SPRINGFIELD – Northern Illinois residents who have been involuntarily admitted for treatment of a mental health disorder could seek care closer to home under legislation sponsored by State Senator Adriane Johnson (D-Buffalo Grove).

03162021CM0395“If you’re suffering from a mental health disorder, the last thing you need is to be separated from your loved ones,” Johnson said. “This measure would allow residents to be treated at the facility that’s closest to them, even if it’s across the Wisconsin border—it’s just common sense.”

The legislation would create the Interstate Contracts for Mental Health Disorder Treatment Act, allowing Illinois and Wisconsin residents who are involuntarily admitted for inpatient treatment of a mental health disorder to be treated at facilities across state lines.

For residents who live near the border of Illinois and Wisconsin, the closest qualified hospital or facility is often not in their home state. However, current law prohibits residents from being committed for mental health conditions outside the state, meaning that these residents must undergo treatment hours from family and loved ones.

Similar collaborative arrangements have been successfully enacted in Michigan, Iowa and Minnesota, which allow providers in these states to accept patients from Wisconsin for mental health treatment.

“Many Wisconsin residents utilize Illinois services and have family in Illinois, and vice versa. By establishing this agreement, we’re helping residents throughout the region get well,” Johnson said.

Senate Bill 1966 passed the Senate Behavioral and Mental Health Committee Tuesday and now heads to the full Senate for consideration.