Illinois Public Media’s “Unmet Needs: Living with mental illness in central Illinois” explores the causes of the gaps in care and looks at some of the ways health care providers and advocates are working to improve access.
The series also explores the day-to-day challenges of living with mental illness, and what can happen if the mentally ill don’t get the help they need.
According to federal labor statistics, there are more psychiatrists working in Illinois than most states, with the bulk of that service concentrated in the Chicagoland area.
Mental health providers still say there are major gaps in service across Illinois, especially downstate. Those living with mental illness, or caring for family members who are, often wait six months or longer to get a first time appointment with a doctor, a waiting period that many say is unmanageable.
We hear from caregivers, and those in need of care, as they talk to each other about what it has been like to adapt to life after a diagnosis.
“According to federal labor statistics, there are more psychiatrists working in Illinois than most states, with the bulk of that service concentrated in the Chicagoland area. But mental health providers say there are major gaps in service across Illinois, especially downstate.”
“In an evolving health care system where cost control and efficiency are key, some are looking to telepsychiatry as a solution; some are more skeptical. Could the technology a way to offer more patients quicker access to a doctor? Is that really the best solution?”
“Federal data shows that a smaller percentage of children in the state in need of mental health care get it compared to the national average. Health care professionals say part of the reason for that is a lack of resources, and parents not knowing where to turn for help.”
Click here to see the complete coverage of Illinois Public Media’s series Unmet Needs: Living with mental illness in central Illinois.
Revisit CU-CitizenAccess.org’s coverage of mental health issues on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s campus:
“For the past five months, journalism students and faculty have examined the state of mental health treatment at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus.
“More than 20 million college students across the nation will start school this month, just weeks after James Holmes, a Colorado graduate student, allegedly shot and killed 12 people in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado.
“In the wake of Sandy Hook and other school shootings of recent years, gun control advocates – and some politicians, including President Obama – have renewed a push for changes to existing gun laws.