fine powerfulGLENVIEW – State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) has been selected to join the new class of Milbank Fellows. The Milbank Fellows Program is a leadership program that focuses on public policy to improve health outcomes. This year’s class consists of 23 legislative and executive branch leaders from around the country whose work includes improving population health and health equity.

“I am honored to be selected to participate in this program, along with leaders from across the country who are also committed to improving health care in their communities,” Fine said. “During my time in the legislature, I have focused on a realm of healthcare issues, from access to affordability for both physical and mental health. I am excited to work with the program and learn new, evidence-based approaches to improve population health—allowing me to better serve my district and Illinois as a whole.”

The Milbank Fellowship program works to improve population health and health equity by collaborating with leaders and decision makers. Under the fellowship program, leaders will gain new knowledge about specific population health issues, interdisciplinary health and human services systems, and evidence-based approaches to improving population health. It also offers opportunities to expand their personal insight and leadership capacities in support of defining and advancing a population health vision and agenda, as well as to create meaningful connections with a network of colleagues.

“Each Fellow in our new cohort brings a remarkable wealth of health policy expertise as well as diversity of life experience,” said Milbank program officer Kate McEvoy, who oversees the state leadership programs. “We look forward to engaging with the Fellows and supporting them in continuous learning and the development of successful population health initiatives.”

Senator Fine will serve as a fellow in the 2022-2023 cohort.

Category: Press Releases

988 Mental Health Hotline FBGLENVIEW – The new 9-8-8 crisis line for mental health and substance use emergencies is launching Saturday, July 16. This new helpline will provide people in a mental health crisis with necessary supports.

“The past two years have been an overwhelming time for many Illinoisans, and some feel like they are struggling alone,” said Senator Fine (D-Glenview). “9-8-8 is an expanded resource to assist people experiencing mental health issues. I encourage anyone feeling anxious or depressed to dial 9-8-8 for local support, because a caring voice or a listening ear can make all the difference during times of stress.”

9-8-8 is a 24-hour hotline for people experiencing a mental health crisis. Individuals in need can dial 9-8-8 and be connected with a trained mental health professional who can help provide assistance. The hotline is a free, confidential service.

Senator Fine is the chair of the Mental and Behavioral Health Committee in the Illinois Senate. She has been working to improve mental health care access for all Illinoisans. This past session, she introduced and passed Senate Bill 3617, which will increase the mental health workforce in the state so that more Illinoisans are able to utilize mental health care resources. The 9-8-8 hotline is an additional tool to fill the current gap in mental health care by making immediate, high-quality support accessible to people throughout the state.

“Mental health is as important as physical health, and should have similar accessible and quality resources available in the event of an emergency,” Senator Fine said. “This hotline will now provide support in times of crisis for anyone who simply dials 9-8-8.”

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, more resources are available at Lifeline 988.

Category: Press Releases

I am heartbroken and angry. A sunny July 4th, 2022, a day meant to celebrate our nation’s independence, will now always be remembered as one of our area’s darkest days. In a community similar to our own, where we all have friends and loved ones, a monster selfishly used a high-powered weapon of war to shatter the lives, dreams, and sense of security of families simply gathering to attend a parade. As more details come forward about this tragedy, I am devastated for the families of those whose innocent lives that were taken, and those who are still fighting in the hospital due to their injuries. Not to mention, the trauma experienced by all. It is not only unthinkable that someone would commit this atrocity—but also the fact that under our current gun control policy, the shooter was able to legally obtain his weapon.


Let me be clear: Gun safety and gun control reform will be a legislative priority of mine in the upcoming session. I have been a proud advocate for gun safety measures for many years, during my time in both the House and the Senate. While we have passed some of the strictest gun laws in the country, we must do more to keep these deadly weapons out of dangerous hands. It is deplorable that our current laws allow for semi-automatic weapons, like the one used in the shooting, to be so easily accessible.


In the days and weeks ahead, I will have conversations with my colleagues on ways in which we can protect innocent lives from such atrocious acts of violence. Like you, I am heartbroken and grieving for our neighbors, relatives, and friends who have experienced immense trauma and loss over the past few days. I am committed to prioritizing gun safety legislation in Springfield and I will fight to make sure this kind of tragedy never happens again in Illinois.


If you or your loved ones are struggling with trauma, grief, or other mental health challenges following this tragedy, I encourage you to read on for resources to support your mental health.

 


 

Mental Health Resources

NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, has organized Coping with Violence Support Groups to provide extra support to anyone grappling with the emotional aftermath of the violence in Highland Park or any other violence-related trauma. All sessions are free and confidential - please register at least 90 minutes before the session starts.

