WBEZ | youth http://www.wbez.org/tags/youth Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Shocking drop in services for Illinois children with severe mental illness http://www.wbez.org/series/front-center/shocking-drop-services-illinois-children-severe-mental-illness-109389 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Lockouts_sh_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><em>The Johnson family is using a pseudonym to maintain their privacy.</em></p><p>Last week, WBEZ discovered that <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/psychiatric-lockouts-double-two-years-109376">the number of psychiatric lockouts had doubled in Illinois over the past two years.</a>&nbsp;That means more parents are abandoning their children and relinquishing custody to the state, simply to get that child mental health care.</p><p>One of the services meant to help families before they reach that point of crisis is called an Individual Care Grant (ICG).</p><p>The state-funded grant pays for children with severe mental illness to get community and residential services. Some parents credit those services with saving their child&rsquo;s life and preserving their families.</p><p>But the grant is now only serving about half the Illinois youth that it did 5 years ago. Some advocates say the grant&rsquo;s decline might be partly responsible for the spike in custody relinquishment.</p><blockquote><p><strong>Chart: <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/shocking-drop-services-illinois-children-severe-mental-illness-109389#chart">The decline of Individual Care Grants </a></strong></p></blockquote><p>Emily Johnson saw the shift first hand. She worked for eight years at a non-profit where she helped families complete ICG applications. It&rsquo;s a grueling process, with tons of paper work and documentation.</p><p>Johnson said, in the last few years, more applications were sent back as incomplete because they had very tiny mistakes, like having two sheets out of order. Some families told Johnson that they thought the state was trying to discourage them from seeking out services.</p><p>She said even applications that described severe psychiatric conditions, applications that would easily have been accepted in the past, were now denied.</p><p>&ldquo;It just got to the point where these children were in and out of the hospital constantly and they were still being denied,&rdquo; said Johnson.</p><p>Johnson took a strong interest in these applications because her own daughter, Erin, had bipolar disorder with psychotic features.</p><p>&ldquo;She had hallucinations and would jump out of the window trying to be superman and fly,&rdquo; said Johnson.</p><p>Erin could be really kind, when she was about 11-years-old, she wrapped up her own possessions to give her siblings as presents. But her illness sometimes made her violent. &ldquo;She would take her sister and bash her head into the door jamb. She broke her brother&rsquo;s arm and showed absolutely no remorse,&rdquo; said Johnson.</p><p>The Department of Children and Family Services investigated Johnson&rsquo;s home. Johnson was scared they were going to take away one of her children. But instead, DCFS helped Johnson get an ICG.</p><p>&ldquo;If there was no ICG, I would have had to choose between keeping my daughter at home and my other three kids going into foster care. Or most horribly, having my daughter inflict harm on herself and possibly end her life on her own,&rdquo; said Johnson.</p><p>Johnson said the grant saved her family and she is angry to see it in decline. In 2006, when her daughter got an ICG, 124 Illinois youths were approved for the grant. In 2013, only 11 were approved-- in the whole state. That&rsquo;s the lowest in history of the program.</p><p>&ldquo;The families were just going through so many emotions of inadequacy. You know, &lsquo;why can&#39;t I take care of my child? What&#39;s going to happen to them? So a lot of heartbreak,&rdquo; she said. &nbsp;</p><p>Johnson said many children were denied because the state said they didn&rsquo;t have severely impaired reality, one of the grant&rsquo;s requirements. Experts say severely impaired reality testing leaves room for a lot of clinical interpretation. According to the Illinois Division of Mental Health&rsquo;s website,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=64970">symptoms can include hallucinations and bizarre behavior.</a></p><p>Dr. Debra Ferguson oversees Clinical Operations for the state&rsquo;s Division of Mental Health. She acknowledged that in recent years, they&rsquo;ve more strictly applied the definition of impaired reality. Ferguson said one reason they made the change was because, previously, the ICG program had overspent.</p><p>&ldquo;We wanted to live within our appropriation, and in order to do that, we made the decision to adhere strictly to the eligibility requirement codified in rule,&rdquo; said Ferguson.</p><p>Ben Wolf, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), said the state might actually be breaking the law.&nbsp;&nbsp;He oversees a 1980&rsquo;s state consent decree that deemed ICG was an entitlement.&nbsp;That means, no matter what the budget is, the government is legally obligated to give grants to anyone who qualifies.</p><p>&ldquo;If the level of appropriation is affecting the final judgment about who is eligible and who is not, then that in my view would be a violation of the law, and of our consent judgment,&rdquo; he said. &nbsp;</p><p>Debra Ferguson stressed that the approval process became more stringent so the most severely mentally ill youth could enjoy services.&nbsp;She said the Division of Mental Health is reviewing the ICG process, and getting feedback from parents and other stakeholders.</p><p>&ldquo;What they develop and recommend is what I want to look at and what I will take under review,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>Attorney Brooke Whitted is watching that review closely. He represents families trying to get services. He is also board president of the&nbsp;<a href="about:blank">The Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School</a>. The school serves mentally ill youth, and some of their students use an ICG to pay the school.