WBEZ | Mental Health http://www.wbez.org/tags/mental-health Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Mental Health 911: Areas with most calls have fewest services http://www.wbez.org/news/mental-health-911-areas-most-calls-have-fewest-services-112174 <p><p>Both Chicago and Illinois have made big cuts to mental health services in recent years.&nbsp;That has left managing mental illness on the plates of some people who never set out to do that job. People like police officers and jail staff.</p><p>The experiences of people who work in jails and police departments tell the story of a fraying mental health safety net, with big holes. The data I found on waiting lists, 911 calls, and on the location of mental health services, back their stories up.</p><p>When people leave Cook County Jail, they get a mental health hotline number and are told they can call anytime. The hotline is run by the jail, and Dr. Dena Williams is one of the people who might pick up.</p><p>She says the hope is that if people can call and get the help they need, including finding a therapist or psychiatrist, they would not be as likely to come back.</p><p>When I visited the jail, Williams sat feet away from her phone, in case she got a call. I asked her if she is usually able to get a caller into psychiatric services immediately.</p><p>&ldquo;Immediately, as in before 30 days?&rdquo; Williams asked. &ldquo;I mean usually there is a wait. Sometimes the wait can be up to six months.&rdquo;</p><p>This is the first big hole in the mental health safety net: waiting lists. Even thirty days can be a long time if you are in mental health crisis, but imagine keeping up with waiting lists without a phone or a place to sleep at night.</p><p>Calling the 36 mental health providers on the City of Chicago&rsquo;s referral list, I found 14 of them&mdash;that is over a third&mdash;either had no outpatient psychiatrists or had closed their waiting lists. Two more had waiting lists around five months.</p><p>&ldquo;The length of time it takes someone to receive medication is sometimes so long that they are unable to wait and they will end up right back in our custody,&rdquo; Williams said.</p><p>One staff member at the jail said a guy told him he had gotten arrested for shoplifting on purpose.</p><p>The man said he was a patient at Tinley Park Mental Health Center and when that closed, the only place he knew to get medication was in jail. He said he hated being locked up. But he hated being actively psychotic more.</p><p>&ldquo;It keeps me up at night. Because jail is not a place to be receiving treatment,&rdquo; Williams said.</p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">Clinic locations: a wheelchair with flat tires</span></p><p>Last year in Chicago, 911 took about 22,000 calls that had some kind of mental health component.</p><p>There is a special training officers can take to respond to these calls. It is called Crisis Intervention Training (CIT). The training is voluntary and only some officers take it.</p><p>On a recent Tuesday morning, 38 officers gathered at Mount Sinai Hospital for advanced training.</p><p>Most of the officers there had already been regularly responding to mental health calls. They had learned how to identify illnesses like schizophrenia, and how to admit someone to a hospital. Officers said doing this much work on mental health was something they never expected when they signed up for the police force.</p><p>Sgt. Lori Cooper helped lead the training. She stood at the front of the room and called on officers to take the next step.</p><p>&ldquo;Here&rsquo;s what&rsquo;s happening right now: Someone&rsquo;s decompensating. They come into our presence. We take them to the emergency room. They decompensate again. They come into our presence. We take them to the emergency room. They decompensate again. And we take them to where?&rdquo;</p><p>The room replied in unison: &ldquo;Jail.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;What we are trying to do is break the cycle,&rdquo; Cooper told them.</p><p>She also told the officers that breaking the cycle is going to take more than bringing people to emergency rooms. It is going to mean collaborating with clinics and hospitals to make sure people get regular treatment in their neighborhoods. Because if the services are far away, people won&#39;t make it.</p><p>This is the second big hole in the mental health safety net: the location of services.</p><p>According to WBEZ analysis, some of the police districts where the most mental health 911 calls come from are also the districts with the fewest mental health services.</p><p>That means when officers respond to calls in those districts they are stuck with fewer nearby services where they can send people. Asking people to travel long distances for mental health care, &ldquo;is kind of like putting them in a wheelchair with flat tires,&rdquo; Cooper said.</p><p>As the<em> Chicago Reporter </em>recently reported, districts with a high volume of 911 mental health calls, <a href="http://chicagoreporter.com/police-districts-in-black-latino-areas-top-calls-for-mental-health-crises/">are largely black and Hispanic</a>.</p><p>The police department has a pilot program where they have paired up with a few mental health groups. It has a grant to help deliver services where and when the services are needed. It said it hopes this will patch up two big holes in the safety net&mdash;wait times and locations.