Illinois Mental Health Task Force makes call to action

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA)– The Illinois Supreme Court became a part of a national effort to improve how mental illness is handled in the court system.

State and national reform leaders met on Zoom Tuesday, many of those on the call are a part of the new statewide Mental Health Task Force.

This has been a two-year-long initiative by the state Supreme Court. In October, the first-ever statewide behavioral health administrator was brought on. Scott Block was hired to serve as a voice and a resource for those with mental health, and to head up initiatives.

Officials made a call to action Tuesday and announced the next steps for the new year.

“We will decriminalize mental illness and strive for a justice system that provides justice to individuals with mental illness,” Patti Tobias with the National Center for State Courts said during the meeting. “Too many lives have been lost, too many families have been left heartbroken and too many individuals are warehoused in jails and prisons.”

Block said each court district will be holding monthly meetings to survey the community. That is set to start in January and run through May. The goal is to find out what resources exist, what’s working, and what’s missing at the local level. Block encouraged everyone to get involved.

He said details will be on the task force’s new webpage. Click here to learn more.

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