Thursday, May 5, 2011


Earlier this week I attended a training and to my great pleasure, had opportunity to meet two women I had never before met that had emailed letters in support of mental health services. After interacting with them at the training, I was especially privilaged to deliver their letters (included in a packet of letters) to members of House Human Services Appropriations Committee & Senate Appropriations I Committee. I was blown away by the content and just wanted to take a moment to share with you some of what was shared with our elected officials.

"Reducing services to those whose wellness and safety will be in jeopardy by doing so, that also have no other options, cannot be done. How can we, any of us, justify bringing actual harm to others." -Jerry, Rock Island

"I have epilepsy and major depression. I need the medical card to pay for my medications...These services are necessary for my survival. " -Sherry, Belleville

"I have a medication that costs $900 at retail cost and since this has helped me remain stable I feel like these kinds of services should not be cut" -Melody, New Baden

"I have been homeless and have had no where to go. My life has improved with Mental Health services." -Elizabeth, Granite City

"I was fortunate to find a therapist who made me feel safe" -Ginger, Schaumburg

"We are in recovery and able to be productive again because of supported housing, CIL's, WRAP, and other programs which give us a chance to live our lives as people of worth." -Patrick, Granite City

"Through intensive therapy at a community mental health center as well as medication and a free, public mental health class called WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Planning) and several local support groups I was able to realize that my prognosis did not have to be my future. In time, I was able to graduate, to go on to college, and today I am looking forward to entering the mental health system again; this time as a practitioner." -Jennifer, Troy

"I have a Masters Degree and worked for 16 years in two Fortune 100 depression became so severe that...I had to quit my job. I applied for and received Social Security Disability Income for about two years. As soon as I was able, I returned to full-time work and have been working full-time and paying taxes ever since. It was very hard for me to be dependent on the government, but if the funds had not been available, I’m not sure what would have happened to me." -Mary, Wheaton

"This is just a small part of what the services of my community mental health center gave me. It changed my life forever they gave me my voice back. I have come full circle in my recovery. I now work for the very agency and group home that saved my life." Maggie, Peoria

"I pay taxes; I pay into the health insurance; I was able to raise and educate my two daughters...they are also tax payers and contribute to the well being of the communities in which they live." -Jeannie, Galesburg

"As you can see, human services, specifically mental health services, have been a lifeline for me." -Alice, Rockford

"Is the 'right to life' really an unalienable right?" -AJ, Madison County

"Please support the mental health system. They are the reason why I am stable to this day." -Sheila, Belleville

"I was fortunate to have family support and education, but was dependent upon disability income for about 2 years. That has been about 20 years ago and since then, I have become employed and now pay taxes." -Jon, Belleville

"...daily I read horrific stories of suicide, murder and abuse. These atrocities will only increase as services are reduced to nothing more than triage centers helping only the worst of the worst case scenarios." -Lynn, Belleville

"Maybe we can try balancing our books on those who can afford to live with a few less things and not their homes and food." -Jeremy, Lebannon

"If I am required to budget and pay my bills, certainly the state has to live up to the same standard." -Sandra, Fairview Heights

"Let the people know that Illinois takes care of its’ own who have disabilities and are elderly. They may not have the political power to speak out as some do, so we need to speak for them. I believe with strong leadership, Illinois can become a state in which we are proud to live in." -Ivalu, Mt. Carmel

"Since I've lived in Illinois, I've progressed significantly...The mental health services have helped me." -Pilan, Shiloh

It sure was hard just pulling quotes...there were so many good ones to choose from! Many, many, many thanks to people throughout the entire state who are writing letters and making phone calls. TOGETHER, we make a difference!


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