Southern Illinois Legislators Ask Governor to Stop Mental Health Patient Transfers

Southern Illinois legislators submitted the following letter to Governor JB Pritzker and Department of Human Services Secretary Grace Hou on Wednesday, April 8 asking that immediate action be taken to stop the transfer of mental health patients between state-run mental health care facilities in Illinois during the COVID-19 crisis.

Dear Governor Pritzker and DHS Secretary Grace Hou,

The purpose of this letter is to request that Governor Pritzker take specific executive action to immediately end the practice of transferring residents between Illinois’ state-run mental health facilities due to our shared concerns over the COVID-19 outbreak. We request that this action be taken prior to the expiration of the current emergency declaration.

As historic measures continue affecting the free movement of the public, and amidst a lockdown at the Department of Corrections, it is our understanding that residents are currently being transferred between Illinois’ mental health facilities.

We feel that the continuation of these transfers poses unnecessary health risks for residents, caretakers, state employees, and the public.

To Governor Pritzker, we ask that you please issue an Executive Order immediately ending the transfer of residents between state-run mental health facilities. To Secretary Hou, we ask that you take all necessary administrative measures to end resident transfers.

If you have any questions, or if you need further information, please feel free to contact any of us on this urgent matter at any time.


State Rep. Charlie Meier 618-651-0405
State Rep. Terri Bryant 618-242-8115 or 618-684-1100
State Rep. Dave Severin 618-440-5090
State Rep. Patrick Windhorst 618-294-8703