Friday, April 22, 2011


Yesterday the Illinois General Assembly posted that the House Appropriations Human Services Committee will hear testimony on the Department of Human Services (DHS) budget on Thursday, April 28th at 8:00am. This is also the same day that the Community Behavioral Healthcare Association of Illinois (CBHA) is sponsoring an Advocacy Day for community behavioral healthcare which is from 8:00am to 1:00pm. The CBHA flyer states, and I wholeheartedly agree, that our legislatures must see and hear us. But how will they see and hear us if we are not yet awake?

I usually wake up around 8:00am and try to avoid scheduling anything until after 11:00am because my morning routine is critical to my mental health. Many of my peers take medication before going to bed which has side effects that make it extremely difficult to wake up in the early morning hours. It's a tough choice for persons with mental health conditions to decide between our personal mental wellness and advocacy for services that helps sustain our lives.

This is why I called Representative Sara Feigenholtz's office today and asked for an accommodation. As I explained to the woman who works in her office, waking up three hours sooner than I usually do has the potential to negatively impact my mental health. Since there are many human service testimonies that need to be heard that morning, I believe it is reasonable to ask that mental health be placed later on the morning agenda. She called me back to tell me that she didn't think it would be a problem and they were checking with DHS to see if they will be able to accommodate my request. I guess I'll find out on Monday and want to encourage all supporters to please join us in Springfield on Thursday. Hope to see you then!


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