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Mental health
Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Thu Jan 17, 2013

Emanuel Talks Gun Legislation At U Of C Panel Discussion

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said he supports more thorough background checks and a standard on federal gun prosecution Tuesday night during a South Side panel discussion with policymakers and scholars about the politics of guns in America.

The public meeting was on the eve of President Barack Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden’s announcement of a comprehensive gun control package, that calls on Congress to pass an assault weapons ban and law requiring background checks on all gun buyers. The sweeping gun control plan also included 23 executive orders that call for, among other things, additional provisions on background check for gun purchasers, improved access to mental health care, and an end to the ban on federal research on gun violence.

The package comes on the heels of the Newtown, Conn. elementary school shooting that left 20 children and six adults dead, which Obama has said was the worst day of presidency, among other recent mass killings with guns.

“My view is whatever you can do by executive order take care of it,” Emanuel said to veteran journalist Tom Brokaw, who moderated the University of Chicago Institute of Politics’ event.

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Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
Thu Nov 1, 2012

Report: Mental Health Clinic Closings Mean 'Disappeared' Patients, Overburdened Therapists

A new report suggests that the city of Chicago has not fully kept track of some of its patients amid the closing of mental health clinics.

The study released this week by the AFSCME Council 31 public employees union and the Mental Health Movement coalition finds that on March 1 the city counted 3,282 patients using Chicago Department of Public Health, or CDPH, mental health services.

By July 24, following the April closing of six the city's 12 CDPH mental health clinics, the number of patients dropped to 2,798. Read more »

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Thu Oct 18, 2012

Refugee Community Faces Major Barriers When Seeking Disability And Health Services, Report Finds

Refugees with disabilities and chronic health issues are a hidden population in the Chicagoland area, resulting in numerous barriers to proper health care and social services, panelists at an Access Living town hall meeting said Wednesday night.

The town hall served as a safe space for refugees with disabilities to share their challenges since being resettled in Chicago.

It was also the official launch of a collaborative policy brief that highlights the problem and offers more than a dozen solutions crafted by Access Living, Northwestern University’s Institute for Healthcare Studies and other partners.

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PI Original
by Matthew Blake
Thu Oct 11, 2012

Jackson Jr.'s Absence Brings Uncertainty To Illinois' Second Congressional District

It is a mystery to 2nd district residents as to whether they will get an experienced and high-profile representative with the clout to bring money and jobs to the area, a representative weakened by both his medical condition and a still pending ethics investigation, or a special election for a new representative after the November general election.

PI Original
by Matthew Blake
Tue Jul 3, 2012

Disability Advocates Support Clinic Closings

Gov. Pat Quinn’s plan to close two state centers for the developmentally disabled has angered some lawmakers and the state’s main public employees union. But advocates for the developmentally disabled believe Quinn’s move will actually help the lives of hundreds of disabled residents.

Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
Mon Jun 18, 2012

Mental Health Movement Protesters Use 'Necessity Defense' At Cook County Trial

Foes of Chicago closing six of its 12 mental health clinics in April will air their grievances today in a new venue – the Cook County Criminal Court.

Five protesters charged with trespassing at the since closed Woodlawn mental health clinic will use the “necessity defense” according to their attorney James Fennerty, who spoke at a press conference this morning outside the courthouse. Defendants invoke the necessity defense when they claim to have committed a crime so as to benefit the public good.

“These people don’t deny that they trespassed,” Fennerty said. “But they were doing it to prevent a greater evil — meaning the closing down of the clinics and people not getting their mental health care, and not getting their drugs or seeing their therapist.” Read more »