Dear Terra,

From my first days as a State Representative, I have been focused on helping people in our district and across Illinois get access to affordable, professional mental health care. 


As we mark Mental Health Awareness Month, I think it's useful to look back on some of the progress we've made:

  • We passed SB 3617, which made it easier for out-of-state mental health clinicians to get licensed in Illinois and increased the number of beds in residential mental health treatment centers.
  • We passed HB 2595, which guaranteed insurance coverage for medically necessary mental healthcare services, starting on January 1 of last year.
  • We also passed HB 3308, which requires insurance reimbursement parity for virtual mental health and substance use disorder services.

More recently, HB 2784 established a coordinated first responder system that integrates 911 and the new 988 emergency response numbers, specifically for mental health emergencies. This bill aims to reduce the number of arrests for people with mental illnesses, by calling in a specialized, mobile response intervention team rather than a police unit.

Here in our district, I also have been working to help people in DuPage County access the services that are available:

  • We worked with mental health advocates to hold a Mental Health Town Hall, to talk about what the state of Illinois is doing to promote mental health, where gaps exist in our mental health safety net, and how we can do more to help people who are living with mental illness.
  • My office hosted a Mental Health Roundtable with representatives from more than 20 organizations and agencies that serve people throughout DuPage County. By bringing people together, we were able to spark some conversations about how to collaborate to improve access to mental health services.
  • Last fall, my office teamed up with other legislators to host a Mental Health Resource Fair at College of DuPage, to showcase organizations throughout DuPage County that provide mental health resources and support.
  • We also launched the DuPage Council on Strengthening the System for Mental Health and Substance Use Care.


In addition, my office created a comprehensive guide to mental health resources available in DuPage County, which we sent to all of our constituents. (You can find a PDF of the brochure here.)

I think that’s one of the greatest strengths of this office. As State Representatives, we have the power to change laws, and we also are close enough to our constituents to join forces with community members to put those laws and resources to work.

As a member of the House Committee on Mental Illness and Addiction, I am going to keep on working to expand treatments and prevention services. Although we've made some good strides, we need to keep on finding new, effective ways to help the many people whose lives are affected by mental illness.

Swing over to Holes and Knolls for Kids on the Course in Glen Ellyn TOMORROW

If you know a child who loves miniature golf, you're invited to swing on over to Holes & Knolls, at 845 Pershing Ave. in Glen Ellyn, from 6 to 8 p.m. tomorrow (Friday) for Kids on the Course.

Kids aged 6 through 12 will participate in challenges and compete to win prizes. The event includes a kid-friendly dinner of pizza and a soft drink.

All children must be accompanied by an adult at check-in and checkout. The fee is $25 for residents and $40 for nonresidents. You can visit here to learn more.

Shred your personal documents safely and securely in Downers Grove SATURDAY

The Village of Downers Grove, in partnership with Downers Grove Township and Accurate Document Destruction, is offering free document shredding on Saturday, May 11, from 8 a.m. to noon at Village Hall, 801 Burlington Ave.

Each vehicle is allowed to bring TWO brown paper grocery bags or ONE bankers box filled with personal paperwork. Bags and boxes must be placed in the vehicle's trunk or cargo area for removal by event staff; the Village asks that you remain in your vehicle. For more information, you can click here.

Electronic Recycling in Wheaton SATURDAY

You can bring your unwanted electronics to the City of Wheaton's monthly electronic recycling collection, from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, May 11, at the Public Works Storage Yard, 820 W. Liberty Drive.

This is a drive-through event where volunteers will help unload items from your car. There is a charge to recycle TVs and computer monitors. For more information, and a list of accepted items, you can click here.

Thinking about mothers, and others, on Mother's Day this SUNDAY

With Mother's Day coming up this Sunday, May 12, let’s be sure to celebrate the endless contributions of moms, stepmoms, guardians, and all the other women who have had a role in shaping our characters and our lives.

At the same time, I hope we can keep in mind that Mother's Day can be tough for many people who have lost their mothers, or who are disconnected from their families.

So whether you're sharing a Mother's Day brunch with those you love best or curling up at home with a favorite book, I hope you all have a good, restful, and restorative day.

Send in your best shot for the Village's 'Lombard at Night' Photo Contest 

There's something hauntingly beautiful about a garden gently illuminated by moonlight – or even a single tree lit up by streetlights as darkness falls.

For their annual Lilac Time photo contest, the Village of Lombard has chosen the theme of "Lombard at Night." The contest will run from now through May 31, and is open to Lombard residents and visitors.

Whether you're inspired by the nighttime streets of downtown Lombard or by an evening baseball game at a local park, let your lens (or smartphone!) capture the charm of Lombard after sunset.

There's a limit of three contest entries per person, and each photo must have a title. You can find details and the required release form here.

Learn about the 'Railroads of Wheaton' on May 16

Although we may not realize it today, the City of Wheaton was shaped by railroads (and the people who built and ran them.) You can learn about this fascinating history on Thursday, May 16, when the Wheaton Public Library hosts "Railroads of Wheaton," in Meeting Room A at the library, 225 N. Cross St.

