(SPRINGFIELD) Illinois has earned sole recognition for the strongest mental health parity laws and policies in the country, that’s according to new state report cards released earlier this week. Illinois was the only state in America with an “A” grade, a perfect 100 for 100, on the test of compliance with the Federal Parity Law, which calls for providing coverage of mental health and substance use disorders on par with other illnesses. Tennessee was second in the grading with a “C” showing 79 out of 100 in scoring. Thirty-two (32) states received failing grades in the assessment. Learn more online, at www.paritytrack.org.
(SPRINGFIELD) Fire Prevention Week begins tomorrow and runs through all of next week. On average, at least seven people die every day from home fires in the United States, that’s more lives taken each year than all other natural disasters combined in America, according to the National Fire Protection Association. That’s why the American Red Cross is teaming up with statewide and local firemen to remind everyone to take at least two simple steps (1) practice fire drills at home and (2) test smoke alarms every month. The Red Cross and local fire departments are teaming up to help install free smoke alarms, help families create home fire escape plans, and provide free public fire prevention and safety resources through the ARC’s Home Fire Campaign, a nationwide effort to reduce fire-related deaths and injuries. For information about fire safety and associated tips on staying safe, go online at www.redcross.org or at www.nfpa.org.