</p><p>He talked about parents who keep locks on their bedroom doors because of their child&rsquo;s violent episodes.&nbsp;&ldquo;Other kids we&rsquo;ve known about like to reach down their esophagus, and try to pull their organs out,&rdquo; said Whitted. He said those children &ldquo;need staff on them 24-hours, otherwise they are going to do what they are trying to do.&rdquo;</p><p>Whitted used to be a probation officer. He said if we don&rsquo;t fix the ICG process, its problems could &nbsp;pose community safety risks. Whitted also said it doesn&#39;t save the state any money.&nbsp;&ldquo;All you are doing is shifting the cost from one pocket to another. Because the kids end up homeless or juvenile prisons and it cost more,&rdquo; said Whitted.</p><p>Johnson said while working at the non-profit, she saw the consequences first hand. She watched some families spiral into despair after getting an ICG denial.</p><p>&ldquo;This was their last chance at family preservation and they needed this because the safety of other children was at risk. Their personal safety was at risk. And the intended ICG recipient was at risk too,&rdquo; said Johnson.</p><p>As the state reviews the ICG program, Johnson hopes it will imagine these children in the future.&nbsp;Ten years from now, what could that child be like if they get services versus if they do not?</p><p>Johnson said asking that question, should make the risks, both human and financial, clear<a name="chart"></a>.</p><script type="text/javascript" src="//ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/static/modules/gviz/1.0/chart.js"> {"dataSourceUrl":"//docs.google.com/a/chicagopublicradio.org/spreadsheet/tq?key=0Alg80TU7KaJJdG1CNDAwYnh2aTZfNG5aS3dOOGxCYWc&transpose=0&headers=1&range=A1%3AB15&gid=0&pub=1","options":{"titleTextStyle":{"bold":true,"color":"#000","fontSize":16},"vAxes":[{"title":null,"useFormatFromData":true,"minValue":null,"viewWindow":{"max":null,"min":null},"maxValue":null},{"useFormatFromData":true,"minValue":null,"viewWindow":{"max":null,"min":null},"maxValue":null}],"title":"Number of approved ICG applications by year","booleanRole":"certainty","height":322,"animation":{"duration":0},"legend":"none","width":620,"useFirstColumnAsDomain":true,"hAxis":{"title":"","useFormatFromData":true,"minValue":null,"viewWindowMode":null,"viewWindow":null,"maxValue":null},"isStacked":false,"tooltip":{}},"state":{},"view":{"columns":[{"calc":"stringify","type":"string","sourceColumn":0},1]},"isDefaultVisualization":false,"chartType":"ColumnChart","chartName":"Chart 1"} </script><script type="text/javascript" src="//ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/static/modules/gviz/1.0/chart.js"> {"dataSourceUrl":"//docs.google.com/a/chicagopublicradio.org/spreadsheet/tq?key=0Alg80TU7KaJJdG1CNDAwYnh2aTZfNG5aS3dOOGxCYWc&transpose=0&headers=1&range=A1%3AB15&gid=1&pub=1","options":{"titleTextStyle":{"bold":true,"color":"#000","fontSize":16},"series":{"0":{"color":"#ff0000"}},"animation":{"duration":500},"width":620,"hAxis":{"title":"","useFormatFromData":true,"minValue":null,"viewWindowMode":null,"viewWindow":null,"maxValue":null},"vAxes":[{"title":null,"useFormatFromData":true,"minValue":null,"viewWindow":{"min":null,"max":null},"maxValue":null},{"useFormatFromData":true,"minValue":null,"viewWindow":{"min":null,"max":null},"maxValue":null}],"booleanRole":"certainty","title":"Percent of completed applications approved for the grant","height":371,"legend":"none","focusTarget":"series","useFirstColumnAsDomain":true,"isStacked":false,"tooltip":{}},"state":{},"view":{"columns":[{"calc":"stringify","type":"string","sourceColumn":0},1]},"isDefaultVisualization":false,"chartType":"ColumnChart","chartName":"Chart 2"} </script><p><em>Shannon Heffernan is a WBEZ reporter. Follow her on Twitter <a href="http://twitter.com/shannon_h" target="_blank">@shannon_h</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 17 Dec 2013 10:04:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/front-center/shocking-drop-services-illinois-children-severe-mental-illness-109389 Psychiatric lockouts double in two years http://www.wbez.org/series/front-and-center-work/psychiatric-lockouts-double-two-years-109376 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Lockouts_sh.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><i>The names of the family in this article have been changed to protect their privacy.&nbsp;</i></p><p>When parents cannot get a child proper psychiatric care, they sometimes abandon the child and relinquish custody to the state. The state is then required by law to provide services.</p><p>That relinquishment is called a psychiatric lockout. In 2011, 38 families gave up custody in a psychiatric lockout. Now, two years later, that number has doubled to 76. Lawyers, advocates, and service providers say most of these families have reached a point of extreme desperation.</p><p>Sue Franklin says she did.</p><p>She has four kids, two girls and two boys. Sitting on her couch, her toddler daughter snuggles next to her with a book. She says her oldest child, now 17, was usually good with his baby sister. Adam would play games and talk to her very sweetly. But he also suffers from schizophrenia and could change in an instant.</p><p>&ldquo;In one of his fits, he started screaming, &#39;Get me away from her, get me away from her. I am going to hurt her,&#39;&rdquo; said Franklin.</p><p>Franklin said at age 3, Adam would scream for hours on end.</p><p>&ldquo;Then at 11, he started doing really horrible things involving blood and other body orifices and saying he was commanded by the demons. And then he acted confused like he didn&rsquo;t know me,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>After many doctor visits and handfuls of medications, he finally got a drug that worked.&nbsp;Franklin also got Adam into community services funded by the state. For a while things got better. But around age 15, Adam became more aggressive.