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 Committees can be found at the links 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
To submit a question(s) related to 988/CESSA to the Division of Mental Health please fill out this request form: https://forms.office.com/g/K82GhbRgKJ