</p><p>But for now it is just a pilot in a few districts. And even as this pilot launches, Gov. Bruce Rauner has proposed big cuts to Illinois&rsquo; mental health budget. Providers across the board told us if that happens, mental health services will fray even more.</p><p>In statements to WBEZ, the governor&#39;s office blamed the budget mess on past misspending and said the proposed mental health cuts were not yet final.</p><p>Cooper said if any more services disappear, &ldquo;We&rsquo;re going to be asked to take them to services that might not exist, and so then there might be no alternative than to bring them to possibly jail.&rdquo;</p><p>At an average cost of $143 a night at Cook County Jail, that might not end up saving taxpayers any cash.</p><p><em>Shannon Heffernan is a reporter for WBEZ. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/shannon_h">@shannon_h</a>.</em></p><p><span style="font-size:24px;"><a name="map"></a>Map: Mental health calls to 911 by police district</span></p><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/citcallsclinicsdots_20150610_0.jpg" style="height: 614px; width: 620px;" title="" /></div></div><p><em>*The number of mental health calls for 2014 was obtained from the Office of Emergency Management. Police officers said the number of calls may actually be higher than what is reported by OEMC, because the mental health component of a call may not be apparent until after officers arrive on scene.<br />**Mental health and substance abuse provider locations were obtained from The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website. In addition to the marked location, some organizations may provide services at satellite locations or through traveling teams.</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 12 Jun 2015 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/mental-health-911-areas-most-calls-have-fewest-services-112174 Morning Shift: Honeybees dying off http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-05-14/morning-shift-honeybees-dying-112027 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/majamarko.jpg" style="height: 286px; width: 600px;" title="Flickr/majamarko" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/205460766&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit;">NAMI will train aldermen on how to talk about mental health</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">It may not seem like the first call, but often aldermen and their staff can be on the front lines of talking to residents about mental health. With the closure of Community Counseling Centers of Chicago, the calls could be coming more frequently. The Kennedy Forum Illinois, an organization working to spread awareness and fight stigmatization against mental illness, gathered aldermen and other public officials to discuss spotting signs of mental illness and how to properly train staff to talk to residents. Ald. James Cappleman of the 46th Ward is one of the aldermen who attended. We talk to him about what he hears from those seeking help.&nbsp;</p></div><p><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;"><a href="https://twitter.com/JamesCappleman">James Cappleman</a> is Alderman of the 46th Ward.&nbsp;</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/205460762&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit;">Pipeline lawsuit</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">In 2010 oil giant Enbridge spilled more than 800,000 gallons of oil into Kalamazoo Rver in Michigan. It was the largest inland oil spills in U.S. history. Now, nearly five years later, the company has reached a $75 million settlement with the state. WBEZ&rsquo;s Shannon Heffernan explains why the spill is relevant to people in the Chicago region.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/shannon_h">Shannon Heffernan</a> is a WBEZ reporter.&nbsp;</em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/205460748&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit;">Calumet region meets to talk about environmental impacts</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">Over the years, there&rsquo;s been somewhat of a rivalry between Illinois and Indiana. Indiana has made efforts to lure business away from Illinois and now Gov. Bruce Rauner wants to do the same. In reality, the two states have a lot more in common and share more than just a state border. In fact, leaders in both states are trying to designate portions of Chicago&rsquo;s South Side and parts of Northwest Indiana as the Calumet Region National Heritage Area. WBEZ&rsquo;s Michael Puente talks about what that means.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/MikePuenteNews">Michael Puente</a> is WBEZ&#39;s Northwest Indiana Bureau reporter.&nbsp;</em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/205460739&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit;">Honeybees dying off</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">As spring begins to bloom, many of us are accustomed to seeing more flowers, and with them, more bees. And for most beekeepers, spring usually means an influx in honey production. This year has been different. Honeybee keepers are familiar with expecting to lose around 10 percent of their hive colonies each year due to what&#39;s known as &quot;winter loss,&#39; but year&#39;s numbers shed light on an even larger decline, after the <a href="http://beeinformed.org/">Bee Informed Partnership</a> released its annual <a href="http://beeinformed.org/2015/05/colony-loss-2014-2015-preliminary-results/">colony loss survey</a> on Wednesday. Data from thousands of beekeepers around the country revealed an average loss of 42 percent of honeybee colonies. And in Illinois, the number was closer to 60 percent. While the fate of the honeybee might be dependent on the future of the environment, pesky mites or pesticides, we discuss how lower numbers of bees might be affecting things on a local level. Joining us with his thoughts is Beverly beekeeper and meadery owner, Greg Fischer.