Illinois expanding kids’ mental health services

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois (WTVO) – A joint hearing of the Illinois Senate and House of Representatives focused on the need to expand child mental health services,

Some senators have claimed that the pandemic has put children’s mental health issues at the fore. The majority of states cover children’s mental health through Medicaid, but Illinois does not, said David Gommel, president and CEO of the Rosecrance Health Network.

Gomel added that his company only accepts commercial insurance, leaving many who need help without resources.

“When children don’t get treatment, they switch between hospitalizations and crisis services, their behavior escalates, and they waste time in school or get involved in the legal system,” Gomel said. “All of these options are harmful to children and their families, are clinically inappropriate, and costly to the state.”

Jommel proposed a three-year, 12-bed residential treatment pilot study, which would make Rosecrance’s full series of care available.

Leaders anticipate that the program will lead to a reduction in children’s use of the emergency room and crisis services.

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