mental health

DCFS

An Illinois law passed in 2014 was supposed to ensure that families no longer have to give up custody of their children in order to get them necessary mental health treatment. But it remains an issue to this day, and the chief sponsor of the Custody Relinquishment Prevention Act (HB5598) says several state agencies are to blame.

flickr user / Michael Coghlan "Prison Bars" (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Advocates say the treatment of Illinois prisoners with mental illness is so bad that the prison system is in a “state of emergency.” They’re asking a federal judge to intervene.

More than a year ago, the Illinois Department of Corrections agreed that it needed to improve its treatment of prisoners with mental illness. It settled a decade-old court case, but lawyers for the prisoners say the state isn’t improving quickly enough.

Jenna Dooley

The DeKalb County Community Mental Health Board just passed its 50th anniversary since its first meeting. 

It's continuing the celebration with public "first aid" mental health trainings. A mix of area counselors, community members and physicians recently gathered at the DeKalb County Community Outreach Building. 

Participants learned how to recognize mental illness symptoms like anxiety and depression. They also gain skills to stabilize a critical situation until proper help is available.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

The man in charge of the Cook County Jail says correctional facilities can do a much better job dealing with inmates who have mental health issues. Sheriff Tom Dart spoke to the League of Women Voters of Greater Rockford last night about his decade of efforts to support people with mental illnesses who end up in his jail. 

Dart says budget cuts for mental health programs have made things more difficult.

www.rosecrance.org

SwedishAmerican announced a $70,000 donation for Rosecrance's behavioral health program.

Rosecrance recently threatened to close its mental health triage center because of the Illinois' budget impasse. 

Bill Gorski, President and CEO of SwedishAmerican, says the stopgap budget isn't enough to keep those services afloat. 

"We know that the long term sustainable answer though, is going to have to come most likely from the legislature," Gorski said.

Gorski says the Rockford-area health facility is supporting the program because it meets a community need.

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