Illinois became a nationwide leader in recognizing the importance of mental health to children’s overall health, well-being and academic success when the General Assembly passed the Children’s Mental Health (CMH) Act of 2003. With its passage, Illinois made a clear and critical commitment to children’s mental health and to the need for reforming an existing mental health system that was highly fragmented, under-resourced, and inadequately coordinated to meet the needs of Illinois children and their families.
The CMH Act created the Illinois Children’s Mental Health Partnership (ICMHP) and charged it with developing a Children’s Mental Health Plan, a strategic roadmap containing short-term and long-term recommendations for providing comprehensive, coordinated mental health prevention, early intervention, and treatment services for children from birth to age 18. The Plan embodies the collective vision and tireless work of over 250 individuals representing children and youth, families, policymakers, advocates, professionals, clinicians, and key systems. Partnership members finalized the following 2005 Strategic Plan and then later came together to form the updated Strategic Priorities in 2012.