988 Planning


Please note: The 988 Public Messaging Sub-Committee will be resume meetings, beginning on Thursday May 26, 10:30 am - Noon. See more details below under the Public Messaging Sub-committee section."

The Illinois Department of Human Services/Division of Mental Health (IDHS/DMH) was awarded a grant from Vibrant, operator of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Lifeline) to plan for the implementation of 988, a national three-digit dialing code for the Lifeline and for calls from individuals experiencing mental health crises. IDHS/DMH is partnering with the six existing Lifeline call centers in Illinois, as well as key stakeholders in the state to ensure a smooth transition to the 988 system when it rolls out in July 2022.

The Illinois Key Stakeholder Coalition will serve as an advisory group for the IDHS 988 Planning Grant Team. The expectation is the development of a clear roadmap for Illinois to address key coordination, capacity, funding, and communication strategies for the launching of 988. The team is also expected to plan for the long-term improvement of in-state answer rates for 988 calls originating in Illinois.

Once it is operational, 988 will be a direct line to trained call takers available to anyone experiencing a mental health crisis or suicidal thoughts, anywhere in the US, at any time to help find the support and help they need. It will serve as a core component of crisis care in the country, consistent with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's SAMHSA Crisis Services: Meeting Needs, Saving Lives initiative https://store.samhsa.gov/product/crisis-services-meeting-needs-saving-lives/PEP20-08-01-001

Community Emergency Services and Support Act (CESSA) Information

On August 25, 2021, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law the Community Emergency Services and Supports Act (CESSA), also known as the Stephon Watts Act. This new legislation requires emergency response operators such as those at 911 centers, to refer calls seeking mental and behavioral health support to a new service that can dispatch a team of mental health professionals instead of police. This marks a significant change in policy.

The implementation details for this new law have been tasked to the Secretary of the Department of Human Services, who will work in concert with the 911 Administrator at the Illinois State Police, the EMS administrators under the purview of the Illinois Department of Public Health, and Statewide and Regional Advisory Committees to be established through appointment by the Secretary.  More information about these Regional Committees can be found below.

To sign up for Communications from the Division of Mental Health regarding 988 and/or the Community Emergency Services and Support Act (CESSA) please complete the request form at: https://forms.office.com/g/Da9MEQE8Hb

CESSA Regional Committees

Consistent with the CESSA legislation and the DHS commitment to advancing equity and racial justice, including diverse representation on all of our boards remains a priority for DHS, so we encourage consideration of candidates who represent underserved and/or underrepresented communities.  We have developed this survey/form to gather sufficient information to be able to identify a diverse slate of potential nominees.  Completion of this survey is not a guarantee of becoming a committee member-it is merely a device to compile a list of interested individuals for consideration of appointment.  As stated above, these Committees will be established through appointment by the Secretary of the Department of Human Services in conjunction with the 911 Administrator at the Illinois State Police, and the EMS administrators under the purview of the Illinois Department of Public Health. 

The information provided by these survey responses will be utilized only for the purpose noted here, and will not be shared outside the group tasked with making recommendations.  We appreciate your response and interest in serving on a Committee defined within the Community Emergency Services and Support Act.


Key Stakeholder Coalition Meetings

ADDED Key Stakeholder Coalition Meetings

Key Stakeholder Coalition - Subcommittees

For any issues with this page/links please email Courtney.E.Aidich@illinois.gov