Rosecrance announced Tuesday that if funding isn't secured, it will close its mental health emergency triage program.
If that happens, Elgin will be the closest emergency mental health center, severely limiting emergency care in the Rockford area. However, precursors to the triage center closing have been looming for nearly a year.
In July 2015, the state government failed to pass a budget. With that, promised funding to Rosecrance was zeroed out. Shortly after in October 2015, the triage center was forced to cut hours.
More warnings of closure came, even after a stop-gap budget measure passed in July.
Just on Monday, the Winnebago County Health Department announced the results of a year-long mental health survey. The survey found that the area has gone from having a critical issue to being in a mental health emergency.
Issues surrounding mental health care go as far back as when Rockford lost the Singer Mental Health Facility in 2012.
At the time, Gov. Pat Quinn's administration said this was a cost-saving measure for the state. To offset some of the burden of losing Singer, Rosecrance's triage program opened. And with that came the promise of millions of dollars in funding from the state each year.
But that all stopped last July when lawmakers failed to pass a budget, leaving officials at Rosecrance to scramble.
This year, Singer would have celebrated its 50th anniversary.