</p><p>After years of trauma, it seems like Franklin sees her troubles as ordinary. She rattles them off, like a grocery list, counting the incidents on her fingers. &ldquo;We locked up all the knives, he threatened to kill us with them. He was picking up pictures and smashing them. Throwing chairs at us,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>The doctor recommended that Adam go into residential care where he could get around-the-clock services and intense therapy. There is a state grant that pays for that kind of care, and Adam had used it for other services. But Franklin says it denied her request for residential. The state department in charge of that service rejects the claim and says it works to get every child the best services for his or her needs.</p><blockquote><p><strong>Related: <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/shocking-drop-services-illinois-children-severe-mental-illness-109389">The shocking drop in services for mentally ill children in Illinois</a></strong></p></blockquote><p>Franklin couldn&rsquo;t afford to send Adam to residential on her own. Services can cost more than $100,000. She works as a nurse and her husband is an airplane mechanic. She was terrified they could not give Adam the constant supervision he needed.</p><p>&ldquo;My sisters were thinking, &#39;we are afraid to hear about you on the news&#39;,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;Your family is going to be the family where all the children are dead.&rdquo;</p><p>One day, Franklin thought her son was playing video games. It was one way she kept him occupied. She could hear the video game noise playing in the next room.</p><p>Then suddenly the doorbell rang. Her neighbor informed her that Adam had attempted to remove the clothes from a girl who was around 11 years old, while she was jumping on the trampoline in the Franklins&rsquo; backyard. The neighbor&rsquo;s daughter, around the same age, had witnessed it.</p><p>Having few options, Franklin took Adam to the emergency room. Once there, she considered abandoning him, knowing the state would be required to take care of his needs in a way she could not.</p><p>&ldquo;We almost walked out four times,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;We made it past the nurse station, and she was like, &lsquo;I am calling DCFS, right now.&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p>Franklin worried her nurse&rsquo;s license could be revoked if they were charged with neglect by DCFS, the Department of Children and Family Services. She also worried the agency might take away Adam&rsquo;s siblings.</p><p>So instead she filed a police report about Adam&rsquo;s actions and says she sent it to the state agency from which she needed approval for residential. She said she never heard back.<br /><br />Franklin did not make eye contact when she told the next part of the story. Her eyes were fixed on an invisible spot on the floor. She sat very still, as if in a trance. A digital photo frame, showing pictures of her smiling kids, flashed over her shoulder.</p><p>She said shortly after the first incident with the neighbor, Adam did the unthinkable to his adolescent sister: &ldquo;My daughter in shock came running into the next room. He had forced himself on her and chased [her] up to her room. She locked the door. She came out because she thought it was clear, and he forced himself on her again. Thankfully he didn&rsquo;t get her clothes off.&rdquo;</p><p>This time, Franklin took Adam to the police station. Because of where and how he touched his sister, it was considered molestation.</p><p>&ldquo;It was determined that he could no longer be in our home, by DCFS. And we actually agreed with them,&rdquo; said Franklin.</p><p>In the end, Franklin did not have to abandon Adam. Franklin says DCFS took custody and deemed it a no-fault dependency case. She is heartbroken to have lost custody, but is thankful Adam is in residential care.</p><p>Attorney Brooke Whitted works with families who have mentally ill youths. He is also president of the board that runs the Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School, a prominent residential care facility and school for mentally ill youth.</p><p>He said psychiatric lockouts have become common enough recently that he actually keeps a memo on hand to explain it to families.</p><p>&ldquo;Custody relinquishment is an increasing issue because of people&rsquo;s increasing desperation to get services for their kids,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>One service Whitted says should catch some these youths is called the Individual Care Grant (ICG). It pays for severely mentally ill kids to get residential and community care. But over the past few years, the grant has become increasingly hard to get.</p><p>In 2006, 124 Illinois youth were approved for the grant. In 2013, only 11 were approved -- in the whole state.</p><p>Heather O&#39;Donnell works at the mental health advocacy organization, Thresholds.</p><p>She said the psychiatric lockouts are not unique to Illinois. &ldquo;This does happen in other states. But other states have laws to protect against it and they adequately fund the services that are necessary like the ICG program and other services for children and young adults,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>A spokesperson from the Illinois Division of Mental Health says it is only responsible for a small slice of the services meant for these youths. It is currently reviewing the ICG and advocates are watching the process closely. So are parents like Susan Franklin who had an ICG and tried to use it to help Adam.</p><p>&ldquo;My daughter should have never been victimized. That girl should have never been victimized,&rdquo; said Franklin.