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/wildblossommead">Greg Fischer</a> is a beekeeper and owner of <a href="http://wildblossommeadery.com/">Wild Blossom Meadery &amp; Winery</a> in Beverly.</em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/205460734&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit;">Play on religious intolerance</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">yA new play featuring the Holy Spirit, Einstein and Osama bin Laden takes on religious intolerance. <a href="https://www.facebook.com/theetrinitypremiere">Thee Trinity</a> opens next Friday at the <a href="http://www.waukeganparks.org/cultural-arts/jack-benny-center.htm">Jack Benny Center for the Arts</a> in Waukegan. It&rsquo;s a satire that spoofs religion, and goes so far as to include quotes from the Bible and the Quran. Playwright and documentary maker Rick Roberts tells us about his new work, and why he&rsquo;s tackling such a sensitive topic with dark humor.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/RichardARobert1">Rick Roberts</a> is a documentary film maker and playwright.&nbsp;</em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/205460728&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit;">Chicago Humanities Festival International Performance Festival for young audience</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">The <a href="https://twitter.com/Chi_Humanities">Chicago Humanities Festival</a> wraps up its international performance festival for young audiences this weekend. Stages, Sights &amp; Sounds brings &ldquo;fresh, original performances&rdquo; from Canada, Europe and Chicago. CHF&rsquo;s Alison Cuddy joins us with details and a sneak peak of its fall <a href="http://chicagohumanities.org/">lineup</a>.&nbsp;</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guests:&nbsp;</strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/alisoncuddy">Alison Cuddy</a> is the Chicago Humanities Festival&#39;s Artistic Director.</em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><em><a href="https://twitter.com/unspeakablethtr">Marc Frost</a> is the founder of Theater Unspeakable.</em></p></p> Thu, 14 May 2015 08:31:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-05-14/morning-shift-honeybees-dying-112027 C4 is hopeful it will transition mental health clients to new providers http://www.wbez.org/news/c4-hopeful-it-will-transition-mental-health-clients-new-providers-112000 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/c4 demo 2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Community Counseling Centers of Chicago, also known as C4, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/large-provider-chicago-mental-health-services-c4-closing-111937">announced it was closing its doors at the end of May.</a> C4 serves over 10,000 clients a year. The announcement late last month worried staff and clients, who said mental health services in the city were already hard to find.</p><p>In an email to staff Thursday, C4 President Eileen Durkin said they are working with other organizations to acquire C4 in its entirety. &ldquo;If this happens,&rdquo; she wrote, &ldquo;consumers will continue to receive their services here at C4 without any interruption.&rdquo;</p><p>Durkin explained that because of confidentiality agreements, C4 cannot share specifics about interested organizations. She added that, &ldquo;In the event that an acquisition does not work out for us, we will continue with a closing transition plan.&rdquo;</p><p>Durkin has blamed the closing of C4 on a botched billing system. Former C4 Chief Administrative Officer, John Troy, said the budget was tight before the billing system was implemented. And he believes the problem began with state cuts--and C4 did not adjust.</p><p>&ldquo;State cuts hurt, C4 was too dependent on them,&rdquo; said Troy.</p><p>Troy said that even before the organization announced the closure, the agency was looking to partner with other providers, but, he said,&nbsp; &ldquo;No one would partner with them because of high dependency on state.&rdquo;</p><p>Durkin confirmed to WBEZ that C4 was looking at partnerships before announcing its closure. Adding that C4&rsquo;s dependency on the state, &ldquo;was off-putting to some [organizations], but not others.&rdquo;</p><p>Illinois State Representative Greg Harris chairs the Human Services Appropriations Committee for the state. He said that as federal and state government budgets have tightened, he believes &ldquo;non-profits, without other funding sources, have been negatively impacted sooner and harder than those with diversified funding.