Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SJR0023
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Full Text of SJR0023  102nd General Assembly




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2    WHEREAS, Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), a novel,
3severe, acute illness, has rapidly spread throughout Illinois,
4resulting in unnecessary loss of life, loss of economic
5stability, increasing behavioral health struggles, and new
6trauma exposure for every race, age, gender, and ethnicity;
7this has resulted in an increasing public health disaster and
8acceleration of the current legal, educational, health, and
9social systems volatility, which brings the need for
10healthcare and human services transformation for every
11individual in Illinois; and
12    WHEREAS, Dysfunction of neurological, endocrine, and other
13polyvagal mechanisms in the body can lead to chronic and
14severe physical and mental illness with severe associated
15cost; the effects of trauma exposures on humans are detailed
16in research over the last two decades from the evolving
17sciences of neuroscience, molecular biology, public health,
18genomics, and epigenetics, revealing that experiences such as
19a community trauma, individual trauma, and pandemic trauma
20result in significant impacts at the micro, meso, and macro
21health system levels; and
22    WHEREAS, The vast short term impact of COVID-19 has led to
23a surge in suicides, overdoses on drugs and alcohol, abuse,



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1neglect, and general anxiety and depression; the collateral
2damage will continue to impact the daily living and
3functionality of individuals due to the increasing isolation
4and loneliness being experienced; beyond facing the barriers
5present pre-pandemic, individuals are now facing magnified
6obstacles related to access to care and unprecedented
7interruptions to existing care for existing mental illness; it
8is now vital for mental health and wellness to be viewed as a
9political priority due to its direct link to social injustice,
10poverty, systemic discrimination, and racism; and
11    WHEREAS, The continued short-term impact of COVID-19 has
12been well discussed; the long-term impact, while it may be
13able to be predicted, is still not fully known and
14comprehended; by proactively anticipating, applying
15evidence-based knowledge, and listening closely to the stories
16of every individual in Illinois, we understand that public
17health must take a capacity building and foundational approach
18to the development, dissemination, and support of programs
19that have been demonstrated or can lead the way to addressing
20these long-term impacts, including addressing the growing
21mental and physical health needs and epigenetic impact; and
22    WHEREAS, Covid-19 not only effects society at a cellular
23level but also leads to social and economic devastation,
24including the impact it has had on the basic safety and



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1security needs of Illinois families and also the ability to
2achieve adequate food, water, warmth, and rest, as well as
3inequality in meeting children's individual educational needs
4for building the hope and strength of our future; at a time
5when the struggles for individuals in Illinois are escalating
6from the loss of power and ability to care for themselves and
7their families, it is essential to address the social, mental,
8physical, financial, and educational, short-term and long-term
9costs of this pandemic, with special attention paid to trauma
10caused on micro, meso, and macro level systems; it is no longer
11acceptable to only embrace resilience but defeat the
12malignancy of history and man-made odds; and
13    WHEREAS, It is necessary, now more than ever, that every
14individual in Illinois has a fair and just opportunity to be
15healthy, not only physically but also mentally and
16emotionally; it is vital to recognize the overwhelming impact
17of the current pandemic situation and the resulting overall
18trauma on our communities, families, State, economy, and
19health and mental well-being; healing in all policies and
20community healing will only occur when we acknowledge the
21harms done to individuals in Illinois, especially those of
22color; understanding, supporting, and recognizing that the
23siloed approach to policy and support of the past no longer
24fits into our present and that committing to further health
25equality, social justice, and sustainable strengthening of the



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1public health system is imperative for healing of every
2individual in Illinois and our State as a whole; and
3    WHEREAS, Other states, such as Wisconsin, California,
4Massachusetts, Missouri, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington,
5have focused on bipartisan efforts to build trauma-informed
6states; Illinois has taken steps to begin to establish racial,
7justice, and children healing initiatives; the future of
8healing in Illinois must now shift from trauma-informed care
9to a healing-centered engagement, which is more effective and
10less costly, to quickly respond and facilitate the development
11of a neighborhood-by-neighborhood evidence-based direction;
12therefore, be it
16enacted by the Illinois State Legislature should acknowledge
17and take into account the principles of trauma whenever
18possible and consider the concepts of toxic stress, early
19adversity, and buffering relationships and note the role of
20early intervention and investment in trauma-informed policies
21leading to a healing-centered environment; Illinois will join
22the ranks of a national movement currently led by 13 states to
23be trauma-informed and will transform to become the first
24declared Healing Centered State to close the empathy gap as



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1important strategies to achieve a lasting foundation for a
2more prosperous and sustainable State through investing in
3human capital; and be it further
4    RESOLVED, That Illinois should invest in technological
5connectivity that includes detailed information and resources
6on trauma-informed care, standards for providing
7evidence-based trauma-informed treatment, peer to peer
8networking, and creation of belonging through narrative
9expression; this will happen by development of a
10bi-directional communication tool that is accessible to
11communities through all of Illinois; and be it further
12    RESOLVED, That Illinois should move from a siloed,
13individual approach to a collaborative, person-centered
14healing approach, to identify, strengthen, and empower
15individuals and communities to craft a future positive history
16of Illinois; Illinois will light the way by creating a Healing
17Capacity Building Center housed at a public health association
18in Illinois to provide consultation to educational, legal,
19health, and other institutions and agencies including but not
20limited to needs assessments, observation, individual and
21group debriefing, and ongoing coaching and mentoring; the goal
22is not to recreate but to act as a catalyst for supporting
23existing services and programming to eliminate the currently
24accepted policy of violence in our State; and be it further



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1    RESOLVED, That by providing financial backing to a renewed
2focus on rebuilding healthcare and human services systems
3further damaged by COVID-19 in such a way that will meet and
4surpass national standards of trauma-informed systems, the
5State of Illinois will be able to move to a focus on healing.