</p></p> Sat, 14 Dec 2013 11:09:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/front-and-center-work/psychiatric-lockouts-double-two-years-109376 Youth and the city http://www.wbez.org/blogs/britt-julious/2013-12/youth-and-city-109289 <p><div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP332906622549.jpg" style="height: 412px; width: 620px;" title="(AP/Paul Beaty)" /></div></div><div>&ldquo;I forgot how easy it is to be young here,&rdquo; a friend said to me over the holiday weekend. He was in town visiting his mother, and he made the statement in assessment of a night out.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>It&rsquo;s true.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>In Chicago, it is easy to find quality entertainment, cheap drinks, delicious food, and relatively affordable living and transportation options, especially compared to other cities.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>His comments reminded me of another from last year. A friend visited the city to see whether or not she wanted to move here. In the end, she chose New York. In terms of her career, it made sense. But did Chicago not provide enough of a challenge? Does it matter if Chicago is &ldquo;easy&rdquo; compared to other cities?&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Well, for one, who said that Chicago is easy?&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Earlier this summer, another friend said, &ldquo;Everyone&rsquo;s just dying,&rdquo; when explaining one of his reasons for wanting to move out of the city. Despite the frequent reports of violence in the city, it is easy to forget that the ease and accessibility of the city do not exist for a large segment of the city&rsquo;s population. Many of the amenities and much of the entertairnment people enjoy in the city tends to cater to one specific population.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Despite Chicago&rsquo;s conflicting narrative, many organizations do find the city worthy of praise. Chicago was ranked as the <a href="http://www.youthfulcities.com/#!Chicago/zoom/c5tu/i4awu" target="_blank">6th most &ldquo;youthful&rdquo; city</a> (out of 25 large urban global cities) as part of the 2014 YouthfulCities Index, created as &ldquo;the first index to rank cities from a youth perspective.&rdquo;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>For their index, the top five largest cities were chosen from five regions: Africa, Asia, English-speaking North America, Europe and Latin America. Youth was defined as 15-29 years old, and categories included public space, transportation and affordability and employment and fashion, among others.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Their rankings were based on 10 months of research with more than 75 people, &ldquo;contributing to 16 categories, 80 Global Indicators, and 2000 data points.&rdquo;&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>What does all of that mean?&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Well, for many young people, especially those fresh out of college, Chicago provides an ideal environment to thrive. We have many youth-friendly neighborhoods, bars, music venues, cheap restaurants, and affordable housing. But is any of this sustainable?&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>According to YouthfulCities, &ldquo;50 per cent of the world&#39;s population is under 30 years of age and 50 per cent of the world&#39;s population now live in cities.&rdquo; What happens when that population ages? In Chicago, growing out of the &ldquo;youthful&rdquo; phase does not always offer the accessibility and ease that can be found when young.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>According to the Index, Chicago ranks 2nd in public space, sports, and gaming. Our thankful abundance of public parks, beautiful waterfront, and loveable sports teams speaks to this easily. A middle-class lifestyle as a young 20-something is an ideal situation in Chicago.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>However, a middle-class lifestyle while trying to raise young children presents new hurdles. In the Index, Chicago ranked 21st overall in environmental sustainability. And while the Index claimed we were ranked 6th in the &ldquo;Economic Status Sub Index&rdquo; (comprised of indicators such as minimum wage, housing, and student housing), it does not speak to the sustainability and viability of these numbers in the long run.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Thirty-five is not as easy as 25. And with greater adulthood comes greater concerns.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Where are the quality, affordable, and accessible education options for all children? Where are the numerous housing options in safe neighborhoods? Where are the jobs that provide more than just the minimum wage?</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>According to the Index, <a href="http://media.wix.com/ugd/3a3a66_f8a747d9e1b244ceade7cdc6a6c90c3f.pdf" target="_blank">Chicago ranks 16th</a> in &ldquo;Civic Participation,&rdquo; a number that is not terrible, but is not worthy of praise. Only one American city &ndash; New York City &ndash; ranks within the Top 10. For Chicago to sustain itself as a city beyond &ldquo;youth&rdquo; it must grow into a place that is livable for all. And it is the people living within it (especially the youth who find it so charming and easy right now) who must take greater steps to secure its future.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Britt Julious&nbsp;blogs about culture in and outside of Chicago. Follow her essays for WBEZ&#39;s Tumblr&nbsp;<a href="http://wbez.tumblr.com/">here</a>&nbsp;and on Twitter&nbsp;<a href="http://twitter.com/britticisms" target="_blank">@britticisms</a>.</em></div></p> Tue, 03 Dec 2013 11:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/britt-julious/2013-12/youth-and-city-109289 Youth Voices: Truth & Choices http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/youth-voices-truth-choices-107252 <p><p>In a youth forum/expo style event, different youth organizations from across the city came together with high school students and college students to share experiences and build community and solidarity. Featuring Chicago&#39;s youth-led organizations &amp; guest speaker&nbsp;<strong>Dr. Beth Richie</strong>,&nbsp;Director of the The Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago.