Better Treatment for People with Mental Illness
DRIVE CHANGE THROUGH POLICY
Mental Health of America of Illinois (MHAI) develops and supports policy positions on key mental health issues working with legislators, state agencies and other not-for-profit groups to advocate for improved policies. Each year, MHAI develops policy priorities that are determined by our Board of Directors and carried out primarily through the work of the Public Policy Committee.
MHAI’s Public Policy Committee includes board members, staff, advocacy partners, providers and other outside experts who help determine strategies and tactics to implement MHAI’s legislative priorities.
The Public Policy Committee reviews all legislation affecting mental health issues introduced in the Illinois legislature. MHAI frequently presents written and oral testimony supporting or opposing mental health legislation. MHAI also has a lobbyist who works in Springfield on our behalf during legislative session.
Additionally, MHAI takes the lead role in drafting advocacy materials, including sample letters and position papers which consumers, providers and other advocates use to communicate to the Illinois legislature. MHAI regularly drafts and obtains passage of mental health legislation.
MHAI co-founded and currently Chairs the Mental Health Summit (MHS), an advocacy coalition dedicated to improving the mental health system of care in Illinois.
The Mental Health Summit is a state-wide coalition of more than forty advocacy organizations, professional societies and trade organizations in the behavioral health field. The Summit meets monthly to share information and coordinate advocacy efforts, primarily directed at Illinois state policy makers, but also federal and local government entities. MHS develops and supports policy positions as needed in partnership with legislators, state agencies and other not-for-profit advocacy groups to increase resources for persons with mental illnesses in Illinois.
MHAI works in cooperation with our national partner Mental Health America (MHA) to convince United States senators and representatives to support MHA’s legislative initiatives, including increased federal funding for mental health services and research and federal mental health insurance parity.
RECENT LEGISLATIVE ACHIEVEMENTS
WE HELPED OBTAIN THE ENACTMENT OF LEGISLATION THAT...
Public Act 100-1052 (effective 8/24/18) prohibits health insurance companies from making changes in the coverage of pharmaceuticals during the term of coverage.
Public Act 100-0903 (effective 1/1/19) requires public schools to provide mental health training to administrators and other school personnel.
Public Act 100-1118 (effective 1/1/19) limits the ability of health insurance companies to sell health care policies which do not cover the essential health benefits (including mental health benefits) required by the Affordable Care Act.
Public Act 101-0086 (effective 1/1/20) eliminates co-payments for health care (including mental health care) in state prisons.
Public Act 101-0251 (effective 8/9/19) strengthens mental health services in colleges and universities.
Public Act 101-0461 (effective 1/1/20) requires coverage of first episode of psychosis by Medicaid and private insurance.
Public Act 101-0463 (effective 1/1/20) requires the state Medicaid agency and the Department of Insurance to create a uniform prior authorization form for mental health services.
WE DRAFTED AND OBTAINED PASSAGE OF...
Public Act 101-0587 (effective 1/1/20) allows examinations for commitment to be done by tele-psychiatry and addresses behavioral healthcare workforce shortage by allowing advance practice psychiatric nurses to perform various task under the Mental Health Code.
Public Act 100-0710 (effective 8/3/18) clarifies and strengthens the Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Act to make it more useful in mental health crisis.
Public Act 100-1110 (effective 8/28/18) allows long-term residents of state psychiatric hospitals to vote.