This week, the Mercyhealth campus on Rockford’s West Side officially got the green light to permanently shut down its mental health unit.
On Tuesday, the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board voted 5-0, in favor of allowing Mercyhealth to shutter its mental health unit at the Rockton Avenue campus.
Danielle Angileri is with the National Alliance on Mental Health of Northern Illinois. She said these services are more vital than ever.
"Here we are in the midst of a pandemic," she said, "and they want to shut down a unit that's going to be really important in the future here, because everyone's being affected by this global pandemic in different way."
The decision comes several months after Mercyhealth temporarily closed its 20-bed inpatient mental health unit citing low utilization. SwedishAmerican Hospital has expansion plans for inpatient mental health care, but some local officials worry if it will be enough to keep up with local demand.
- Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco is a 2020 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project which is a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms.