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Real mental health answers

U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-1st)

U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-1st)

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Updated: July 7, 2013 7:16AM



State legislators deserve great credit for taking on an important mental health issue in the just completed spring session. While our bill, licensing specially trained psychologists to prescribe medications for mental disorders, passed out of the Senate, it did not advance through the House. We have many reasons, however, to be encouraged by the significant gains made.

Senate Bill 2187 provides a strong framework to ensure that well-trained psychologists can prescribe to patients with mental illness. The needs of those with mental health challenges are growing, and Illinois’ current network of mental health prescribing providers is overwhelmed.

The Senate saw through the hyperbole of critics and voted 37-10. We had made significant progress in the House but had run out of time before we could move forward with a vote there.

We are very much heartened that growing numbers of legislators see that the advanced medical training of prescribing psychologists prepares them to prescribe for patients who desperately need care. At the same time, this expertise in medicine allows them to take patients off medication when therapeutic strategies have proven to be more effective. As we have consistently said, psychologists are neither interested in a turf war nor are we interested in fighting with any other health providers. We look forward to continuing to advocate for a real answer for our mental health crisis in Illinois, through Senate Bill 2187.

Beth N. Rom-Rymer, Ph.D., and
Patricia Farrell, Ph.D., president-elect and president, Illinois Psychological Association

Rush wrong about Kirk’s idea

I am constantly dismayed by the mind-set of people like U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush who, when encountering anyone with a differing opinion, yells “racist” to the caucasian or “traitor” if the person is black. I hate to apprise Rush of this, but there are a lot of us non-white folk who did not think Kirk’s idea was a bad one, though certainly not doable.

Rush, black “ministers” and others have been doing a lot of expensive, useless talking for over 50 years as the gangs take more and more from everyone. Gangs exist to destroy. Period. It is not racist or treasonist to wish they could all be gotten rid of.

Maryanne Burgess,
Edgewater



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