Newly formed Illinois Senate committee prioritizes mental health amid pandemic

Amid a seven-month legal battle with her insurance company over coverage of multiple surgeries, Fine said her husband struggled to adjust to his life-changing injury.

It got to the point where her husband tried to take his own life. Fortunately, Fine said, she was able to find her husband in time to make it to the emergency room. But she said she felt helpless because her insurance company didn’t cover mental health, despite her husband’s urgent need for care.

“We need to make sure that when you’re looking for these services, you have coverage for these services,” Fine said. “Because the last thing that enters your mind is ‘this is the health that could save my life, but I can’t afford it.’ And just knowing from our experience, that happens to a lot of people and we can’t let that happen.”

Previously, most mental health-related bills heard in the Senate would go to the Human Services Committee, but Fine said that committee was too broad and she wanted to chair one with a more focused approach to mental health.

She said she hopes the new committee, the first of its kind for the Senate, will lead the passage of groundbreaking legislation.

John Patterson, spokesman for Harmon, acknowledged Fine’s dedication to bettering mental health services in the state.

“The Senate believes it deserves a forum for debate and a launching pad for progress,” Patterson said on behalf of Harmon. “The Senate President looks forward to the great work Sen. Fine and the committee will do.”

via The Quad-City Times

February 3, 2021 at 08:25PM

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