The 21st Show

Getting Mental Health Help as a Refugee; Politicians and Fashion; Illinois Politics Update


Lauren Bavis/Side Effects Public Media

Immigrants and refugees who have fled violence can have a hard time getting mental health care in the U.S. We speak with one man in Indiana working to change that. Plus, politicians are out in public all the time and the days of just business casual or black tie are long gone. But first, Democrats want more revenue for the state and gambling is a big piece of the puzzle, whether it’s video gaming or legal sports betting. We’ll talk about that as lawmakers approach crunch time in the Statehouse.

Every year, tens of thousands of refugees arrive in the U.S. fleeing war and violence. And adjusting to live in the U.S. can be hard for many people. Not only could it mean a new language, getting a new job and being away from family and friends, refugees can also face legal uncertainty, financial hardship and social stigma.

On top of all that, some may be dealing with trauma resulting from their time in conflict zones. Unfortunately, for many refugees, it can be difficult to get the mental health treatment they need.

Kazito Kalima first came to Indiana after the Rwandan genocide in the 1990s. He’s the founder and executive director of the Peace Center for Forgiveness and Reconciliation, a nonprofit which helps connect immigrants and refugees with mental health services.

Mengzi Zhang also spoke with us. She’s an assistant professor of health science in the Ball State University College of Health. 

We learned about both of these folks from WFYI reporter Lauren Bavis in Indianapolis. She reported on this for Side Effects Public Media.


“Dressing for success” in the political arena has long meant striking the right balance between professional and casual, powerful and relatable.

While that’s still the case, nowadays there’s a lot more to navigating political attire than choosing between business casual or black tie.

For that reason, politicians like Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker have turned to their staff for daily advice on what to wear. But, Pritzker is not the only one. That’s according to New York Times fashion director and chief fashion critic Vanessa Friedman. She’s been writing about this for the Times and she joined us on the line for more.


Illinois is short on money. We’ve known this for a long time and it was true both before and after the state budget crisis that lasted more than two years.

We’ve talked about the billions in unfunded pensions, and unpaid bills but there’s also the upcoming budget. When Governor Pritzker gave his first budget address back in February, he said the state faced a $3.2 billion budget deficit.

So he laid out several proposals that are meant to raise money. The one that’s gotten the most headlines is a change in the state income tax but even if that happens it wouldn’t take effect for at least two years. So what about faster revenue? Maybe in all the discussion about the income tax you’ve missed all these other proposals meant to help raise money over the next fiscal year: sports betting, legalizing cannabis, changes to video gambling. 

Mark Maxwell is the capital bureau chief of WCIA3 and host of the show Capitol Connection. Joe Bustos is the state politics reporter for the Belleville News-Democrat. 

Story source: WILL