mental health

Illinois Issues - Past Due
4:51 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

School Shootings Spur Attention But Not Funding For Mental Health Care

Credit WUIS/Illinois Issues

During his inaugural speech in January, House Speaker Michael Madigan called for the creation of a task force to look into ways to prevent mass shootings, such as the 2013 Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut that took the lives of 20 children and six adults.

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FY16 Budget
4:45 am
Mon February 23, 2015

Days After Rauner Proposes Mental Health Cuts, Madigan's Violence Prevention Task Force Begins

House Speaker Michael Madigan chose Rep. Greg Harris, D-Chicago, (pictured) to chair the new violence prevention task force.
Credit ILGA.gov

During his inauguration speech, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan announced a new mission -- figuring out what Illinois can do to prevent violence, like mass shootings at schools. A bipartisan task force formed to study the issue will meet for the first time today in Chicago.

Look back at the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Columbine, Northern Illinois University, and Rep. Greg Harris says you'll see commonalities. Like missed opportunities to help the killers with mental health issues that had been detected, but weren't properly treated.

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Illinois Issues - Leadership
4:11 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Speaker Madigan: How Can Illinois Prevent A Sandy Hook?

It has been two years or so since 26 people -- most of them young children -- died in a massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. The shooter was 20-year-old Adam Lanza.

A report studying him was released late last year by Connecticut's child advocate office; it shows problems identifying and treating his mental illness.

"There were several missed opportunities to help Lanza," said longtime Speaker of the Illinois House Michael Madigan on the opening day of the new General Assembly.

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Statehouse
6:19 am
Tue October 14, 2014

When Local Needs Clash With Broader Goals Of State Government

Credit WSIU

There’s a tug-o-war going on in Southern Illinois over how the state cares for its neediest citizens.  It’s playing out along a ribbon of small towns. But the outcome will determine  the future for many Illinois citizens with disabilities.

State Representative Charlie Meier is a farmer by birth - he tends 14 hundred acres with just one hired hand.

MEIER: We’re in Okawville, Illinois in my family kitchen.

MEIER: Built in 1907. My grandma drug all the logs home with a pack of mules for the house and the barn and then they were cut up here.

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Health Desk
6:07 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Unmet Needs: Living With Mental Illness In Central Illinois

Debra and Zach Medlyn
Credit Sean Powers

According to federal labor statistics, there are more psychiatrists working in Illinois than most states, with the bulk of that service concentrated in the Chicagoland area. But mental health providers say there are major gaps in service across Illinois, especially downstate. 

Zach Medlyn, 27, of Champaign did not start hearing the voices until about seven years ago, when he was a student at the University of Illinois.

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Fri November 1, 2013

State Of The State: Newtown A Reminder Of Need For Mental Health Improvements

Jamey Dunn
Credit mattpenning.com 2014 / WUIS/Illinois Issues

After a shooter took the lives of 20 children and six adults in Newtown, Conn., policymakers at the state and federal levels called for a re-evaluation of many things. Gun laws, school security and behavioral health treatment topped the list.

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Wed May 1, 2013

State of the State: Illinois Has Too Many Inmates Who Get Health Care Too Late

Jamey Dunn
Credit mattpenning.com 2014 / WUIS/Illinois Issues

Illinois should provide mental health care and addiction treatment to those who truly need it instead of incarcerating thousands of the addicted and the mentally ill, making taxpayers shell out for care in the much costlier settings of prison and jails. 

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Strained: The State of Mental Health Funding in Illinois is Ill.

Mark Heyrman, a University of Chicago law professor, says the state is not using all the money from the facility closures on community care, as required by law, and he is heading up a lawsuit against Illinois.
Credit WUIS/Illinois Issues

Recent high-profile tragedies, including a school shooting in Newtown, Conn., that took the lives of 20 children and six adults, have prompted states to reassess their mental health care systems. After almost $2 billion in cuts nationwide, many of them, including Illinois, are finding their support systems for the mentally ill in tatters. 

Advocates and providers say cuts to mental health funding in the state have left the system decimated, but they say the implementation of federal health care reform offers hope for those who are unable to access services now. 

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Sun January 1, 2012

Undocumented Anguish: Mental Health Issues Plague Immigrant Youth

Fliers commemorate undocumented youth who committed suicide.
Credit Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights

Tears ran down Reyna Wences’ face as she described her despair. 

She talked about her efforts to be a good student and her desire to make her parents proud, to be worthy of all they sacrificed for her to get a good education, culminating with her 2009 graduation from a selective college-prep high school in Chicago. 

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