Governor Quinn Announces Major State Investment to Establish McLean County Mental Health Crisis Services

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Press Line: (312) 814-3158
Katie Hickey
Dave Blanchette

Funding Will Reduce Pressure on Jails and Emergency Rooms and Help Get Proper Treatment to Those Who Need It

BLOOMINGTON - Governor Pat Quinn today announced a $700,000 state investment to establish mental health crisis services in McLean County. The investment will help Chestnut Health Systems establish a mental health crisis residential program and a medical detoxification program, both of which address critical needs in McLean County. Today's announcement is part of Governor Quinn's agenda to protecting and improving the health of the people of Illinois.

"McLean County will now have a facility that is able to provide crisis treatment for individuals with mental illness," Governor Quinn said. "This center is the next step on our mission to meet the health needs of everyone across Illinois. Community leaders banded together on this issue, and I'm pleased to join them to announce major progress toward our shared goal."

"Chestnut Health Systems deeply appreciates the recognition that Governor Quinn and his administration have given to the critical need for enhanced mental health services in McLean County and for providing new funding resources," Chestnut Health Systems CEO Russ Hagen said. "This critically-needed support will allow Chestnut to open a mental health Crisis Residential and Medical Detox program to serve individuals in a more effective manner than has been possible in our community."

The $700,000 investment from the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) will allow Chestnut to rehabilitate and repurpose an existing facility as a ten-bed residential Community Crisis Center to help those with acute mental health issues. The four-bed medical detoxification program will operate in the same facility. This addresses an ongoing concern in the community regarding a lack of mental health crisis services, with those needing treatment often landing in jails or emergency rooms that are not equipped or trained to offer individuals with mental illness the proper care.

"Chestnut Health Systems is a highly respected provider of substance abuse treatment services in central Illinois and they have provided crisis mental health services in the Metro East area of Illinois for several decades," DHS Director Michelle R.B. Saddler said. "This funding will ensure that people with mental illness in McLean County have access to services and resources necessary to heal and recover."

"A very active group of political, business, labor and community leaders have been working for over a year to define the needs for behavioral health services in McLean County and to identify best practices from around the country that can be implemented here," McLean County Board Chairman Matt Sorensen said. "The need for services has become acute, in fact, our Economic Development Council identified the need for mental health services as a quality of life issue that could have a negative impact our community's ability to attract and retain businesses here. The Crisis Care services that Governor Quinn and Director Saddler are agreeing to fund is a foundational piece of the behavioral health services puzzle that we are putting together in McLean County."

"This funding for Chestnut Health Systems provides law enforcement with an option now absent from our county," McLean County Sheriff Mike Emery said. "Law enforcement is limited when dealing with individuals with mental illness, and those limitations prolong and contribute to the cycle of difficulties they experience. Hospital emergency rooms and county jails were not intended to be mental health facilities. The crisis residential and detoxification program will provide the resources necessary to stabilize and treat persons with mental illness."

Governor Quinn has long supported affordable and effective healthcare for all. Under Governor Quinn's leadership, Illinois proposed a five-year plan to transform the state's healthcare system, including strengthening the state's healthcare workforce, to meet the needs of Medicaid beneficiaries. If approved, the proposal would allow the state to obtain $5.2 billion in federal matching funds over five years to implement the plan.

Governor Quinn has signed multiple pieces of legislation to clarify and expand the scope of practice for certain healthcare professionals in order to ensure that Illinois residents have access to the healthcare they need. He also supports efforts to streamline and expedite veteran applications for professional licenses to benefit military families seeking employment and consumers seeking access to qualified healthcare professionals.