Illinois lawmakers introduce ‘March to Mental Health’

State Sens. Michael Hastings (D-Tinley Park) and Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) introduced “March to Mental Health.” (Dave Dahl/WJBC)


By Dave Dahl

SPRINGFIELD – A “March to Mental Health” – a package of bills announced by senators at the Capitol – aims to promote treatment and remove the stigma.

“Mental health people hide, they don’t deal with it, they’re embarrassed,” said Sen. Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake). “Mental health and mental health issues are no different from any other health issues. They need to seek treatment. We need to find ways to make sure we are delivering those treatments; and those community treatments which are really lacking.”

Sen. Michael Hastings (D-Tinley Park) wants pharmacists to be able to inject mental health drugs into patients. He says this can particularly help ex-convicts returning to society. “They have it hard enough trying to find a place to live, find a job. Being able to get a long-term injection will allow them to stabilize those issues.”

SB 1715 – pharmacists can inject drugs

SB 1716 – MCO’s and the state must cover drugs accepted in a published mental health manual

SB 35 – insurers must cover treatment costs for serious mental illnesses

SB 1135 – psychologists can prescribe mental health treatment

SB 1188 – Misdemeanor defendants found unfit may be sentenced to diversion

Dave Dahl can be reached at


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