mental health

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.

Flickr user Jim Bowen / "Illinois State Capitol" (CC BY 2.0)

Illinois students could see a new form to sign when they start college -- one that would allow mental health information to be disclosed to their parents.

Michael Predmore knew his son Chris was going through a tough time. But he didn’t know Chris tried to kill himself months before he died from suicide.

Chris Predmore’s counselor at Illinois State University knew, but wasn’t able to let his parents know because of privacy laws.

Michael Predmore says knowing could have made all the difference -- he could have done something to help his son.

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