Friday, September 14, 2007

Sen Righter: new law will help avert crisis

Illinois Senator Dale Righter, major bill sponsor, on the passage of SB 234:

The passage of SB 234 is a monumental victory for the mental health system in the State of Illinois. The legislation was brought to me by Karen Gherardini, who has struggled for years to help a loved one receive appropriate help and treatment. Karen’s perseverance, persistence and dedication to this issue, in addition to the support of so many other families who have loved ones that suffer from a mental illness have finally paid off.

All too often, the criteria currently in law makes it very difficult and sometimes impossible for individuals suffering from mental illness to get the help they need. In many instances, the individuals have stopped taking necessary medications, and as a result, fail to realize that they need those medications, or even that they suffer from an illness. In these situations, a brief involuntary commitment is the only way to ensure that someone with a mental illness returns to their medications and ceases to become a danger to themselves or others.

SB 234 will allow those who have made the care for and concern over individuals suffering from mental illnesses to do more to help avert a crisis.