Behavioral Health

  • Morrison: Illinois needs centralized behavioral health plan

    morrison030320SPRINGFIELD –Since the demand for behavioral health services has grown and the behavioral health workforce is still experiencing shortages, a task force was created to study the crisis. Findings from the study were shared with State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) and the Senate Human Services Committee Tuesday.

    “This has been a major concern in Illinois for years, but as a demand for service grows and the workforce diminishes, it has gained an even greater sense of urgency,” Morrison said.

    Among the recommendations outlined by the task force was a plan for creating the Illinois Behavioral Health Workforce Education Center to lead a cross-agency, cross-sectorial strategy to improve access to a qualified, diverse workforce.

    The center would be structured as a hub-and-spoke model, linking academic institutions that serve rural and small urban areas and at least one academic institution serving the densely urban Chicago-area.

    A central location in an academic institution would be tasked with convening and coordinating role for workforce research and planning, including monitoring progress toward goals for the center.

    “I am happy to hear the group come forward with a comprehensive analysis of the issues facing the behavioral health workforce,” Morrison said. “I am hopeful stakeholders will continue to work diligently to fill the void.”