&rdquo;</p><p>Governor Bruce Rauner has proposed cuts to mental health services in the next budget. In a report released Thursday, the Civic Federation opposed state cuts to community-based mental health as fiscally unsound. <a href="http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20150507/BLOGS02/150509877/civic-federation-rips-unrealistic-rauner-budget">The report</a> said, &ldquo;community-based care is more efficient and effective in the long run than institutional treatment.&rdquo;</p><p>WBEZ will update this story as more information becomes available.</p><p><em>Shannon Heffernan is a reporter at WBEZ. Follow her at <a href="https://twitter.com/shannon_h">@shannon_h</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 07 May 2015 12:50:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/c4-hopeful-it-will-transition-mental-health-clients-new-providers-112000 Sheriff's office announces new mental health clinic http://www.wbez.org/news/sheriffs-office-announces-new-mental-health-clinic-111979 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Mental health jail.JPG" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-1d687b03-119d-3f9e-cb1c-805194ec9b5e">Cook County Sheriff&rsquo;s office is &nbsp;launching a new mental health clinic in the south suburbs. Sheriff Tom Dart says the clinic is a direct response to government mental health cuts.</p><p dir="ltr">The clinic is already operating at the Markham Courthouse. People detained there will be screened for mental health needs. Some will then be diverted from the jail to the new clinic under court order. The clinic will also be available to people leaving county jail and seeking services.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Related: <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/large-provider-chicago-mental-health-services-c4-closing-111937" target="_blank">Staff mourn closure of mental health provider C4</a></strong></p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;If no one else is going to do it, we are going to,&rdquo; said Cara Smith, director of Cook County Jail.</p><p dir="ltr">She says the jail is doing what it can, but it&rsquo;s part of a larger system. She says the millions of dollars in proposed state cuts to mental health would be catastrophic. But if the cuts go through it will not be the first time she&rsquo;s seen services disappear. In 2012 the city cut half its mental health clinics, and just last week one of the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/large-provider-chicago-mental-health-services-c4-closing-111937">largest mental health providers in Chicago announced it was closing its doors. </a></p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Our custodial population in the jail is almost at a record low. But our population of &nbsp;medically and mentally ill people that need hospital level care is at an all time high,&rdquo; said Smith. &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">It is not only the jail that says it has felt a change as services have closed. Emergency Rooms in Chicago saw a <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/large-provider-chicago-mental-health-services-c4-closing-111937">37 percent rise in ER discharges for psychiatric care. </a></p><p>Dart says he chose to open the clinic in the south suburbs because the area is extremely lacking in mental health services. The clinic is run in collaboration with Adler Community Health Services.</p><p><em>Shannon Heffernan is a reporter at WBEZ. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/shannon_h">@shannon_h</a></em></p></p> Fri, 01 May 2015 17:30:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/sheriffs-office-announces-new-mental-health-clinic-111979 Large provider of Chicago mental health services, C4, is closing http://www.wbez.org/news/large-provider-chicago-mental-health-services-c4-closing-111937 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/c4 screencap.PNG" alt="" /><p><p><em>Updated at 11 a.m. 4/28/2015</em></p><p>One of the largest providers of mental health services in Chicago will close its doors at the end of May. <a href="http://www.c4chicago.org/">Community Counseling Centers of Chicago</a>, known as C4, served over 10,000 people each year.</p><p>The closing happens as Chicago&rsquo;s mental health infrastructure is already in crisis. Last week WBEZ reported skyrocketing emergency room visits. <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/emergency-room-visits-mental-health-skyrocket-chicago-111890">From 2009 to 2013, ER discharges for psychiatric care increased by 37 percent.</a></p> <p>The organization&#39;s president, Eileen Durkin, blamed the closing on the botched implementation of a new billing system at the organization. &ldquo;We made some of our own internal errors. The system was very sophisticated. And we had a hard time as an organization mastering all of the nuances of the system,&rdquo; said Durkin.</p> <p>Multiple staff say the organization has been mismanaged under Durkin. The staff point to poor communication and financial choices.</p> <p>But one thing that everyone seems to be in agreement on, is the potentially devastating impact the closure will have on Chicago.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s going to lead to more substance abuse, more conflict and violence in families, definitely more people going to the emergency rooms that are already overloaded and unfortunately more people being arrested and incarcerated,&rdquo; said C4 counselor Max Beshers.