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Lake Michigan touches several cities in the Midwest, but the largest is undoubtedly Chicago. Located at the southern part of the lake, the Windy City is home to over 2.7 million people1. It is part of Cook County and is the 3rd largest city in the country. In addition to the historical and cultural attractions that draw millions to the city every year, visitors come for business as well. Chicago is recognized as a global city and is a leader in commerce, communications, industry, finance, and transportation. It is also known for its famous sports teams, including the Bears, the Bulls, the White Sox, and Wrigley Field’s own Chicago Cubs.

 

Mental Health Statistics
According to the Illinois Division of Mental Health, 37,600 children in Illinois were treated for severe emotional or mental health disturbances in 2007. Approximately 2% of all children served received care through inpatient facilities, and another 2% received mental health services through community-based services and programs2. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported that 14.8% of adults living in the Chicago metropolitan service area used illicit drugs at some point between 2005 and 2010. During that same time, 4.2% used prescription pain relief for nonmedical purposes. A total of 9.2% of all area adults reported a substance abuse issue, and 6.1% reported having had at least one depressive episode during a 12-month period3.

 

Windy City Provides Wide Safety Net of Mental Health Care
The Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Mental Health provides behavioral health services for all its residents on a community level. In the Chicago area, individuals can receive a wide array of necessary services to address all their mental health needs. Assertive Community Treatment (ACT)4 is a comprehensive avenue of care that uses teams of different professionals. These teams take on small caseloads and assume full responsibility for all areas of care for those in their charge. Unlike case management, ACT works to provide treatment and not just oversight to clients in need.

 

Youth living in the metropolitan area are served through the Child and Adolescent Services office which works with state and local providers. Psychiatrists and counselors are available to provide school-based psychological treatment, individual counseling, prevention, intervention, and transition services. Comprehensive Community Service Regions (CCSRs)5 are uniquely dedicated to contract with agencies and providers within specific areas to ensure that services can be delivered to Chicago-area residents. Some of the concerns that can be addressed through CCSRs are substance abuse, mental health, juvenile justice, criminal welfare, and other behavioral or psychological issues.

 

Other basic services provided through the Division of Mental Health include crisis response and intervention, programs for those who are hearing or vision impaired, interventions for children with incarcerated parents, family services, individual therapy, job training, unemployment assistance, rehabilitation, psychosocial support, medication management, training and administration, and others6. The Division of Mental Health works hard to reach all its residents in need and collaborates with community, school, state, and local resources to ensure that every resident can access and receive the care they need.

 

1 U.S. Department of Commerce, United States Census Bureau. (2013). State & County QuickFacts. Retrieved from http://www.census.gov/popest/about/terms.html

2 Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Mental Health. (2013). Illinois Institutional Services for Children with DD, SMI, and SED – Pub. Act 095-0662. Retrieved from http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=37256

3 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2012). National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Substance Use and Mental Disorders in the Chicago-Joliet-Naperville MSA. Retrieved from http://www.samhsa.gov/data/NSDUHMetroBriefReports/NSDUH-Metro-Chicago.pdf

4 Illinois Department of Human Services. (2013). Assertive Community Treatment. Retrieved from http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=30471

5 Illinois Department of Human Services. (2013). Description and Overview of Child & Adolescent Services. Retrieved from http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=65224

6 Illinois Department of Human Services. (2013). Types of Mental Health Treatment. Retrieved from http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=32490