State offers Rosecrance assistance

The state is offering up some assistance to Rockford’s Rosecrance facility after funding for the behavioral health triage center was zeroed out in the current fiscal year.

It was revealed last week in a state Senate committee that the Rosecrance board was looking at possibly closing its triage unit in Rockford because of a lack of state dollars.

Since then, Phil Eaton, president and CEO of Rosecrance Health Network, says the state has offered half a million dollars to help support the facility in the current fiscal year, but there are still big question marks in the years ahead. Eaton says people suffering addiction and mental health issues are not going to go away.

“This truly abandons services and relegates them to the back of police cars or handcuffed to a gurney in a hospital emergency room,” Eaton said.

Meanwhile, Eaton says using state funds to support a behavioral health triage unit in Rockford will actually save taxpayers money, saying it’s beneficial to taxpayers to have the triage center open in Rockford.

“Keeping individuals out of costly emergency rooms or keeping them out of the criminal justice system … and having them function in the community is actually dollar best spent,” Eaton said.

Eaton says the state made a promise to support the Rosecrance triage unit when it closed the state-run Singer mental health facility in 2012.

DHS Spokesperson Marianne Manko said “DHS will be issuing a community services agreement for $500,000 for fiscal year 16 to help serve mentally ill patients at the Rosecrance crisis services center. Payment will then be made after the General Assembly acts to pass a balanced budget and enact real reforms.”

–Greg Bishop, Illinois News Network

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