Illinois, USA: Govenor Pushes to Close Mental Health Facilities

The facts on Quinn’s plan to close mental health facilities

By CHRISTOPHER WILLS
The Associated Press
Last Modified: Jan 24, 2012 02:09AM

SPRINGFIELD —

“Gov. Pat Quinn is launching a major push to move mentally ill and disabled people out of institutions and into communities. That means big changes for hundreds of people in state care, economic blows to the towns where facilities will be closed and turmoil for the government employees losing their jobs.

Most advocates for the disabled back the plan but wonder whether sick or disabled people will get the necessary care in group homes or living with their families. Others wonder why the Jacksonville Developmental Center and the Tinley Park Mental Health Center are first on the list to close.”

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Upon first glance, it seems that the people of Illinois are more concerned about job loss and state budgets than the welfare of mentally ill and developmentally disabled people.

The article says that Governor Quinn refuses to release rankings of mental health facilities in the state, yet he says the facilities that scored the worst regarding the condition of the buildings and the economic impact on the community are first on his list of reasoning. But is that a truthful statement?

The Associated Press says, “Some critics accuse Quinn of trying to balance the state budget on the backs of disabled people.” It is predicted that “closing the Jacksonville and Tinley Park facilities will save about $20 million ..”

It is argued that the cost of keeping a patient in a facility is much higher than housing that patient in a community setting.

There appears to be a growing push and pull between advocates, families, and state budgetary needs in the future for Illinois.

Retrieved 1/25/12  Full Story http://southtownstar.suntimes.com/news/10193266-418/the-facts-on-quinns-plan-to-close-mental-health-facilities.html



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