Sen. Durbin 'Amazed' By McLean County Mental Health Resources | WGLT

Sen. Durbin 'Amazed' By McLean County Mental Health Resources

Aug 12, 2016

From left: Bloomington-Normal NAACP President Quincy Cummings, Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin and Bloomington Police Chief Brendan Heffner speak following a meeting on police and community relations, mental health and opioid abuse.
Credit Michael Hill / WGLT

Community leaders and government officials in McLean County are receiving praise for their improvements to resources for people suffering from mental illness in the Twin Cities and surrounding communities. Illinois Senator Dick Durbin said the area is moving in the right direction.

"More and more communities need to do the same," he added.

Durbin met with Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner, Bloomington Police Chief Brendan Heffner, Bloomington-Normal NAACP President Quincy Cummings and other leaders and officials to discuss police and community relations, mental health and opioid abuse. Durbin said Illinois communities need more resources to deal with mental health issues.

"When it comes to mental health counseling and substance abuse treatment, we are dramatically under-staffed and under-resourced," he said.

Durbin said mental health resources are worth the investment.

"If you don't invest in dealing with mental illness on the front end, dealing with substance abuse, then that result is going to be more crime, more suffering, and a lot more cost to taxpayers."

The senator visited Bloomington following a visit to Peoria this morning. That conversation focused on heroin and prescription opioid abuse and featured  health professionals, community leaders and people affected by  drug abuse.