pink maskSPRINGFIELD – In response to the current mental health professional workforce’s struggles to keep up with increasing demand, State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) is leading a measure aimed at growing the workforce in Illinois.

“For people who are bravely taking the first steps to seek mental health care, overbooked providers are major deterrents to receiving the care they need,” Senator Fine said. “I am committed to making mental and behavioral health care more accessible for those who need it, which includes addressing the shortage of mental health providers needed for the demand we are seeing in our communities.”

In Illinois, there are only 14 behavioral health care professionals for every 10,000 Illinois residents. Many people are forced to wait longer for essential treatment or forego health care entirely because of this gap. This can be detrimental to their mental and physical well-being.

To address these issues, Senate Bill 3617 focuses on expanding the current workforce. It will accelerate the process for out-of-state clinicians applying for licensure in Illinois, as well as streamlining requirements for social workers, professional counselors, and clinical psychologists with licenses that have been inactive for five years. Additionally, it includes initiatives to support diversity in the mental health field, establishes tax credits, and many more provisions, all of which will encourage more quality, accessible care to those seeking assistance.

“Mental health is just as important as physical health,” Senator Fine said. “This measure will address the gap between available providers and potential patients so that all who are seeking mental and behavioral health care face fewer barriers in receiving treatment.”

Senate Bill 3617 passed the Senate on Wednesday. It now goes to the House for further consideration.

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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