To the Editor:
You have heard the nightmare stories about Senate Bill 2187, the bill in Springfield that would provide prescribing authority to psychologists.
But we want to tell the other side of the story.
The Legislature seriously considered Senate Bill 2187 in the just-completed spring session, but we ran out of time to get our bill through both chambers. We appreciate legislators’ interest in what we consider a real answer to a crisis in mental health care in this state.
The bill outlines very detailed and extensive training for psychologists to prescribe, as well as to take patients off psychotropic medication. Our bill provides for collaboration agreements so that psychologists and physicians will work in tandem to ensure patient treatment and safety.
Critics will tell you that psychologists cannot be trained to treat the psychological disorders with medications. Yet, law enforcement and a number of other mental health providers and associations disagree. The state Senate that voted 37-10 for our bill also disagrees.
Psychologists can, indeed, be trained.
With prescribing authority, psychologists will be able to care for their patients without their having to wait months to see a psychiatrist or physician who would write a prescription for them.
We want to work with physicians and psychiatrists, not against them. We are encouraged by the legislative progress we saw this year and look forward to continuing to work to ensure that patients can get the comprehensive mental health care they need when they need it.
Dr. Beth N. Rom-Rymer
President-elect, Illinois Psychological Association
Dr. Patricia Farrell
President, Illinois Psychological Association