Violence-related trauma undermines our sense of safety and can damage our mental well-being. While mental illness is a contributing factor in only 4% of violent crimes, the effects of violence are universal, and are not limited to people who were physically harmed or present at a violent event. It is OK not to be OK.

 

Coping With Community Violence – A NAMI Connection Support Group

NAMI Connection Support Groups are exclusively for people living with a mental health condition, and are led by trained volunteers who have relevant life experience and who understand trauma.

·         Register for Wednesday, July 6 from 7 to 8:30 PM  

·         Register for Friday, July 8 from 5 to 6:30 PM  ‎

 

Participants may also register at the general Connection registration link – please specify July 6 or July 8.

 

Coping With Community Violence – A Support Group for All of Us

This session is for people who are not living with a diagnosed mental health condition but who would benefit from support and fellowship of people who have similar experiences and who understand trauma.

·         Register for Wednesday, July 6 from 7 to 8:30 PM  

·         Register for Friday, July 8 from 7 to 8:30 PM  ‎

Participants may also register at the general Family Support Group link – please specify July 6 or July 8.

 

Grief and Loss Support Virtual Support Group

·         Offered by NAMI’s Cook County-North Shore affiliate. Open to any Illinois resident.

·         Saturdays at 10 AM. Click here to learn more and register.

 

Resources for Parents

·         Talking to Children: When Scary Things Happen    (en Espanol)

·         Talking to Children About Tragedies and Other News Events

·         Helping Children Cope with Frightening News       (en Espanol)

·         Helping Your Child Cope with Media Coverage of Disasters   (en Espanol)

·         Talking to Teens When Violence Happens      (en Espanol)

·         National Traumatic Child Stress Network

·         Tips for educators and parents in talking to children about violence

(Courtesy of Chicago Sun-Times)  

 

Other Emotional Support Resources  

·         Disaster Distress Helpline is available 24/7 at 1-800-985-5990: Spanish-speakers should press ‘2’ for 24/7 bilingual support. Staff are trained to help people through large traumatic events including mass shootings.

·         National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) – bilingual operators are available. If you or a loved one are feeling suicidal or are experiencing an acute mental health crisis, do not hesitate to call. If you are or a loved one are in imminent danger, please call 911.

·         Illinois Call4Calm Text Line is available 24/7 by texting the word ‘TALK’ (or ‘HABLAR’) to 552020. You will be called by trained mental health professional from your own community within 24 hours of your for support. Participation is anonymous – your information is used only to help you make the connection.

·         The Illinois Warm Line is available for caring support for mental health and/or substance use challenges at 866-359-7953. Monday-Saturday 8 to 8, except holidays.

·         The NAMI HelpLine, 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) is open 9 am to 9 pm Monday through Friday. You will speak with trained volunteer who will listen, answer questions, and help you find local resources. Visit our interactive map to find any of our 19 Illinois NAMI affiliates.

Category: Press Releases

pink maskWEST CHICAGO – State Senators Laura Fine and Karina Villa held a Senate Behavioral and Mental Health Subject Matter Hearing Thursday to discuss the psychiatric needs of detained youth across Illinois.

“Today’s hearing shined a light on where we need to focus our efforts to improve the delivery of mental healthcare for youth in crisis across Illinois,” said Fine (D—Glenview). “Our committees are working diligently to ensure our children and loved ones have access to vital mental health resources and treatments for successful outcomes.”

The hearing was held at the request of Villa’s Mental Health Advisory Committee, a group made up of mental health professionals in DuPage, Kane and Kendall counties who work together to advocate for mental health resources and care in the community.

The hearing focused on the drastic shortage of residential placements for youth across Illinois in need of psychiatric services. With more than 250 children across Illinois awaiting placement, these children are left at home or in hospitals with no access to adequate facilities with the proper care necessary to serve them. Children who have been through the justice system also experience additional barriers to receiving specialized care.

Family Service Association of Greater Elgin, Kane County Juvenile Justice Center, Peoria Juvenile Detention Center, and Children’s Home Association of Illinois spoke at the hearing to present their thoughts. They work with youth who have experienced significant trauma and present acute psychiatric needs, and have been directly impacted by the lack of inpatient psychiatric placement for youth who need additional services.

“There are hundreds of children across Illinois waiting to receive the care they need and deserve,” said Villa (D-West Chicago). “We must prioritize the needs of these children and ensure they have access to the appropriate care.”

Villa and Fine look forward to continuing the discussion and seeking answers for children across Illinois in need of care.

Category: Press Releases

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Contact Information

Springfield Office:
121C Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-2119

District Office:
1812 Waukegan Road
Suite A
Glenview, IL 60025
(847) 998-1717

laura@senatorfine.com