminate all DCFS services for youth 18-21

Addiction Treatment Cuts

    ·         23.4M reduction in Global Treatment Services for people with substance use conditions

    ·         $1.9M to heroin addiction treatment services

    ·         $1.8M for services to DCFS clients

    ·         $290K for Recovery Home Services

    ·         $191K in Child Domiciliary Services

    ·         Elimination of state funding for supportive housing services

Medicaid Cuts

    ·         $1.4 Billion cut to Medicaid, making access to medical care more difficult

o        Elimination of the exemption for antipsychotics to the four drug limit

o        Elimination of adult dental services from Medicaid

o        $54.9M reduction in Medicaid managed care rates (which will filter down to provider payment cuts)

o        Elimination of podiatry services

o        Rate cuts to hospitals, nursing homes and supportive living facilities

o        Rate cut to ambulance providers

o        Rate cut to child psychiatric hospitals

For those ready to delve a bit deeper in the documentation, here’s more information that might be of interest.

Immediately following Governor Rauner’s Budget Address last week, a number of Departmental Briefing Meetings were held.  These links provide information that was verbally provided at the Department of Human Services Briefing, and posted to the Illinois.gov website this week: 

http://www2.illinois.gov/hfs/SiteCollectionDocuments/FY2016BudgetBriefing.pdf

http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=76664

And yet another concise, snapshot summary of proposed FY16 appropriation increases and cuts to the DHS Divisions of Developmental Disabilities, Mental Health, Alcohol and Substance Abuse and Family and Community Services, as summarized by the Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities, can be found here.

Seeing all of this information in print should not ease anyone’s concerns!   It’s imperative that we act - and as only NAMI and our partnering mental health advocates can do – educate Illinois’ budget and policy makers that mental health treatment works and a wide array of services and supports must be available in communities throughout Illinois.

NAMI Illinois’ Public Policy Committee is pulling together advocacy materials and briefings, so check http://il.nami.org frequently for talking points, advocacy tips and tools.  This is a year that we must be vocal, effective and heard.  We look forward to working with you to make sure that the proposed cuts do NOT reflect the final budget adopted by the General Assembly. 

March, April and May promise to be busy months for all of us!  Stay in touch and stand ready to ENGAGE!