A close call Wednesday for the Rosecrance Triage Center after eight months without millions in state funding.
Sen. Steve Stadelman (D-34th) warned the state the center could close soon. The state responded by guaranteeing money for the center. But, Stadelman says the funding fight is far from over.
“I appreciate the acknowledgement. There was a state commitment to this facility,” said Stadelman.
He made his comments during a special meeting with the Illinois Department of Human Services on Wednesday. He said after the state shut down the Singer Mental Health Center in 2012, the Triage Center, which handles mental health crisis cases, was promised millions of dollars in funding.
“Unfortunately, even though the Triage Center has been very effective, and saved the state and community money, the Governor has zeroed out money the past two fiscal years,” he said.
The Triage Center acts as an emergency room for people who are in psychiatric crisis. Without state funding, Rosecrance has been paying for the community services program out of its own pocket.
“The Rosecrance Board of Directors felt that these services were so critical to people who may need them in this community… they have consistently voted, month after month, over eight months, to continue funding these services out of cash reserves,” said Judy Emerson, Rosecrance’s Director of Communication.
Rosecrance says 60% of people who show up to the Triage Center are stabilized and they’re returned home with follow-up care instructions, to prevent unnecessary trips to the hospital or the county jail.
Stadelman says Wednesday’s promise was a step in the right direction. He believes the fight for funding mental health programs like the Triage Center is far from over.
“It still does not resolve the Governor’s long-term opposition to funding this triage program.”