</p><div><div>The Ellen Stone Belic&nbsp;Institute is pleased to co-present <em>Youth Voices: Truth &amp; Choices</em> in partnership with Black Youth Project; Columbia College Student Organizations: One Tribe; The F Word; Columbia Links; Chicago Freedom School; Crossroads Fund; Fearless Leading by the Youth; Young Chicago Authors and Young Women&#39;s Empowerment Project.<br />&nbsp;</div></div><div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/ISWG-webstory_2.jpg" style="float: left;" title="" /></div></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><br />Recorded live Saturday, May 11, 2013 at Columbia College.</div></p> Sat, 11 May 2013 15:28:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/youth-voices-truth-choices-107252 Runaway youth face increasing economic struggles http://www.wbez.org/news/runaway-youth-face-increasing-economic-struggles-107087 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/runaway photoSIZED.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>The National Runaway Safeline says more youth are running away because of money problems.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Youth are telling us [their families are struggling] so if they are able to be on their own, it really will help that family as a whole, succeed,&rdquo; says Maureen Blaha, Executive Director of NRS.</p><p dir="ltr">She also said older youth are sometimes explicitly asked to leave the home and become independent, &ldquo;Which is not a choice I think they family would make if the economic situation was different.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">This anecdotal evidence is supported by a report the organization released about &nbsp;runway trends over the past decade. Youth contacting the safeline this year were more likely to mention economic problems, an increase of 14 percent over the past year and 56 percent over the last 10 years. &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">Runaway youth are also much more likely to end up in shelters than they were even a year ago, and have a harder time finding &nbsp;ways to support themselves.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Going back home may not always be the right solution, so it&rsquo;s even more important for those youth to be able to have job opportunities,&rdquo; said Blaha.</p><p dir="ltr">As a result of these changes, the safeline is now providing more information on job training opportunities.</p><p dir="ltr">Both youth and concerned adults, can call the runaway safeline at 1-800-Runaway or <a href="http://www.1800runaway.org/">live chat at the organizations website.</a></p><p><em>Shannon Heffernan is a reporter for WBEZ. Follow her <a href="http://www.twitter.com/shannon_h">@shannon_h</a></em></p></p> Wed, 08 May 2013 15:40:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/runaway-youth-face-increasing-economic-struggles-107087 From the White House to the South Side of Chicago: Can Digital Media Save Young People's Lives? http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/white-house-south-side-chicago-can-digital-media-save-young-peoples-lives <p><p>How can digital media help combat gun violence and other social problems plaguing our youth? And how are youth already taking action via media spaces to organize and amplify their voices in their daily lives? A panel explores the possibilities of transforming the lives of young people through new media technologies.</p><div>Featuring <strong>Cathy Cohen</strong>, founder of the Black Youth Project and principal researcher of the Youth &amp; Participatory Politics Survey Project; <strong>Biko Baker</strong>, Executive Director of the League of Young Voters; <strong>Martin Macias</strong>, Youth Organizer at Chicago Fair Trade, and more.</div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/IHC-webstory_14.jpg" title="" /></div><p>Recorded live Saturday, April 20, 2013 at the Experimental Station.&nbsp;</p></p> Sat, 20 Apr 2013 15:30:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/white-house-south-side-chicago-can-digital-media-save-young-peoples-lives Global Activism: Chicago neonatologist returns home to India to do development work http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-12-08/global-activism-chicago-neonatologist-returns-home-india-do-development- <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-December/2011-12-08/india3.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><em>Worldview</em> talks to Dr. Anita Deshmukh, the executive director of <a href="http://pukar.org.in/" target="_blank">Partners for Urban Knowledge Action and Research</a>, an organization based in Mumbai. Her research focuses on the relationship between poverty, social equity and health – all through the lens of urban youth.</p><p>A physician and neonatologist by trade, Anita taught and lived in Chicago for 20 years. Anita tells <em>Worldview</em> why she decided to leave her life in Chicago and relocate to Mumbai to work with disenfranchised young people.</p><p><strong>Note:</strong> Some listeners wanted to get their hands on a song we played briefly on last week's <em>Global Activism</em>, which focused on <a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-12-01/global-activism-couple-fights-sickle-cell-disease-cameroon-94508" target="_blank">a couple that's battling sickle cell disease</a> in Cameroon. For your listening pleasure, here is "F.J.K. Anthem":</p><p><span class="filefield_audio_insert_player" href="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/F.J.K.%20Anthem.mp3" id="filefield_audio_insert_player-122073">F.J.K. Anthem.mp3</span></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><em>To hear more stories of people making a difference, check out the </em>Global Activism <em><a href="http://wbez.org/globalactivism" target="_blank">page</a>, where you can also suggest a person or organization for the series. Or, email your suggestions to <a href="mailto:worldview@wbez.org">worldview@wbez.org</a> and put “Global Activism” in the subject line. Also, don't forget to subscribe to the <a href="wbez.org/podcasts" target="_blank">podcast</a>.