(Springfield, IL) – Led by the Community Behavioral Healthcare Association of Illinois, behavioral health care organizations throughout Illinois will participate in a two-day advocacy event next week – Hill Day at Home – drawing more than 2,500 attendees from all 50 states and showcasing the impact of the COVID-19 health pandemic on behavioral health care providers.
The June 23-24 is organized by the National Council for Behavioral Health.
“This important event gives us an opportunity each year to advocate for bipartisan solutions to help providers in our state and throughout the country deliver life-saving treatment and services to people coping with mental illness or substance use disorders,” said Blanca Campos, Vice President of Policy & Government Affairs at Community Behavioral Healthcare Association of Illinois (CBHA).
This year, the annual event – Hill Day at Home – will occur virtually.
“We may be apart, but behavioral health care providers nationwide are united in our efforts,” National Council for Behavioral Health President and CEO Chuck Ingoglia said. “We have a record number of attendees this year because our members face incredible challenges and understand the importance of advocacy. No matter where our members participate from this week, we stand together in efforts to work with Congress on bipartisan solutions.”
Hill Day at Home will include discussions to provide guidance on providing treatment and services throughout the pandemic. Clients have faced incredible barriers to access due to the pandemic, but behavioral health care providers have responded to the challenge by leveraging telehealth solutions.
“Changes in state and federal telehealth regulations since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic have accommodated the movement of behavioral health care treatment and services online, and clients have benefited greatly as a result of providers’ ability to shift to virtual delivery of services,” said Campos.
In Illinois, National Council for Behavioral Health members operate Community Mental Health Centers and Substance Use Treatment Centers, which transform the lives of thousands of individuals, youth, and families each year, notes Campos.
Hill Day attendees will hear experts discuss telehealth in a session titled “Telehealth During COVID: The Pros, Cons and Next Steps.” Additional workshops will address eliminating barriers to access for those in need of behavioral health care. The National Council for Behavioral Health will recognize Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Rep. David Trone (D-Maryland) with Legislator of the Year awards for their work on bipartisan solutions.
The National Council for Behavioral Health represents 3,326 organizations serving over 10 million adults, children and families living with mental illnesses and addictions.