The Proposed Cuts to Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Services Do NOT Make Fiscal Sense

Finding a revenue solution is critical

Please find below information from mental health advocates about the possible impact of state budget cuts as proposed by Governor Rauner. Many organizations stand behind the fact sheet, including Access Living. This information was put together by Thresholds. If your organization wants to sign on, please contact Heather O’Donnell at

Finding a Revenue Solution is Critical

The Proposed Cuts to Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Services Do NOT Make Fiscal Sense

Governor Rauner’s proposed budget cuts to mental health and addiction treatment services and Medicaid will destroy the state’s already weak behavioral health safety-net. As thousands lose treatment, homelessness, incarceration and institutionalization will follow. These settings cost taxpayers far more than treatment.

$87.8M cut to psychiatry, care coordination and programs preventing institutionalization.

$167M cut for DCFS youth age 18-21, resulting in increased justice involvement or homelessness.

Elimination of supportive housing services will result increased homelessness or institutionalization.

$34.6M in cuts to addiction treatment include cuts to heroin treatment, other addiction treatment services, recovery home services and services to DCFS kids.

$1.4 billion in Medicaid cuts, including eliminating the exemption for antipsychotics to the four-drug limit, dental services for adults and rate cuts to multiple provider types.

When Illinois cut mental health and co-occurring addiction treatment services by $113M between FY09-FY11, it cost the state $131M ($18M more than the cuts) in increased hospitalizations and institutionalizations,[1] when people lost treatment services:

Illinois Hospital Association data shows ER visits for people in behavioral health crisis spiked by 19%. 25% of these ER visits resulted in an extended hospitalization.

For every $1 invested in addiction treatment services, the state saves $7 from spending on healthcare, criminal justice and public safety.[2]

Investing in community-based treatment enables recovery and prevents costly, unnecessary care.

Cost of one ER visit/hospitalization for someone in behavioral health crisis: $6,328. Multiple hospitalizations are the norm when treatment is not available.

Cost of a full year of community-based treatment for a serious mental illness: $10,243.

The Governor and General Assembly Must Find a Revenue Solution to Prevent Cuts to Community Mental Health and Addiction Treatment

Supporting Organizations

Access Living
AIDS Foundation of Chicago
Alexian Brothers Center for Mental Health
Anixter Center
Chestnut Health Systems
Community Counseling Centers of Chicago (C4)
Crosspoint Human Services
CSH (Corporation for Supportive Housing)
Ecker Center
EverThrive Illinois
Grand Prairie Services
Health & Medicine Policy Research Group
Heartland Alliance for Human Needs and Human Rights
Heritage Behavioral Health Center
Human Resources Development Institute (HRDI)
IARF (Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities)
Illinois Alcohol and Drug Dependence Association (IADDA)
Illinois Network of Centers for Independent Living (INCIL)
Illinois Psychiatric Society
Illinois Psychological Association
Josselyn Center
Maine Center, Inc.
Mental Health America of Illinois
Mental Health Centers of Central Illinois
Mental Health Summit
Metropolitan Family Services
NAMI Barrington
NAMI Chicago
NAMI Illinois
Next Steps

(1) Thresholds, “The Path Forward: Investing in the Illinois Community Mental Health System,” November 2013 (using data provided by the Illinois Hospital Association on behavioral health emergency room visits and hospitalizations).

[2] Ettner, S. L., Huang, D., Evans, E., Rose Ash, D., Hardy, M., Jourabchi, M. and Hser, Y.-I. (2006), “Benefit–Cost in the California Treatment Outcome Project: Does Substance Abuse Treatment “Pay for Itself”?” Health Services Research, 41: 192–213.