</p> <p><strong>The transition</strong></p><p>Damian Phillips said he has been getting treatment at C4 for six years. &ldquo;They make sure I get my meds. They tell me the the right thing to do when I am seeing things.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Staff say there are many people like Phillips, who rely on C4 for essential medication.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;If they get a sudden disconnection of those medications the average person will have a break down and that can go very badly,&rdquo; said Dan Bader, a psychotherapist at one of Chicago&rsquo;s city clinics.</p><p dir="ltr">Bader says the city should fill any gaps that are left by the closing, especially ensuring that people have access to their prescriptions.</p><p dir="ltr">Both the City of Chicago and State of Illinois say they are working closely with C4 on a transition plan.&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">But mental health advocate and University of Chicago Professor Mark Heyrman said that after years of cuts, the &nbsp;governments don&rsquo;t have the kind of resources they used to have. &ldquo;We do not have the staff employed by the city, by the county, by the state to make sure those people get safely to another good provider,&rdquo; said Heyrman.</p><p dir="ltr">In 2012 the City of Chicago closed half its mental health clinics, and the current proposed state budget cuts $82 million from mental health.</p><p dir="ltr">Even in cases where services are available, transitioning clients to new services will present challenges, Mental health services often rely on relationships built over time. Rebecca Lorentzen works with youth at C4. &ldquo;We may be one of the only stable, consistent adults in their lives, and now for reasons out of our control we are saying we have to end that,&rdquo; she said.</p><p dir="ltr">WBEZ will update this story as more information becomes available.</p><p dir="ltr"><em>Shannon Heffernan is a reporter for WBEZ. Follow her <a href="http://twitter.com/shannon_h">@shannon_h</a></em></p></p> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 11:07:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/large-provider-chicago-mental-health-services-c4-closing-111937 Emergency room visits for mental health skyrocket in Chicago http://www.wbez.org/news/emergency-room-visits-mental-health-skyrocket-chicago-111890 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Ambulance_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>It&rsquo;s no secret that both the city of Chicago and the state of Illinois have major budget problems. Both governments have made cuts to services in recent years. But there is evidence that shrinking mental health services could actually cost money.</p><p>Heather Linehan is a paramedic with the Chicago Fire Department. She is tall, with strong arms and gray hair. She has the kind of presence that is gentle, but also seems to say, you probably shouldn&rsquo;t mess with me.</p><p>Linehan said she has developed that demeanor from working over 30 years in emergency medical services. She said that kind of work gives her a particular view of the city. When you deal with emergencies you see what is not working. You are with people in their worst moments, the times when all the other safety nets have failed.<br /><br />&ldquo;On the street we say, you know what rolls down hill and who it lands on,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>Linehan said when policy decisions get made, she sees a difference in who shows up in her ambulance. Years ago, she noticed when state hospitals started to close and not enough community-based services filled the gap. More recently she noticed when the state cut funding and later when the city closed half of its mental health clinics.</p><p>If Gov. Bruce Rauner&rsquo;s proposed budget passes she will be bracing herself again.<br /><br />Linehan is not alone. People who work on mental health say the cuts to Medicaid and mental health services would mean more people with mental illness visiting emergency rooms.</p><p>It is a trend that is already underway. Data WBEZ obtained from the state show startling increases in Chicago. From 2009 to 2013, 37 percent more patients were discharged from emergency rooms for psychiatric treatment. The biggest jump came in 2012, the same year the city closed half of its mental health clinics.</p><p>The city did not agree to an interview for this story. But in a statement it said the mental health infrastructure in Chicago is stronger than it was four years ago.</p><p><span style="font-size:22px;">Inside an Emergency Department</span></p><p>The emergency room spike has already forced some emergency departments to make big, costly changes, just so they can keep these patients safe, including literally rebuilding parts of their hospitals.</p><p>Sheri Richardt is the manager of Crisis and Behavioral Health at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, where construction is underway on a new behavioral health unit.</p><p>Richardt said when a psychiatric patients come in to the emergency department they need special examination rooms. She pointed out how the pipes under the sink and toilet are covered.</p><p>&ldquo;There is nothing on the walls you could hang yourself with or hurt yourself with,&rdquo; she said.<br /><br />As visits climbed the hospital needed more spaces like this. The new rooms will be designed for safety, but also to give the patients a more quiet and private space, away from the hustle of the rest of the emergency department.