Publications

Articles on Mental Health

Failure to object to unfulfilled statutory prerequisites for involuntary admission to mental facility constitutes ineffective assistance of counsel

October
2017
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
On August 3, 2017, the Appellate Court for the Third District held that Tara S. had been denied effective assistance of counsel and reversed the judgment of the circuit court of Peoria County.

Lawyers and addiction

By Matthew Hector
September
2017
LawPulse
Page 12
A recent ABA/Betty Ford Foundation study shows shockingly high levels of addiction and other mental health problems in the legal profession -- and that few lawyers seek help.

Mental illness officially taken into consideration for sentencing

November
2016
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
The Unified Code of Corrections was amended to ensure mental illness will be weighed in favor of withholding or minimizing a prison sentence.

Coming soon: bed reserves permitted in nursing and mental health facilities

March
2015
Illinois Law Update
Page 20
The Illinois Public Aid Code has been amended by specifying that effective June 1, 2015, payments will be authorized for bed reserves in nursing facilities and mental health facilities that are at least 90% occupied and have at least 80% of their occupants being Medicaid eligible.

Residents of private mental health facilities may be entitled to same rights as residents in state-operated mental health facilities. PA 097-1007

January
2013
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
The Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code is amended by providing rights to residents in private mental health facilities if said resident would otherwise be served by a state-operated facility. 405 ILCS 5/2-103.

New guidelines for disclosing mental health records. PA 097-0515

July
2012
Illinois Law Update
Page 352
The Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Confidentiality Act has been amended to provide guidelines for the disclosure of treatment and coordination of care (740 ILCS 110/9.4 new).

Court-ordered mental health reports not confidential under IMDMA

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
April
2011
LawPulse
Page 174

“I’m worried my child might hurt someone”

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
March
2011
LawPulse
Page 118

Payments ensured for mental health, alcoholism and substance abuse treatment. PA 096-1472

March
2011
Illinois Law Update
Page 124
State lawmakers amended the Department of Human Services Act to ensure payments are received for services treating alcoholism, mental health, and substance abuse.

Video conferencing now permitted in some hearings. PA 096-1321

January
2011
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
Illinois lawmakers have amended the Mental Health and Developmental Disability Code to allow for video conferencing during hearings held pursuant to the act. 405 ILCS 5/3-806.1.

Raising the bar for involuntary commitment in Illinois

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
October
2010
LawPulse
Page 502

Committee charged with helping improve Illinois’ mental health courts

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
July
2010
LawPulse
Page 342
The supreme court has asked the committee to make recommendations for better information sharing, training for judges, and other improvements.

Taking the Cake

By Karen Erger
June
2010
Column
Page 322
How to put your temptation-resisting rational brain in charge.

Three-year pilot program focuses on the societal reintegration of persons with physical disabilities or mental illness. PA 096-0810

April
2010
Illinois Law Update
Page 180
Amendments to the Disabilities Services Act have charged the Department of Human Services with creating a new pilot program designed to show the reintegration possibilities of persons with disabilities who need short-term placement in nursing facilities.

Collateral estoppel does not apply to release of mental health records if prior action related to relevance of records, but not possible violations stemming from release of those records.

January
2010
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
On October 23, 2009, the Illinois Appellate Court, Fifth District, affirmed in part and reversed in part the decision of the Circuit Court of St. Clair County to grant defendant's motion to dismiss a complaint relating to the release of mental health records in a divorce proceeding. 

Involuntary commitment provision of Mental Health Code overturned

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
January
2010
LawPulse
Page 10
The Illinois Appellate Court rules that a code provision allowing involuntary commitment for "dangerous conduct" is unconstitutionally vague.

New rules set standards for dementia care units

November
2009
Illinois Law Update
Page 552
The Department of Healthcare and Family Services (the department) recently adopted new rules creating a pilot program for Dementia Care Units in Supportive Living Facilities (SLF) across the state. 

Crime victims may present victim impact statements in mental health commitment hearings. PA 096-0117

October
2009
Illinois Law Update
Page 496
Illinois lawmakers have amended the Rights of Crime Victims and Witnesses Act to allow for victims of a violent crime to submit impact statements in cases where the defendant has been found not guilty by reason of insanity.

A Guide to Involuntary Commitment in Illinois

By Rob Shumaker
November
2008
Article
Page 568
Too many involuntary commitments are overturned because the lawyers and judges fail to follow the law. Here's a how-to guide.

Correspondence from Our Readers

June
2008
Column
Page 274
 Sharia law; Rukavina and law-related services.

The Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Administrative Act is amended. PA 095-0427

June
2008
Illinois Law Update
Page 284
Sections 4.3 and 70 of the Mental Heath and Developmental Disabilities Administrative Act have been amended by the General Assembly. 20 ILCS 1705/4.3 and 70. Subsection (b) of Section 4.3, concerning "Site visits and inspections," has been changed by adding language providing that the Department of Human Services will establish a system of "regular and ongoing" on-site inspections "that shall occur at least annually." 

Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code amended. 095-0602

April
2008
Illinois Law Update
Page 180
The Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code, 405 ILCS 5/1-100 et seq, has been amended to add a new section defining "Dangerous conduct," and by changing other existing definitions concerning a person's awareness of the need for treatment.

Problem-Solving Courts

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
April
2008
Article
Page 184
Supporters of drug, mental-health, and other specialty courts say they reduce recidivism and help offenders get control of their lives.

2007 Spring Session Roundup

By Jim Covington
August
2007
Column
Page 408
Highlights of this year's legislative session.

Bill would make involuntary commitment easier

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
August
2007
LawPulse
Page 398
But critics of the legislation say lack of resources, not a too-high commitment standard, is the problem with Illinois' mental health system.

Involuntary treatment authorization and patient refusal right laws amended - PA 094-1066

July
2007
Illinois Law Update
Page 348
The Illinois General Assembly has changed the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code, 405 ILCS 5/2-107 et seq.

Tax nonpayment sales and the mentally ill - does the system work?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
June
2007
LawPulse
Page 286
Do recent cases indicate that Illinois should change its laws to further protect mentally ill property owners?

Limitations placed on property patients in mental health facilities may possess

March
2007
Illinois Law Update
Page 124
Effective December 27, 2006, the Department of Human Services has implemented new rules in 59 Ill Adm Code 110.30 that allow the staff at mental health facilities to keep contraband, dangerous, and restricted items away from patients in order to protect the safety of both staff and patients. 59 Ill Adm Code 110.30. 

Mental disorder defined regarding acts of sexual violence PA 094-705

March
2006
Illinois Law Update
Page 118
Effective June 1, 2006, the Illinois General Assembly has added section 4.03 to the Sexually Dangerous Persons Act, 750 ILCS 205/4.03, in order to recognize those with mental disorders.

Department of Human Services to Implement Model Protocol for State-Operated Facilities; P.A. 93-0636

March
2004
Illinois Law Update
Page 124
The Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Act has been amended to require that, no later than January 1, 2005, the Department of Human Services must adopt a model protocol and forms for recording all patient diagnosis, care and treatment at each state-operated facility for the mentally ill and developmentally disabled under the jurisdiction of the department. 

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