Mental health and Illinois, Pritzker signs omnibus law

CHICAGO — Governor JB Pritzker Friday signed a mental health omnibus bill aimed at addressing the shortage of mental health professionals in Illinois and increasing access to mental health services.

Pritzker signed Senate Act 3617 at the Wabash Facility of Family Guidance Centers in Chicago. The new law temporarily allows professional licensees to reactivate their license if they have been inactive for less than five years.

The bill was also written to expand behavioral health training, encourage the hiring of individuals recovering from substance use disorder or mental illness, and make it easier for advanced practice-registered nurses to treat patients.

With the signing of the bill, the Tax Rebate for Recovery and Mental Health Care has also been created. This is the program designed to provide tax benefits to qualified employers who hire qualified individuals who are in recovery.

In addition, a new grant program will be created within the mental health division of the Illinois Department of Human Services. Grants or contracts may be awarded to enhance the training and supervision of behavioral therapists in training seeking a license in specific fields.

Finally, as a result of the law, a 15-member advisory board will be established to investigate the effects of mental illness and substance use disorders on employment within minority communities.

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