Mental Health Movers and Shakers:

The Latest from Springfield and How to do some Moving and Shaking Yourself

Numerous Illinois legislators will join Hugh Brady of the NAMI Illinois Board of Directors to discuss some of the great strides that have recently been made in terms of laws impacting those with mental health challenges. They will then talk about how to implement the plans outlined by Grace Hou, Secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services. They will also discuss what it takes to go from having an idea to seeing a bill passed and signed by the Governor and talk about what we, as citizens in Illinois, can do to make our voices heard in matters related to law that impacts those living with mental illness and their families.


Representative Deb Conroy, Illinois State Representative of the 46th District, is a passionate community activist and a tireless advocate for mental health and DuPage County schools. A graduate of Columbia College, Deb is a former Elmhurst District 205 school board member who fought to improve access to education for special needs students. In 2012, Deb launched an underdog bid for State Representative in a district that hadn’t elected a Democrat in 36 years and secured a resounding 16-point win.

The spirit of service that first drove Deb to get involved as a young parent has stayed with her to this day. In Springfield, Deb’s poured countless hours into her work as chair of the House Mental Health Committee, while fighting for our schools, voting to protect vital health care programs, and finding bipartisan solutions to make our government more transparent and accountable.

Senator Laura Fine represents the 9th Senate District of Illinois and is the Vice-Chairperson of the Human Services Committee among other positions. Before her election to the Senate, Senator Fine served as the State Representative for the 17th Legislative District from 2013 – 2019. During this time, she was a champion of women’s rights, an advocate for public education and a strong supporter

of a clean environment. In addition, she fought hard to provide quality healthcare for Illinois residents. Prior to serving on the state legislature, Senator Fine was an instructor in the Political Science Department at Northeastern Illinois University and served as the Clerk of Northfield Township. Senator Fine has also worked in radio and television news for various media outlets throughout the Midwest. Senator Fine holds a B.A. in telecommunications from Indiana University and an M.A. in political science from Northeastern Illinois University.

Senator Julie Morrison has served in the Illinois Senate since 2013. She is the Chair of the Human Services Committee as well as the Special Needs Caucus – a bipartisan group committed to advocating for the needs of Illinois residents with disabilities. She also sits onthe Public Health, Agriculture, Environment and Conservation and Transportation Committees and will serve as a member of the Council of State Governments Midwestern Legislative Conference Health and Human Services Committee for 2019-2020. Senator Morrison is a forming member of the Children’s Health Caucus, a bipartisan and bicameral organization dedicated to studying and improving health outcomes of children across Illinois. She has also led the charge to reform the Department of Children and Family Services, ensuring the agency protects abused or neglected children from harm and receive the necessary services to thrive. Morrison is also a member of the Guardianship and Advocacy Commission.

Representative Michelle Mussman has been the State Representative of the 56th District since January 2011. Prior to being elected as State Representative, Michelle served as president and treasurer
of her local Parent Teacher Association and as a member of the Schaumburg Township Council of Parent Teacher Associations.

Since taking oce, Michelle has pushed to make Illinois more fiscally responsible, backing measures cutting millions in wasteful spending to provide relief to residents and to protect vital services for residents like seniors and people with disabilities. She is the Chair of the Elementary & Secondary Education School Curriculum Policies Committee and serves on the Human Services Committee and the Mental Health Committee. In addition to her work in the Illinois House of Representative, Michelle, who is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati, is a member of the Schaumburg Business Association and the Children’s Advocacy Center of North and Northwest Cook County.