</p><p>Richardt said she witnessed one reason why psychiatric ER visits rose by 37 percent.&nbsp;She said hospitals often recommend Medicaid patients that follow up with a therapist or maybe psychiatrist after they are discharged from the emergency room.<br /><br />But &nbsp;Richardt&nbsp;said some patients live in areas where there just are not enough places to get care. She said these patients could wait as long as nine months for an appointment, &ldquo;and if you come to the emergency room because you are in crisis and then you can not get follow up care for nine months you are probably going to go back to the emergency room for care.&rdquo;</p><p><span style="font-size:22px;">The $2.5 million patient</span></p><p>Richardt&nbsp;saw the same patients rotate in again and again. So she pulled one patient&rsquo;s files and found that woman had visited the Illinois Masonic Emergency Room 750 times over the course of about 10 years.</p><p>Richardt&nbsp;said the patient was picked up by an ambulance or police officer almost daily. Sometimes the emergency department would discharge her, only to have her appear back a few hours later.</p><p>&ldquo;The cost of that for us was two and a half million dollars. Medicaid dollars,&rdquo; said Richardt. &ldquo;And that&rsquo;s only at our hospital. This an individual who went between multiple hospitals and so we don&rsquo;t have the true cost.&rdquo;</p><p>Like many patients, she had different, interconnected problems. She had mental health needs, drank too much, fell down a lot. She didn&rsquo;t have stable housing and started having seizures.</p><p>&ldquo;And it wasn&rsquo;t only about the money; this is an individual we believed was going to...die on the street,&rdquo; said Richardt.</p><p>Richardt and her team decided to take full responsibility for this patient. They coordinated all aspects of her care, helped her get an apartment and worked with nurses and a chaplain. It worked. She&rsquo;s only visited the emergency room a handful of times in the last year.</p><p>About a year ago they launched a team with social workers, chaplains and nurses to provide the same type of care to more patients. They work with the hardest cases, including people with mental illness who often visit the emergency room frequently.</p><p>The hospital said their visits have begun to plateau.</p><p><span style="font-size:22px;">Shifting Cost</span></p><p>The kind of wrap-around care performed at Illinois Masonic relies on a range of services. Those services are threatened under Rauner&rsquo;s proposed budget, which cuts millions from community services and housing.</p><p>We contacted his office and asked to speak to anyone from the administration about his budget. In a statement his office said cuts are needed because of reckless spending from the past. They refused to do an interview.</p><p>So we called other state Republican leaders and were referred to Rep. David Leitch. Leitch is a conservative who hates government bureaucracy and believes in fiscal responsibility. And that&rsquo;s exactly why he says he opposes these mental health cuts.</p><p>The cuts mean &ldquo;the emergency rooms pick up more and the jails pick up more. Any cuts the state makes, simply means somebody else has to pick up the cost,&rdquo; said Leitch.</p><p>But don&rsquo;t take Leitch&rsquo;s word that cuts one place may show up as costs somewhere else. Take it from someone who lives it.</p><p>Kathy Powers went to the city&rsquo;s Northtown Rogers Park Clinic for bipolar disorder. Even before the city closed her clinic, she was having trouble getting an appointment with a psychiatrist there, or anywhere else.</p><p>&ldquo;So I went to the emergency room, because I was a girl with a purpose,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>Workers at the emergency room said they had a reference for a psychiatrist at Northtown Rogers Park Clinic &mdash; the exact place she had not been able to get care.</p><p>&ldquo;And I said, I just came from Northtown Rogers Park clinic&hellip; don&rsquo;t recommend it anymore, they don&rsquo;t have any psychiatrists,&rdquo; said Powers.<br /><br />Eventually the emergency doctors renewed her prescription for lithium. Medicaid picked up the tab. It really gets to Powers how much that simple prescription costs taxpayers. She said we could be giving her much better care for less money.&nbsp;</p><p><em>Shannon Heffernan is a WBEZ reporter. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/shannon_h">@shannon_h</a></em></p></p> Thu, 16 Apr 2015 11:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/emergency-room-visits-mental-health-skyrocket-chicago-111890 Improviser finds purpose in Chicago police mental health crisis trainings http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/improviser-finds-purpose-chicago-police-mental-health-crisis-trainings-111274 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/StoryCorps 141219 Clark Weber.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>In 2004, the Chicago Police Department implemented a voluntary training program to deal with mental health emergencies.</p><p>Today, Chicago has the <a href="http://www.namichicago.org/documents/cit_advocacy_sheet.pdf" target="_blank">largest crisis intervention training program in the world</a>, according to Alexa James, Executive Director of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness)-Chicago.