(20 ILCS 1340/5)
The General Assembly recognizes that an estimated 25% of Illinoisans aged 18 years or older have experienced a mental or substance use disorder, an estimated 700,000 Illinois adults aged 18 years or older have a serious mental illness and an estimated 240,000 Illinois children and adolescents have a serious emotional disturbance. And on any given day, many go without treatment because it is not available or accessible. Recent federal and State fiscal crises have exacerbated an already deteriorating mental health and substance abuse (behavioral health) treatment system that is characterized by fragmentation, geographic disparities, inadequate funding, psychiatric and other mental health workforce shortages, lack of transportation, and overuse of acute and emergency care by persons in crisis who are unable to obtain treatment from less intensive community alternatives. The failure to treat mental and substance use illnesses has human and financial consequences: human suffering and loss of function; increased use of hospital emergency departments; increased use of all medical services; increased unemployment and lack of productivity; lack of meaningful engagement in family and communities; school failure; homelessness; incarceration; and, in some instances, death. The citizens of Illinois with mental and substance use illnesses need an organized and integrated system of care that recognizes regional differences and is able to deliver the right care to the right person at the right time.
(Source: P.A. 97-381, eff. 1-1-12.)