Services Offered by The IDHS' Division of Mental Health - DHS 4658

The Expectation is Recovery….

Services Offered by
The Illinois Department of Human Services' Division of Mental Health

The Division of Mental Health is guided by the vision that all persons with mental illnesses can recover and participate fully in a life in the community.

To achieve that goal, the Division of Mental Health takes its lead from the consumer, the family, and others with a direct interest, as decided by the consumer, in all phases of service delivery and evaluation.

Though individual circumstances vary, all consumers begin by meeting with a mental health professional who conducts a mental health assessment. The assessment is typically followed by development of an Individual Treatment Plan (ITP) that outlines the mental health services to be provided, the reasons why, and how long the plan of treatment should take.

We are proud of our community partnerships. Services offered through the Illinois Department of Human Services' Division of Mental Health are provided through contracts with mental health agencies, health centers, and hospitals throughout the state. Their professionalism and dedication makes this important work possible.

The services offered, their level of intensity, and their duration will depend on the severity of a person's condition. On the facing page are just some of the services offered through the Division of Mental Health.

Mental Health Services

The Illinois Department of Human Services' Division of Mental Health offers a continuum of services from intensive in-patient hospitalization to outpatient care backed by supportive housing and employment programs.

All services are provided by qualified mental health practitioners in accredited, certified mental health centers and hospitals. Service providers include licensed physicians, board-certified psychiatrists, licensed clinical psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, licensed counselors, and registered nurses. They are assisted by para-professionals and Recovery Support Specialists, people whose life experiences and training prepare them to provide peer support and who are directly supervised by mental health professionals.

A range of services is available, depending on a person's needs. The process of care generally begins with an assessment, followed by recommendations, treatment, and support. In a crisis, after an assessment, a person can begin intensive treatment in a hospital or with community crisis services and then transition to less intensive services.

Outpatient Services

Outpatient services are provided in partnership with community-based agencies and mental health care centers. These services are designed to help people live independently as they stabilize and move toward recovery.

Outpatient services include core mental health services such as counseling, individual and group therapy, medication, and medication monitoring.

They also include support in getting and holding a job, finding a place to live, staying in school, improving social relationships, and gaining access to benefit programs.

Clients receiving outpatient services may also receive psychiatric evaluation and treatment, including prescription medications.

Consumers utilizing outpatient services often receive case management. Case management services may range from traditional one-on-one support to Assertive Community Treatment (ACT), in which a team of professionals works closely with individuals and their families on how to manage symptoms in order to maintain independence and reduce hospitalization.

Finally, outpatient residential services are also available for mental health consumers requiring more fully supported or supervised treatment. Individuals receive support so that they can live in the least restrictive residential setting that matches their needs, with the goal of moving on to outpatient treatment at the earliest appropriate time.

One outpatient service that has been developed through the Office of Recovery Services is called the Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP). WRAP promotes the self-management of mental illnesses and addictions. It helps consumers monitor, reduce, modify, or eliminate symptoms. Recovery Support Specialists have been specially trained to help consumers in developing and carrying out WRAP plans and in connecting with other mental health services. The Recovery Support Specialists are staff members who are themselves living in recovery from mental illnesses and perhaps also substance use disorders.

Specialized Programs for Children and Adolescents

Clinicians experienced in providing for the mental health needs of children and adolescents tailor Division of Mental Health services to meet the specialized needs of younger people. A child experiencing a mental health crisis, for example, is evaluated through a Screening Assessment and Support Services (SASS) procedure that is the same throughout the state and which results in guidance to the most appropriate level of care. Each young person is provided a SASS worker who follows through for 90 days, adjusting care as needed. The Division also provides mental health services for young people held in one of the state's 17 juvenile detention facilities.

Mental health services for young people are provided through a number of different state agencies and often through schools. In its role as the Illinois Mental Health Authority, the Division of Mental Health fosters collaboration among such providers. The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, the Department of Human Services, and the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, for example, all use a unified version of the SASS system.

Inpatient Services

The Division of Mental Health works in partnership with many private hospitals to meet the needs of children, adolescents, and adults in need of inpatient treatment. The Division also operates nine psychiatric hospitals for adults.

The hospitals providing mental health inpatient treatment for adults are located throughout the state and work closely with the community mental health agencies and community hospital psychiatric units in their region. The exception is Chester Mental Health Center, which provides a maximum-security treatment setting for individuals sent by the criminal courts or who are in need of more intensive behavior modification services.

Before a person is admitted to one of the hospitals, a thorough screening is done to see if there is a good alternative to hospitalization. If hospitalization is needed, a team of professionals works with the person and others the individual may want to include to develop a treatment plan with the goal of helping a person get through the crisis and move forward using community based, recovery oriented services and supports. The hospital coordinates closely with community agencies closest to the person's home to help ensure continued treatment and support after discharge from the hospital.

Services for the Blind and Hard of Hearing

The Division of Mental Health has established "The Standards of Care for Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Late-Deafened, and Deafblind People." These services ensure that all community sites funded by the Division understand how to minimize barriers for people who have these impairments. One of the Division's state hospitals, for example, operates a special inpatient psychiatric unit for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Several community providers are certified to operate specialized residential programs, Assertive Community Treatment teams, psychosocial rehabilitation sites, and psychiatric outpatient services for people who are deaf.

