January 24, 2020
Dear Community Providers and Stakeholders:
Greetings! My name is David Albert, and I would like to introduce myself and share some initial thoughts with you as I begin my tenure as the Director of the Division of Mental Health.
This is an exciting time for mental healthcare in Illinois. Having weathered significant challenges in recent years, we now have an opportunity to rebuild, rethink and redefine provision of mental healthcare in our state. Together, we can become a national leader in providing access to effective, recovery-oriented community-based services.
The Mission of DMH has not changed. We are dedicated to ensuring that those Illinoisans most in need of mental healthcare have access to quality services and are empowered to thrive in the least restrictive setting. And when our residents require treatment in one of our state-operated psychiatric hospitals, we are dedicated to providing them with comprehensive and high-quality care.
DMH cannot accomplish its Mission alone. Building and sustaining a robust mental health safety net requires partnerships across Department of Human Services Divisions, across state agencies, and especially with community providers. Effective collaboration will be key to our success. Moving forward, I will be focused on building bridges, strengthening partnerships, and supporting my colleagues to do the same.
Achieving our Mission will also require a reinvestment in our infrastructure. This will entail a significant focus on a community system weakened by years of insufficient funding. In the coming months, I look forward to sharing with you more news about opportunities to strengthen our safety net. These new contract opportunities will be consistent with DMH recovery values and will be aimed at enhancing our system of care through support for clinical services and development of additional, non-traditional community resources. They will: strengthen the connections between our state-operated psychiatric hospitals and community providers; build upon evidence-based and emerging best practices; develop new roles for consumer operated service providers; and provide funding to support individuals leaving our hospitals with concrete resources and clinical services.
We are currently in the process of developing Notices of Funding Opportunity, and I am excited to see this work progress.
Finally, I want to express my gratitude for all that you do. Please know that we are totally committed at DMH to supporting you and your vital work. I look forward to working with you to learn how we can best do this, and I am excited for all that we will accomplish, together, for Illinois.
David Albert, PhD
Director, Division of Mental Health
Illinois Department of Human Services