CBHA News Weblog

Community Behavioral Healthcare Associaton of Illinois

Archive for January, 2009

C4 Client Spies Governor Blagojevich Jogging During Impeachment Vote, Joins Him in the Jog–and Plugs Funding for Mental Health Care

Posted by Frank Anselmo on January 21, 2009

(Chicago, IL) — Ayesha McClendon couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw a guy with a shaggy mane of hair running toward her on Lawrence Avenue last Thursday morning in Uptown.

Usually when you see someone running down the sidewalk like that in Uptown, you jump into a vestibule. You start walking in the opposite direction, so you don’t accidentally get hit in the head with a bag full of quarters, or a bullet.

Except the guy McClendon saw was Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who was jogging back to Ravenswood Manor around the same time he was getting impeached by Illinois House representatives.

Read More …


Posted in Illinois Budget, Illinois Drug Treatment, Illinois Mental Health Care | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Heritage Behavioral Health Center and the Community Health Improvement Center Complete National Project to Improve Healthcare for People with Mental Illness

Posted by Frank Anselmo on January 9, 2009

(Decatur, IL) — Representatives from Heritage Behavioral Health Center (Heritage) and the Community Health Improvement Center (CHIC) joined healthcare organizations from six other states in Washington, DC in December to present findings from a yearlong project to improve the health and wellness of the patients.

Heritage and CHIC were chosen to participate in the Primary Care and Behavioral Health Collaborative project conducted by the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare (National Council).

The national collaborative helped communities establish working relationships between community health centers and community mental health centers to ensure that care for individuals with mental illnesses is effectively coordinated.

Nearly one in five Americans has a mental disorder and nearly two-thirds of people with mental illness do not get the help they need. Increasingly, we are learning that mental illness takes a severe toll on people’s physical health as well. A 2006 federal study revealed that persons with mental illnesses die 25 years younger than the general population, largely due to chronic medical conditions.

Diabetes, hypertension, and coronary artery disease are common medical conditions that manifest in persons with serious mental illness, owing to metabolic and lifestyle issues and lack of access to adequate healthcare. These people are often too debilitated to seek care from multiple providers for their mental and physical illnesses, and the collaborative project looked at ways to address this reality.

“Clearly, overall well-being is a function of both mental and physical health,” said Linda Rosenberg, MSW, President and CEO of the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare. “Healthcare providers must work together to identify and treat mental illnesses…”

As a result of participating , CHIC providers learned to use screening tools to assess for Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Suicide Risk, and Substance Abuse Disorders, and developed criteria for referral when patients needed further assessment. Heritage expanded physical health assessment, for clients taking medications, which require close vital sign and laboratory monitoring.

“Participating in the National Council’s collaborative project showed us new possibilities for expanding access to comprehensive healthcare for mind and body,” said Diana Knaebe. “When organizations in the community work together, we can help people get better and live productive lives.”

Posted in Illinois Mental Health Care | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Blagojevich Budget Cuts to Mental Health Care Take Toll on Cicero Community

Posted by Frank Anselmo on January 9, 2009

(Cicero, IL) — Funding cuts imposed by Governor Rod Blagojevich have hit hard the mental health system in Illinois this year, and they are taking a deep toll on the local community in Cicero, Illinois.

“Our waiting list is growing because our resources are shrinking,” said John Morgan, Executive Director of the Family Service and Mental Health Center of Cicero. “Adults and children with serious mental health concerns are waiting longer and longer for care.”

According to Morgan, Sonia, 32, is a perfect example of what is happening in Cicero.

Sonia contacted Family Service in late October seeking counseling due to feelings of uncontrolled anger and depression. She met with the agency’s intake worker at that time and reported an extensive history of physical and sexual abuse. She stated that her mother often blamed her for the sexual abuse which was perpetrated by her step-father throughout her teen years.

Sonia reported that she bottles up all her feelings then explodes in a rage. She has attempted suicide many times throughout her life and continues to have suicidal thoughts, though she denied having any current suicidal plans. Sonia has been treated with medications by her primary care physician in the past, but feels the medications were unhelpful. She has never had any counseling. She came to the agency hoping to see a therapist and was open to the idea of seeing a psychiatrist for an evaluation and trying medications again, if recommended.

However, Sonia is on the agency’s waiting list today. She is one of more than 50 children and adults waiting for someone to answer their call for help.

“It’s painful to turn people away with serious mental health problems, knowing they have nowhere else to turn,” Morgan said. “For some time now, resources have not been adequate to meet the community’s needs for affordable mental health care and the situation is only getting worse. We are now telling those who contact the Center that we will not be able to offer help until well into next year.”

Posted in Illinois Mental Health Care, Illinois Politics | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »