black mentalhealth 102620CHICAGO – To analyze the issues in mental health and substance abuse, Senate Public Health Chair Patricia Van Pelt, Executive Chair Mattie Hunter and Health and Human Services Chair Julie Morrison will lead a joint Senate committee hearing Monday morning.

“Mental health is a sector of public health that is often overlooked in Black communities,” Van Pelt said. “It is important that we shine a light on the trauma-enforced issues and start the conversation around trauma-informed care.”

“Advancing solutions in behavioral health is one of my biggest priorities,” Hunter said. “Nothing matters if we don’t prioritize our mental wellbeing. It’s crucial that we promote mental health awareness, especially in the midst of the pandemic.”


“Mental health is often missing from public health conversations, even though it is one of the most crucial parts of a person’s overall wellbeing,” Morrison said. “Mental health disparities exist, and this hearing will bring those to the forefront and allow us to learn what we can do to end those disparities and move toward a more inclusive, stigma free time.”


Additional witnesses can submit written testimony online at

To watch the virtual committee, visit and click "Watch Live Virtual Committee Video." The link will be available at 9:30 a.m.

WHO: Senate Public Health Committee Chair Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago), Executive Committee Chair Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago), Health and Human Services Chair Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield), and members of the committees

WHAT: A joint committee hearing on behavioral health issues

WHERE: The virtual hearing can be viewed here: Blue Room Stream, a subscription-based service, will also stream the hearing.

WHEN: Monday, Oct. 26 at 9:30 a.m.