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Illinois' Behavioral Health Agencies Have a Long Road to Restoring Services

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Mariela M.
/
Flickr/Creative Commons

Illinois may have its first complete state budget in two years, but an organization representing dozens of addiction and mental health centers in the state says it will be a long time before services return to their previous levels.

Sara Howe with the Illinois Association for Behavioral Health says some of her group’s member agencies have closed, and others laid off staff during the budget impasse. Now, she says getting those workers back may be difficult.

“People don’t want to come back to work if they’re not sure they’re going to keep their job. They’re going to look for something where they believe it’s more stable," Howe said. 

Howe says social service agencies that rely on state funding will also be wary of re-hiring staff, until the state gets back to a steady payment schedule that they feel they can rely on.