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Pritzker Signs Law Extending Grant Program for Behavioral Health Services

Gordon Johnson

Illinois must develop a plan to continue a grant program for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics by January 2022.

Governor JB Pritzker signed the legislation, which will extend a grant program that provides funding for behavioral health providers. Some providers have already begun to been receiving CCBHC funding through federal grants.

Anne Tyree, regional COO of Centerstone, said the program also focuses on the connection between mental and physical health and streamlining access to care.

"For people with serious mental illness, it introduces a model that integrates primary care with behavioral health. Because we know that people who have a serious mental illness die 20 years sooner than everybody else. So by working through community based services to address primary care needs, we are able to identify physical issues sooner and help them link to our medical providers and get treatment," she said.

The funding will also allow Centerstone and other providers to serve more people.

"Under CCBHC, you're allowed to use the funding to support people who have zero coverage. To provide them, not only with the regular services that are offered by a mental health agency, but also with things that will help prevent future crises. So maybe help them pay a down payment on an apartment," Tyree said.

Tyree said Centerstone has begun using the federal funding to expand care in their metro East locations. The state grants will allow the agency to expand the program to the rest of Illinois.

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Steph Whiteside