fine press 072721SPRINGFIELD – Families across Illinois will now have more resources to help support relatives seeking treatment in mental health facilities under a new law sponsored by State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) that took effect in the new year.

“Family members can feel helpless if they aren’t able to receive any updates about the status of a loved one receiving treatment in a mental health facility,” Senator Fine said. “This law will inform families, which will in turn help them create a plan of action to support the individual receiving treatment after discharge.”

Senator Fine’s Access to Basic Mental Health Information Act gives certain family members access to information about their loved one’s care, including whether the individual is located at the mental health facility, their current physical and mental condition, diagnosis, treatment needs, services provided, services and medication needed, discharge planning or continuity of care, and a physician’s report if clinically appropriate. 

The parent, adult sibling, adult child, spouse or adult grandchild of the individual in care can request information from the mental health facility if they meet certain criteria.

“Mental health care can be a lifelong journey, and having a well-informed support system is critical for healing,” Senator Fine said. “These changes will help ensure people seeking treatment have a safe space to return after their care so they can continue on a positive path forward.” 

Public Act 102-0372 was signed into law Aug. 13, 2021, and took effect Jan. 1, 2022.