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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
9:35am
Fri Sep 27, 2013

Chicagoans With Mental Illness Push Back Against Stigma At Town Hall Meeting

Stigma and misconceptions about people with mental illness can create major barriers when it comes to them accessing housing, employment and other services and supports, according to panelists at a Chicago town hall meeting on the topic Thursday. 

Janice Parker, a panelist and assistant director of consumer affairs at the Illinois Institute of Technology's Center on Adherence and Self Determination, said she's suffered from severe depression, anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder due to a previous abusive marriage. She says she has faced discrimination numerous times just due to her illness. For example, when she tried to receive a government-provided medical card when her condition made it too difficult for her to work, she was told, ”Well, you don’t look sick to me.”

But Parker, who is African American, said what's really bothersome is that she's felt stigmatized the most within her own community.

"In our community, women aren't supposed to be tired," Parker said at the discussion, hosted by Access Living. "We're not supposed to be overburdened. [They say], 'Buck up ... Stop being a wimp."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:14pm
Tue Jul 9, 2013

Chicago Activists Speak Out Against Public Service Cuts, Offer Alternatives

The concept of a social safety net in Illinois is under attack, according to Chicago activists who spoke out at a forum Monday evening regarding threats to public services. Members of the the Alliance For Community Services and other groups offered up various ways to avoid future social services cuts. Progress Illinois was there to learn more.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
12:07am
Wed Feb 27, 2013

Robin Kelly Wins Illinois' 2nd Congressional District Primary Election (VIDEO)

Former State Rep. Robin Kelly of Matteson has won the Illinois 2nd Congressional District's primary election Tuesday to become the Democratic nominee in the race to fill the seat left vacant by disgraced former congressman Jesse Jackson Jr.

Kelly will run in the district’s April 9 general election to replace Jackson Jr., who pled guilty last week to misusing some $750,000 in campaign funds.

With more than half of the district's 545 precincts reporting, Kelly won the special primary with 54 percent of the vote. Major contenders during Kelly’s campaign were Democratic candidates former congresswoman Debbie Halvorson and Chicago Ald. Anthony Beale (9th).

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
11:30am
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.

Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
2:08pm
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.

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