Forensic Services

The Division of Mental Health administers and coordinates forensic mental health services for the state of Illinois. Its primary responsibility is coordinating inpatient and outpatient placement of adults and juveniles referred through the court system who are found "not guilty by reason of insanity," and those persons found "unfit to stand trial." The Division is responsible for their court-ordered treatment, secure placement, and for keeping track of these individuals when they are conditionally released into the community. The Division operates six secure adult and one secure juvenile inpatient facility for persons who have been referred through the courts for mental health reasons.

The Division of Mental Health also runs the Mental Health Juvenile Justice Initiative, which identifies young people with mental illnesses who are in detention, and it links and monitors their access to appropriate care and service.

The Division is facilitating the development of statewide programs to provide community-based alternatives to incarceration. It works to facilitate statewide expansion of the Mental Health Courts in Illinois and statewide expansion of the Datalink Program, which improves continuity of care for persons with mental illnesses making the transition from jails to the community.

The Division also runs the state's inpatient Sexually Violent Persons Program.

Illinois Department of Human Services' Division of Mental Health

The work of the Illinois Department of Human Services' Division of Mental Health is guided by the vision that all persons with mental illnesses can recover and participate fully in the life of a community.

The Division is responsible for ensuring that children, adolescents, and adults in need have access to publicly funded mental health services. In work involving the mental health of children, the primary focus is on prevention of mental illnesses. Early intervention designed to alter the factors in a person's life that could lead to a mental illness, coupled with strategies for building the resilience needed to maintain good mental health, can be highly effective.

Mental health care is available throughout Illinois. The state is divided into five regions, with mental health services available through 162 community mental health centers and agencies, more than 30 community hospitals with psychiatric units, and nine state-operated hospitals.

The Division works closely with other state agencies in doing its best to ensure that those who need help will receive it from well-trained, highly professional, and compassionate people. Throughout the state's mental health system, many care providers employ Evidence-Based Practices, approaches that have been shown, through research, to be highly effective.

Services are recovery oriented, community focused, and attuned to the culture of the person receiving care.

More information about the services provided by the Illinois Department of Human Services' Division of Mental Health is available online at by calling 800-843-6154.

People with mental health emergencies should call 911 or their local mental health provider.

Community-based services provided by agencies funded by the Illinois Department of Human Services' Division of Mental Health

In its work throughout the state of Illinois, the Division of Mental Health is guided by the view that, given appropriate treatment and care, consumers should have the expectation of recovery from mental illnesses just as they do from physical illnesses. In all its work, the consumer and his or her family is central to the process of making decisions about services needed on the journey to recovery. The services provided by the Division of Mental Health are:

Assertive community treatment

A comprehensive set of community-based mental health and supportive services for adults with serious mental illnesses and a history of high use of inpatient services.

Case management: mental health, transition linkage, and aftercare

Services that provide coordination, support and advocacy for consumers who have multiple needs such as mental health, vocational, educational, child welfare and other community services, and require assistance in obtaining them.

Assistance in making an effective transition to a living arrangement consistent with the consumer's welfare and development.

Client-centered consultation

One-on-one communication between a consumer and mental health professionals or with family members or others with a direct interest as decided by the consumer.

Community support

Rehabilitation intervention and support necessary to help consumers function as independently as developmentally appropriate within home, community, work, and/or school settings.

Comprehensive mental health services

An array of services, including those provided on a daily basis in order to assess, restore, or maintain a consumer's emotional or behavioral capacity.

Crisis intervention

Activities or services for a person experiencing a psychiatric crisis designed to reduce symptoms, assist in stabilization, and aid in restoring a level of functioning.

Intensive family-based services

Work with a consumer or the consumer's family to reduce the possibility of restrictive treatment such as psychiatric hospitalization or to avert a family crisis.

Job finding, retention, and termination supports

Provides a consumer with help in job development, coaching, and placement, with a focus on doing work in the competitive job market as opposed to subsidized workplaces.

Mental health assessment

The formal process of gathering and preparing written information about a consumer's mental health, leading to identification of service needs and recommendations for treatment.

Mental health intensive outpatient service

Group therapeutic sessions that are available to consumers at least four hours per day, five days per week.

Psychological evaluation

A psychological evaluation done by an appropriate mental health professional using nationally standardized psychological assessment instruments.

Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Support (PSR)

A range of social, educational, vocational, behavioral, and cognitive interventions for increasing the consumer's performance and potential.

Psychotropic medication administration, monitoring, and training

Helps a consumer prepare for use of psychotropic medicines, administration of the medicines, appropriate observation and follow-up, as well as training for the consumer, family, or guardian in administration of medication.

Short-term diagnostic and mental health services

An array of services provided on a daily basis designed to assess, restore, or maintain a consumer's capacity to function successfully in a family, school, or community setting.


Meetings between a consumer and a mental health professional designed to ease or reduce the symptoms associated with the consumer's mental health issues or associated behavioral problems.

Treatment plan development, review, and modification

The development of a plan to deliver specific mental health services based on the needs identified in the mental health assessment.

Vocational assessment and engagement

Testing designed to evaluate a consumer's vocational abilities, educational aptitudes, strengths, and shortcomings.

The Division of Mental Health provides the services necessary for oral interpretation and sign language for consumers whose hearing is impaired.

Illinois Department of Human Services
100 South Grand Avenue East
Springfield, IL 62762


1-866-324-5553 (TTY)

DHS website:

Programs, activities and employment opportunities in the Illinois Department of Human Services are open and accessible to any individual or group without regard to age, sex, race, sexual orientation, disability, ethnic origin or religion. The department is an equal opportunity employer and practices affirmative action and reasonable accommodation programs.

DHS 4658 (R-04-10) DHS/DMH Services Offered
Printed by the Authority of the State of lllinois.