fine hb1364


SPRINGFIELD –State Senator Laura Fine is launching an initiative to review data from the first year of operations and recommend updates for the future in order to make the 988 hotline as effective as possible for hotline operators and people experiencing a mental health crisis.

“The 988 hotline is the most accessible form of mental health care in Illinois and can be lifesaving in times of crisis,” said Fine (D-Glenview). “It is vital that we work to make the operation of care as effective as possible to best support Illinoisans struggling with their mental health.” 

Last year, Illinois launched the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, a three-digit dialing code for a national suicide prevention and mental health hotline, offering 24/7 access to trained counselors who can help people experiencing mental health-related distress. The hotline has been beneficial to many Illinoisans, but currently there is no method of collecting data on the hotline that may be used to improve the 988 system.

House Bill 1364 would create a task force to review existing information about the first year of the 988 call center operations in Illinois and examine the recommendations and decisions of previous state-led workgroups on transforming the mental health crisis response system. The task force would develop a plan for establishing a network of 988 call centers in Illinois that will best promote connection to care and sustainably funding the 988 call centers in future fiscal years.

“Without any data backing up our current system, we cannot know for sure if the way we are operating the 988 hotline is the most effective way,” said Fine. “The data collected by the 988 task force will inform ways we can improve this form of mental health care treatment so callers can get the best support possible.”

House Bill 1364 passed the Senate Behavioral and Mental Health Committee on Wednesday. It now goes to the Senate floor for further discussion.