State Senator Karina VillaSPRINGFIELD – State Senators Karina Villa (D-West Chicago) and Laura Fine (D-Glenview) led a hearing of the Senate Behavioral and Mental Health Committee on Friday to listen to testimony regarding mental and behavioral health workforce shortages.

“It’s critical that we find a way to ensure the number of mental health professionals can keep up with the ever increasing demand of people seeking treatment,” Senator Villa said. “We must address this issue before it drastically affects our neighbors, friends, family or even ourselves.”

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to present challenges, resulting in labor shortages that are affecting the mental and behavioral health workforce. These shortages could significantly impact both patients and providers as demand for mental health services continues to grow.

Advocates from the Illinois Department of Human Services, the Illinois Association of Behavioral Health, the Community Behavioral Healthcare Association of Illinois, Illinois Partners for Human Services, the Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities and Thresholds testified at the hearing.

“Finding a solution to labor shortages in the mental and behavioral health community is imperative to protecting people who rely on their services,” Senator Fine said. “Mental health care is health care, and it’s important that we find a way for patients across Illinois to receive the timely, accessible treatment they deserve.”

Community members and professionals on Villa’s Mental Health Advisory Committee have also been working to solve the ongoing behavioral and mental health workforce shortages at their monthly meetings. Interested individuals can sign up to join the meetings, which are held from 6-7 p.m. on the third Tuesday of every month, by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Committee proceedings are streamed live and can be viewed at

Category: Press Releases

State Senator Karina Villa on the Senate floorSPRINGFIELD – The General Assembly has been working for decades to pass legislation co-sponsored by State Senator Karina Villa (D-West Chicago) to create licensure requirements for midwives in an effort to protect pregnant women.

“The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have forced many women to explore birthing styles outside of a hospital setting,” Villa said. “Expecting mothers should be able to have full confidence in their home birth with the knowledge that their midwife is a certified professional.”

Under current law, certified professional midwives without nursing degrees are not recognized as health care professionals who can assist with home births. More than 30 states recognize CPMs without additional degrees, but Illinois only recognizes the professionals who are advanced-practice registered nurses.

This landmark legislation would create the Licensed Certified Professional Midwife Practice Act, which contains education, training and experience requirements for midwives.

“Midwives have been helping bring babies into this world from a safe home setting for centuries,” Villa said. “This legislation has been in the works since 1979, and I’m pleased to see our state taking action to move one step closer to certifying professional midwives.”

House Bill 3401 passed the Senate Wednesday with bipartisan support and now goes to the House of Representatives for further consideration.

Category: Press Releases

State Senator Karina Villa on the Senate floorSPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate backed an effort co-sponsored by State Senator Karina Villa (D-West Chicago) to declare Oct. 28, 2021 as First Responders Day in Illinois.

“The first responders who serve Illinois deserve our endless gratitude, but declaring Oct. 28 as First Responders Day is a good start to celebrating our heroes,” Villa said. “These brave men and women wake up every day ready to put their lives on the line to save lives and make our communities safe.”

The proposal thanks 911 dispatchers, as well as firefighters, police offers, emergency medical technicians and paramedics for their commitment to public safety across Illinois.

“I’m pleased to see support from the Illinois Senate to honor and celebrate our brave first responders,” Villa said. “Let us take this First Responders Day to thank the hardworking heroes who serve our neighborhoods.”

Senate Resolution 534 was adopted with bipartisan support in the Senate on Wednesday.

Category: Press Releases

Senator Villa's workforce fairWEST CHICAGO – State Senator Karina Villa (D-West Chicago) is inviting employers and job seekers in the trade industry to an upcoming workforce fair from 2-5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 6 at West Chicago Community High School.

“This Manufacturing Month, we’re working to provide opportunities for workers to make their voices heard and give our community a chance to get involved in the trades,” Villa said. “People looking for jobs and employers seeking workers should register to attend our workforce fair.”

The free workforce fair is an opportunity to network with employers within the trade and manufacturing industries, with on-the-spot interviews for some employment opportunities. Everyone who attends will be automatically entered into a raffle for a chance to win one of five $100 Visa gift cards along with other prizes.

Job seekers are encouraged to register to preview employers prior to the event. Villa’s district office will also be hosting office hours on Nov. 1, Nov. 3 and Nov. 5 to help job seekers build their resumes before the workforce fair. Interested individuals can sign up at

Employers and job seekers can sign up to participate in the workforce fair at no cost at More information is available from Villa’s district office at (630) 326-9319 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Category: Press Releases


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Springfield Office:
M121 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-0471
District Office:
946 Neltnor Blvd., #108
West Chicago, IL 60185
(630) 326-9319

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