</p><p>Clark Weber is an essential part of the crisis intervention training. In this week&rsquo;s StoryCorps, Weber describes how he found himself in the greatest role of his life.</p><p>After moving to Chicago in the late 1980s, Weber studied improv at Second City. He loves acting, whether it&rsquo;s theater, television or film. But Weber struggled with depression and suicidal tendencies too. He was diagnosed as bipolar and spent four-and-a-half weeks at a state mental hospital before moving into a group home with Thresholds, a non-profit that assists people with mental illness.</p><p>&ldquo;When I came to Thresholds,&rdquo; Weber said, &ldquo;they had a theater arts program &ndash; which now unfortunately is defunct - and I was told that we have this opportunity to role play with Chicago police to make them aware and see what a real mental health crisis is like.&rdquo;</p><p>Weber soon found himself in the middle of the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training program, roleplaying as a person in distress.</p><p>The role-playing can be intense, Weber said. &ldquo;Officers have play weapons and a real Taser, which is non-functioning. And instead of using force, they try to talk us down. And we have total freedom to insult the police officers. We have total freedom to swear at them, to make it as real as possible.&rdquo;</p><p>If officers feel &ldquo;that the Taser needs to be used, they&rsquo;ll just point it towards us and say, &lsquo;Taser. Taser. Taser.&rsquo; So we&rsquo;re fake-Tased and then we discuss why the officer feels he or she had to do that.&rdquo;</p><p>Pastor Fred Kinsey is a member of ONE Northside, a group that this past year helped get police to increase the number of officers able to go through CIT training. &ldquo;If you have tools to recognize people in crisis, to know what kinds of medications people are on, that helps,&rdquo; Kinsey said. Chicago Police recently doubled the number of officers who are able to receive CIT training each year, Kinsey said. But that doubling of officers - from 200 to 400 officers each year &ndash; is small compared to the number of officers who don&rsquo;t take the training. &ldquo;I&rsquo;d like to see the majority, if not all, officers trained,&rdquo; Kinsey said. The biggest impediment to expanding the training program, he said, is not so much financial, but the time costs of taking officers off the street.</p><p>For Clark Weber, the experience has been transformative. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m not saying every day&rsquo;s gonna be a good day, or every day&rsquo;s gonna be a great day. Being bipolar I do have my ups and downs. But I run into officers that I&rsquo;ve helped train or they&rsquo;ve been in a class and they&rsquo;ve watched the videos. And I&rsquo;ve had officers come up to me and said, &lsquo;Because of you I helped save this person&rsquo;s life. Or I helped this person get the treatment that they needed.&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s very empowering,&rdquo; Weber says. &ldquo;For the first time in my life, I feel I have a purpose. I have a place in the world.&rdquo;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/playlists/6250422&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="888px"></iframe></p></p> Fri, 19 Dec 2014 13:34:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/improviser-finds-purpose-chicago-police-mental-health-crisis-trainings-111274 Breaking the silence about being bipolar http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/breaking-silence-about-being-bipolar-110988 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/StoryCorps 141024 Andrea Tim_bh (1)_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>When Andrea Lee was diagnosed with bipolar disorder 20 years ago, she wanted to talk about it all the time.</p><p>&ldquo;Everywhere I went, I would introduce myself and I would try to work in - maybe in the second or third sentence of that conversation &ndash; &lsquo;By the way, I have Bipolar Disorder.&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p>Eventually, though, she realized that people treated her differently.</p><p>&ldquo;So I stopped talking about it,&rdquo; Lee says in this week&rsquo;s StoryCorps.</p><p>Now Lee wants to talk about it again.</p><p>She came to the StoryCorps booth in the Chicago Cultural Center earlier this month with her husband, Tim Fister.</p><p>&ldquo;I remember in high school sitting at the lunch table with my friends,&rdquo; Lee says, &ldquo;and there was all this commotion around me and I couldn&rsquo;t hear any of it&hellip;And I remember just putting my head down and feeling so&hellip;empty.&rdquo;</p><p>Later that day, she drove to her family&rsquo;s home and parked in the garage. &ldquo;I was crying and crying. I left the car on and I remember thinking: I could just close the door and I wouldn&rsquo;t have to feel this pain anymore.&rdquo;</p><p>She sat in the car, contemplating suicide. She imagined how her mother would feel when she got home and saw her body slumped in the driver&rsquo;s seat of the car.</p><p>Lee&rsquo;s parents are from Korea and Lee says, &ldquo;There&rsquo;s such a culture of shame in Korea that people would rather suffer in silence then let the world know that they&rsquo;re in pain and that they need help.&rdquo;</p><p>Lee turned the car off and went inside the house.