CHICAGO — Gov. JB Pritzker signed a mental health omnibus bill Friday aimed at addressing the shortage of mental health professionals in Illinois and increasing access to mental health services.

Pritzker signed Senate Bill 3617 at Family Guidance Centers’ Wabash Facility in Chicago. The new law temporarily allows professional licensees to reactive their license if they have been out of practice for less than five years.

The bill was also written to expand behavioral health training, incentivize the hiring of individuals in recovery from substance use disorder or mental illness, and make it easier for advanced practice registered nurses to treat patients.

The Recovery and Mental Health Tax Credit was also created with the signing of the bill. This is the program which is designed to provide tax incentives to qualified employers who employ those qualified individuals who are in recovery.

Additionally, a new grant program will be created within the Illinois Department of Human Services’ Division of Mental Health. Grants or contracts can be awarded to enhance training and supervision of behavioral health providers-in-training seeking licensure in specified fields.

Finally, a 15-member advisory council will be established as a result of the law to examine the impacts of mental illness and substance use disorder on employment opportunities within the minority communities.