</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 08 Dec 2011 17:02:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-12-08/global-activism-chicago-neonatologist-returns-home-india-do-development- The tricky transition to adulthood http://www.wbez.org/story/tricky-transition-adulthood-93294 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-October/2011-10-19/Ana Thresholds FInal.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>People between the ages of 18 and 25 are the most likely&nbsp;of any age group&nbsp;to experience mental illness. They’re also&nbsp;the least likely&nbsp;age group to get adequate services, and often have difficulty navigating the complex transformation into adulthood known as “the transition cliff.”</p><p>Ana lives in one of those unassuming buildings peppered throughout Chicago that don’t quite look like the homes and apartments surrounding them. These are assisted living facilities.&nbsp;She’s been living here with her cat, Snowball, and a handful of other adults with mental illness for a few years.&nbsp;</p><p>ANA: I turned 21 on a Sunday, and that Friday I was emancipated from DCFS. I had no guardian; I was my own guardian. I knew I wasn’t going to have anymore help. I was scared when I was put into my own apartment because thought I was going to end up doing something really bad to myself.</p><p>Ana’s diagnosis is borderline personality disorder, depression, chronic PTSD and schizoaffective disorder. Since she was 13, she’s bounced between dozens of hospitals and nursing homes. Ana has family in Chicago, but none she could turn to for help.</p><p>ANA: Unfortunately my dad doesn’t believe in mental illness so it’s kind of hard to talk to him. He doesn’t believe I need medication. He has a thing about throwing my pills in the garbage and I have to go scavenge hunting after them. It’s hard to make him comprehend I can’t help it – he thinks I do it on purpose.&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-19/Marc Fagan Thresholds Final.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 568px; float: right; margin: 8px;" title="Dr. Marc Fagan leads a training on crisis management for young adults with mental health issues to adolescent and youth service providers. (Photo courtesy of Thresholds)">Ana says her dad didn’t believe her mom’s mental illness was legitimate, either. Her mom is schizophrenic.</p><p>ANA: Unfortunately she jumped off 7th floor building, and crushed her leg. She’s permanently in a wheelchair. I just learned this last year. My&nbsp;family kept that from me. Before that I thought my mom was dead.</p><p>Her mother is now living in an assisted care facility in Texas. Ana arrived at her facility with the help of Thresholds. Her supplemental security income – or SSI – pays the rent. She’s been doing well here, even holding down part time jobs at Radio Shack and Target. But she wants more.</p><p>ANA: I don’t want to be here such a long time, you know? There are people here who’ve been here 10 years, 13 years, you know? And I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to be here the rest of my life.</p><p>Mark Fagan is the associate director of youth programs at Thresholds. The non-profit mental health agency provides treatment and housing.</p><p>FAGAN: With our state in Illinois, we know that it’s increasingly very seriously difficult to get any kind of mental health services if you don’t have really good insurance or if you don’t have Medicaid.&nbsp;</p><p>He says even though the law says adulthood starts at 18, insurance and Medicaid coverage don’t necessary follow that marker.&nbsp;So Fagan says that young adults experiencing a mental health condition tend not to qualify for those services at exactly when they need it the most.</p><p>Adding to that problem is the fact that the mental healthcare system is designed for independent adults or for dependent children. There’s not much out there for those who fall in between.&nbsp;</p><p>Vanessa Vorhies is a researcher who works with young adults at Thresholds. She says that research shows that true adulthood actually starts around 30 years old.</p><p>VORHIES: You know if we think about any other developmental phase across a lifespan - this one is what I find is most interesting - is the amount of change. The young people tend to move a lot, they tend to be under a lot of stress because they have to pick college or a career or something. And you can become a parent. Also young people are most likely to get or develop serious mental health conditions during this time.</p><p>Because hormonal changes affect brain development, many disorders don’t physiologically show up until these in between ages. By the time these symptoms are identified, Fagan says the services that match with them don’t follow along, and that’s where we get into what we call a “transition cliff.”</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-27/RS4487_Marco and Corey Final-scr.jpg" style="width: 397px; height: 250px; margin: 8px; float: left;" title="Marco (left) and Corey both receive assistance from C4 Chicago - a behavioral health and social service provider. (Photo courtesy of C4 Chicago)">COREY: Being honest you know, independence is hard.</p><p>Corey is&nbsp;21 years old. He suffers from schizophrenia and lives with his family in Roscoe Village.</p><p>COREY: My family thought that it was like a phase or a funk - that it would go away eventually. But unfortunately it didn't happen and they decided I needed professional help.</p><p>Corey is lucky to have parents that recognized his illness and who still want him to keep living with them. Because many parents, after years of incredible difficulty raising a child with illness, are overwhelmed to the point of saying, “You know what? You’re 18 – you’re on your own.”</p><div><p>COREY: One of my pills was $400. Another was $200. Two of them were over $100. Pills are very expensive, that's why people need health insurance.