</p><p>Soon after she saw a psychiatrist who prescribed anti-depressants to her. Within a few weeks, the drugs helped lift her spirits. The sky was bluer and the sun was brighter. But what she didn&rsquo;t realize was that she was quickly spiraling into mania.</p><p>A short time later, Lee experienced her first manic episode, and the police brought her to a mental health facility.</p><p>&ldquo;So through all of this stuff that was going on, I&rsquo;m just curious: Did you have anyone to talk to frankly?&rdquo; her husband, Tim Fister, asks. &ldquo;&rsquo;Cause it sounds like your parents were out of the picture.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;Yeah, I don&rsquo;t think that in that state of mind I was really able to connect with anyone,&rdquo; Lee says. &ldquo;What was it like for you when you met me and I started telling you about my own mental illness?&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;It wasn&rsquo;t really that big of a deal. It was maybe a little bit of a relief &lsquo;cause on both sides of my family there&rsquo;s a fair amount of various levels of mental illness. So it didn&rsquo;t bother me&hellip;that much. You know it&rsquo;s something you think about in terms of the logistics. I still think about that even today, especially now that Juniper&rsquo;s born. What are we going to do if such a thing were to happen? But you know when it&rsquo;s coming. You know the signs. And you know what to do.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;So we&rsquo;ve been married for nine&mdash;no, we&rsquo;ve been married for four years, but we&rsquo;ve been together for nine years, but you&rsquo;ve never seen me in a manic state. How do you feel about that?&rdquo; Lee asks.</p><p>&ldquo;I think it&rsquo;s very possible you might never have another manic episode again,&rdquo; Fister says. &ldquo;You&rsquo;re lucky that you found the right combination of meds&hellip; And you have a good support system. You have a good doctor now.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;You know for a long time I didn&rsquo;t want to have a child because I didn&rsquo;t want that child to go through that,&rdquo; Lee says, &ldquo; but then also selfishly if that child committed suicide I didn&rsquo;t know how I would live. I didn&rsquo;t know how I could live with that knowledge: That I knew what that experience was but still decided to get pregnant and to bring a life into the world where that could happen.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;So what turned it around?&rdquo; Fister asks.</p><p>&ldquo;I think that I&rsquo;ve experienced things in our relationship together that made me feel like that chance was worth it,&rdquo; Lee says.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/playlists/6250422&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="888px"></iframe></p></p> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 11:41:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/breaking-silence-about-being-bipolar-110988 Morning Shift: The relationship between mental health and eating http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-05-20/morning-shift-relationship-between-mental-health-and <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/anorexia Flickr schnappischnap.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>May is Mental Health Month, so we take a look at the connection between eating right and mental health. We also look at the latest efforts to get a new trauma center at the University of Chicago Medical Center.&nbsp;</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-the-relationship-between-eatng-and-m/embed?header=false&amp;border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-the-relationship-between-eatng-and-m.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-the-relationship-between-eatng-and-m" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: The relationship between mental health and eating" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Tue, 20 May 2014 07:19:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-05-20/morning-shift-relationship-between-mental-health-and After suicide attempt, college student helps others deal with mental illness http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/after-suicide-attempt-college-student-helps-others-deal-mental-illness-109943 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 1.43.50 PM.png" alt="" /><p><p>Three years ago, Wesleyan college student Molly Jenkins tried to take her own life&mdash;twice.</p><p>Molly told her mom that her suicidal thoughts first began while recovering from a major surgery that left her bedridden.</p><p>After 6 months of therapy at Chicago&rsquo;s Rush Hospital, she returned to college and became a mental health advocate.</p><p><strong>Molly: &ldquo;It was really important for me to come out with this stamp on my forehead that said, &lsquo;I&rsquo;ve attempted suicide and I don&rsquo;t care what you guys think&rsquo; because I knew there were other people who, like me, were suffering in silence.&rdquo;</strong></p><p>To hear Molly and her mother discuss this trying period in their lives for the first time, check out the audio above.</p><p><em>Meredith Zielke is a WBEZ producer. </em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Fplaylists%2F6250422" width="100%"></iframe></p></p> Fri, 28 Mar 2014 14:02:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/after-suicide-attempt-college-student-helps-others-deal-mental-illness-109943