Illinois House Bill 527 permits licensed clinical psychologists with additional training to prescribe mental health medications to their patients. The bill will make it possible for many more Illinois citizens to receive timely and more cost effective services.
The Department of Defense has already trained clinical psychologists to prescribe, and they have performed very well and continue to provide services to military personnel and their families. This bill puts the state of Illinois in the forefront with New Mexico and Louisiana in utilizing these highly trained doctors to make more services available to the many citizens who don’t have services readily available.
Clinical psychologists who receive the additional training mandated by this bill will be able to prescribe safely. The psychologists who is already a licensed, doctoral level mental health provider will receive the equivalent of a postdoctoral masters degree in clinical psychopharmacology, be trained under the supervison of a licensed prescriber of mental health medications, and then pass a national qualifying exam covering every aspect of safe prescribing.
There is a serious shortage of providers who are both highly trained in mental health and eligible to prescribe mental health medications. Senate Bill 527 is a significant step in alleviating that shortage.