</p><p>While his family offers emotional support, he says they’re not in a position to fully support him financially. Corey’s monthly cost of medication comes to nearly $1,000. And like so many navigating insurance beaurocracy, he had a lapse in services.</p><p>COREY: We have Medicaid, and then they sent me a notice in the mail that at 19 they cut me off my insurance, but they never gave me a chance to apply for my own medical card. I didn’t have insurance for a month and a half. I had to pay for my medications completely and medications are so expensive. I completely broke the bank, I had no money in my account whatsoever.</p></div><p>Shannon Garrison is a therapist working with Corey and many other young adults at C4 Chicago. She says she sees gaps in services like his all the time.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-27/RS4488_Shannon Garrison Final-scr.jpg" style="width: 395px; height: 287px; margin: 8px; float: right;" title="Shannon Garrison, a therapist at C4 Chicago (Photo courtesy of C4 Chicago)">GARRISON: I’m still trying to figure out how this process works because there doesn't seem to be rhyme or reason. I have quite a few clients that have the same mental health diagnosis, the same kind of delays or deficits in functioning and one has gotten approved for a medical card, and has gotten approved for SSI, but a kid in a similar situation can't get either one.</p><p>With this lack of medication and therapy, Garrison says young adults end up back in the hospital, or worse.</p><p>GARRISON: So it actually ends up costing more without these services because you're going to see a lot higher rates in psychiatric institutions and in unfortunately the criminal justice system.</p><p>Garrison’s program, just like the other rare programs like it across the state,&nbsp;lost a $100,000 dollar grant to fund their young adult services. They had been teaching scores of struggling youth everything from balancing a checkbook to job readiness. And it’s dealing with some of that daily grind that makes life so hard for people like Corey.</p><p>COREY: Ever since my mental disorder, when I’m stressed out, I get under pressure I do have little breakdowns. I get angry, I cry. I just feel like if I still went back to school I’m afraid I couldn’t finish because to this day I still crack down under pressure. &nbsp;</p><p>Both Corey and Ana have had it rough. But in a way, they’re fortunate – because they found help. Studies show that about one out of every five youth has a diagnosable mental health disorder. And of those – 70 percent never get treatment.&nbsp;Consider this: If one in five Chicago public school students had an undiagnosed mental disorder, there would be more than 57,000 ill children without mental health care in this city alone.</p><p>Corey and Ana’s lives illustrate just a few ways in which this phase of life is treacherous. Despite advances in medicine and therapy, the immense social stigma of mental health conditions remain immune to science. In considering everything, it’s easy to feel hopeless. But Mark Fagan, who we heard from a while back, says the very instability of this period is actually where there’s hope, too.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-27/RS4485_Vanessa and Ana Final.jpg" style="width: 388px; height: 244px; float: left; margin: 8px;" title="Researcher Vanessa Vorhies meets with Ana. (Photo courtesy of Thresholds)">FAGAN: Young adulthood is also a time where we’re able to have some pretty serious influence. &nbsp;You know often times their brains are not fully developed and that’s what’s great. Because we still have that opportunity to provide some influence in terms of both their biological structure as well as their social and emotional structure. So even though it’s an incredibly difficult time, it also provides us with a lot of opportunity for hope and support and for the ability to create healthy transitions along their lifetime.</p><div><p>What are your hopes for the future?&nbsp;</p><p>ANA: I want to become a social worker or therapist. I want to be someone that helps other people.</p><p>COREY: I don't want to throw my life away - I have dreams for myself.</p></div></p> Thu, 27 Oct 2011 11:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/tricky-transition-adulthood-93294 Minority youths consume more media than their counterparts http://www.wbez.org/story/minority-youths-consume-more-media-their-counterparts-87579 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-08/Untitled.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A <a href="http://web5.soc.northwestern.edu/cmhd/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/SOCconfReportSingleFinal-1.pdf">new Northwestern University study</a> says minority youth ages eight to 18 spend more than half their day consuming media content – a rate that's 4.5 hours greater than their white counterparts.</p><p>The <em>Children, Media and Race: Media Use Among White, Black, Hispanic and Asian American Children</em> report released Wednesday says that minority youths are more likely to spend up to 2 hours more per day watching TV, one hour more per day listening to music, 90 minutes more per day using a computer, and up to 40 minutes more per day playing video games than do their white counterparts.</p><p>Reading for pleasure in pre-teens and teens was equal across races, averaging at 30 to 40 minutes a day. But for children six and under, it was more likely that children of white parents were reading or read to every day.</p><p>Multitasking among youth has been adopted as equal rates; around four in ten white, black and Hispanic 7th to 12th graders said that they use another medium “most of the time” they’re watching television.&nbsp;</p><p>Surprisingly, parental structures did not predict total media exposure. The study found that most parents do not set limits on the amount of time children can spend interacting with media for pleasure.</p><p>Within the use of these media, however, white parents were more likely to set rules for what their children could consume, including television programs watched, internet sites used, and their visibility on social networking sites like Facebook.