Local historians Brian and Joyce Ostberg, creators of the YouTube channel "BeHistoric," will talk about the railroads that served Wheaton and their lasting impact on the community. The event, which begins at 7 p.m., will be presented in partnership with the City of Wheaton Historic Commission. 

Reservations are recommended. You can click here to learn more and register.

Enjoy snacks and conversation at Senior Social Hour in Lisle on May 16

Seniors are invited to get together for snacks, fun, and conversation at Senior Social Hour, from 11 a.m. to noon at the Lisle Library District, 777 Front Street.

You'll also learn about the many library resources available for seniors. You can click here to register and learn more.

Get ready to play Lilac Parade Bingo, thanks to the folks at Helen Plum Library

It's almost time for the 2024 Lilac Festival Parade!

You can have even more fun at the parade with the Helen Plum Library's Parade Bingo game. Just grab a bingo card from the Library, at 411 S. Main St., or print your own. Then mark off the sights you see at the Lilac Parade on Sunday, May 19. You'll be keeping your eyes open to find everything from a lawn chair to a classic car to a marching band.

After the parade, turn in your card at the Library any time through Saturday, June 1. Whether you scored a bingo or not, you'll be eligible to win a gift card from a local business. (Prizes are limited to people with Helen Plum Library cards, so you can sign up or renew your library card as necessary when you drop off your bingo card.) Prize winners will be contacted by Friday, June 7. You can click here to learn more.

Hear inspiring speakers and support B.R. Ryall YMCA at their Champions Dinner on May 20

You're invited to show your support for B.R. Ryall YMCA at their Champions Dinner, at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, May 20, at Abbington Distinctive Banquets, 3S002 Route 53 in Glen Ellyn.

The event will feature three speakers: Journalist Lisa Parker; Eboo Patel, the founder and president of Interfaith America, and our own U.S. Rep. Sean Casten.

In addition to an elegant dinner, the event will include a social hour and live music. For more information and to reserve your spot, you can click here.

Teens are invited to sign up now for Naperville Police Department’s Summer Youth Academy

The Naperville Police Department is now accepting applications for a six-week Youth Academy, to begin on May 30 and continue every Thursday night through July 11 (excluding July 4). All sessions will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Naperville Police Department, 1350 Aurora Ave.

The Academy includes a series of classes, discussions and hands-on demonstrations covering a variety of topics, including patrol operations, police canines, investigations, special response teams, and forensics. 

Interested candidates should print and complete the Youth Academy application and waiver at and return the signed documents no later than Wednesday, May 22 to Sergeant Jon Pope. Applications can be submitted by email at, through the U.S. mail, or in person at the department.

Upcoming Events

We have lots of events coming up, so please take a look and mark your calendars today!

May 17: Glen Ellyn Park District's Kids' Night Out, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Lake Ellyn Park, 645 Lenox Road

May 18: Lombard Park District's Mutt Strut 5k & 1 Mile, at 8 a.m. at Lilacia Park, 150 S Park Ave.

May 18: Trees for Glen Ellyn, from 9 a.m. to noon at Lake Ellyn Park, 645 Lenox Road

May 18: Wine Tasting in Lilacia Park, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Lilacia Park, 150 S. Park Ave.

May 18: Spring Clean Flea Market, from 1 to 3 p.m. at Maryknoll Park, 845 Pershing Ave. in Glen Ellyn

May 18: Glen Ellyn Bike Rodeo, from 1 to 3 p.m. at Main Street Recreation Center, 501 Hill Ave.

May 19: Lilac Parade, at 1:30 p.m. beginning at Main Street and Wilson Avenue

May 23: Blood and Food Drive, from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Ackerman Sports & Fitness Center, 800 St. Charles Road in Glen Ellyn

May 27: Lombard's Memorial Day Ceremony, from 10 to 11 a.m. at Lombard Common Park, 433 E. St. Charles Road.

May 27: Lisle Memorial Day Parade and Remembrance Ceremony, at 10 a.m., the parade begins at Lisle Jr. High School and the ceremony will be at the Lisle Veteran's Memorial. A second Ceremony will follow at the Lisle Cemetery.

May 27: Naperville Memorial Day Parade, at 10:30 a.m. in Downtown Naperville, starting at Centennial Beach.

May 27: Wheaton Memorial Day Parade, at 10 a.m. beginning at Memorial Park, proceeding west on Wesley Street, turning south on West Street and ending at the Wheaton Cemetery.

May 29-June 2: Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall at the College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd. (Fawell Parking Lot C) in Glen Ellyn.

May 31: York Center Park District's Concert in the Park, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Knolls Community Park, 1416 S Meyers Rd in Lombard

If you have any questions about pending legislation or other issues related to your state government, please don't hesitate to contact my office at 630-812-9292 or

Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay strong,

Terra Costa Howard

State Representative 

42nd District

913 S. Main St.

Lombard, IL 60148

(630) 812-9292

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