MCLEAN COUNTY, Ill. — Maintaining mental health continues to be a struggle in Central Illinois and across the country. In an effort to help, Governor J.B Pritzker just signed a law requiring school districts to offer more resources for students.
“It’s definitely refreshing to see some initiative is being taken,” said Liz Beth-Padilla of Bloomington. “It’s nice to see that it’s my state doing it especially, it’s reassuring that some change is happening.”
House Bill 1561 orders all school districts in Illinois to create a threat assessment team to evaluate mental health issues in schools.
“It sounds like a great bill and I hope that it really does help communities,” said Andrew Heitz of Bloomington. “It’s good that the government is taking a little more interest in what’s going on, especially because we have had a history of pushing that to the side.”
But for some school districts like District 87 in Bloomington, this bill won’t change much. Superintendent Barry Reilly says the school has already made efforts to create threat assessment teams. He does say however, this move will have a ripple effect, and it starts with students.
“When you have that balance of having good emotional health, physical health then that just helps to set the table for success,” said Reilly.
Unit 5 in McLean County also says they have had threat assessment teams in place for some time now.