</p><p>Co-author <a href="http://www.communication.northwestern.edu/faculty/?PID=EllenWartella&amp;type=alpha">Ellen Wartella</a>, head of Northwestern University’s Center on Media and Human Development, says the study is not meant to blame parents but should serve as a wake-up call. She says increased parental involvement could mitigate potential problems, including child obesity.</p><p>The study authors argued that considering the role of media in the lives of children is incredibly important, noting that “the purpose of this report is to briefly hit a national ‘pause’ button: to stop and take note of these differences, to consider the possible positive and negative implications for young people’s health and well-being, and to reflect on how each of us can respond in our own realm.”</p></p> Wed, 08 Jun 2011 15:51:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/minority-youths-consume-more-media-their-counterparts-87579 Latino youths organize for control of Radio Arte http://www.wbez.org/story/latino-youths-organize-control-radio-arte-86809 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-May/2011-05-19/Zavala1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Some young radio producers are organizing for control of the Chicago area’s only noncommercial Latino broadcast outlet.</p><p>They’re upset about plans by the National Museum of Mexican Art to sell the building and license of WRTE-FM Chicago (90.5), a youth-run station known as Radio Arte that airs music and public affairs content in English and Spanish.</p><p>Transmitting at 73 watts from Little Village, Radio Arte reaches several other Latino neighborhoods of the city’s Southwest Side and some nearby suburbs.</p><p>The station also trains hundreds of volunteers a year and puts dozens on the air each week. Some have formed a group to try to keep the station in their community’s hands.</p><p>Many of these volunteers share a bond: They don’t have papers to be living in the United States.</p><p>“Radio Arte helped me learn to fight back,” said volunteer Adriana Velázquez, 20, who arrived in the Back of the Yards neighborhood from Mexico at age 11.</p><p>Velázquez graduated from Benito Juárez Community Academy in nearby Pilsen and dreamed of going to college. But her immigration status disqualified her from most financing.</p><p>“So I felt like all I had done all these years in high school — being a good student, a good member of the community — was not worth [anything] to people,” she said Thursday.</p><p>Velázquez said her life changed in 2008, when she started working on a Radio Arte show, <em>Salud: Healing Through the Arts</em>. “That summer was when I started really talking about my status and sharing that with other students who were also going through my situation,” she said.</p><p>“It was kind of a relief to feel [at] home somewhere, not feeling ashamed that I was undocumented,” said Velázquez, now a music-performance student at Northeastern Illinois University.</p><p>Velázquez and the other volunteers want control of Radio Arte’s name, license and transmitter. But they haven’t won over museum officials.</p><p>President Carlos Tortolero said the volunteers were making too much of the museum’s plans. “Radio, to a lot of funders, is old school,” he said. “And we can still do radio classes without a radio station. A lot of people are streaming now online and podcasting.”</p><p>Tortolero said selling the building and radio license would free up resources for projects in other media such as video and computer graphics.</p><p>The Radio Arte volunteers counter that terrestrial radio signals still reach much bigger audiences than web streaming and podcasting do. “That’s especially true in immigrant and low-income communities,” Velázquez said.</p><p>The license’s market value is not clear. Radio Arte staffers say the museum paid $12,000 for it in 1996.</p><p>Tortolero said the museum hasn’t received any offers yet but adds he’s talking with potential buyers, including DePaul University and California-based Radio Bilingüe. He has also met twice with Torey Malatia, chief of Chicago Public Media, the parent of WBEZ.</p><p>Interviewed Wednesday, Malatia said his organization would not have cash for the license at this point. But Chicago Public Media is preparing a proposal to “help with operations and costs,” he said.</p><p>“We deeply respect Radio Arte’s mission,” Malatia said. “If we get involved, we would keep the tradition alive.”</p><p>Malatia said Chicago Public Media would connect Radio Arte to WBEW-FM (89.5), a youth-oriented station known as Vocalo that transmits from Chesterton, Indiana. Vocalo Managing Director Silvia Rivera worked at Radio Arte for more than a decade, including three years as general manager.</p><p>If the Chicago Public Media proposal were accepted, Radio Arte likely would continue broadcasting student- and volunteer-run shows, while “primetime blocks would be simulcast” with Vocalo, according to Malatia.</p><p>“As this story gets out,” Malatia added, “it puts pressure on DePaul and [Radio Bilingüe] to close the deal, and probably will pull some religious buyers into the mix.”</p><p>The building, 1401 W. 18th St., houses Radio Arte’s offices and studios as well as Yollocalli Arts Reach, another youth program of the museum. The wedge-shaped structure has two stories and a partly finished basement. Tortolero said the space totals about 11,000 square feet.</p><p>The museum had a real-estate appraiser look over the building this month but Tortolero said his team has not yet set the asking price.</p><p>The building stands on the corner of Blue Island Avenue and 18th Street. The intersection includes a Mexican-themed plaza that serves as a cultural anchor of Pilsen, a neighborhood whose Latino population has been shrinking.</p><p>The volunteers say they won’t try to buy the building.</p></p> Fri, 20 May 2011 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/latino-youths-organize-control-radio-arte-86809