Unmet Needs: Living with mental illness in central Illinois
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. 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. Throughout April, the series also explores the day-to-day challenges of living with mental illness, and what can happen if those with a mental health condition don’t get the help they need. 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.