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Quinn Signs Bill To Improve Mental Health Services

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Gov. Pat Quinn

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ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (CBS) — Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation to help people dealing with mental health issues.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Keith Johnson reports, the new law will require insurance companies to provide equal coverage for mental health and substance abuse disorders.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Keith Johnson reports


It also creates a task force to develop a plan for state mental health and developmental disability services.

Other new laws create regional behavioral health networks statewide, and permanently excuse those with serious behavioral disorders from jury duty.

“No one should be forced to forgo critical mental health care because of where they live or because their insurance charges more,” Quinn said.

The new law comes as concern has been mounting this week about mental health services on the city level in Chicago. Members of the Mental Health Movement worry that the recent privatization of some health services in Chicago could be a first step toward privatization of mental health services as well.

The group believes that will mean care will suffer, and the mentally ill will not receive proper treatment.

But ahead of a meeting with the city’s Mental Health Advisory Board Wednesday, Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Bechara Choucair could not say if mental health services would be privatized at all.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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