SLOUGHRAN CAPPEL SB 3617PRINGFIELD – Illinoisans will now have more access to mental and behavioral health specialists thanks to a law signed Friday supported by State Senator Patrick Joyce.

“This new law provides more access to mental health treatment,” said Joyce (D-Essex). “The aim is to break down barriers so people can get care when they need it.” 

In Illinois, there are only 14 behavioral health care professionals for every 10,000 Illinois residents. Many people are forced to wait longer for essential treatment or forego health care entirely because of this gap. This can be detrimental to their mental and physical well-being.

To address these issues, the new law focuses on expanding the current workforce. It accelerates the process for out-of-state clinicians applying for licensure in Illinois, as well as streamlines requirements for social workers, professional counselors, and clinical psychologists with licenses that have been inactive for five years. Additionally, it includes initiatives to support diversity in the mental health field, establishes tax credits, and includes provisions to improve quality and access to care for those seeking assistance.

The law, filed under Senate Bill 3617, takes effect immediately.