Unmet Needs: three things we learned during our #WILLchat on Twitter


As a part of our series exploring difficulties in accessing mental health care in central Illinois, we convened what we hope is the first of many Twitterchats with WILL’s newsroom Friday morning. 

We wanted to talk with you to find out if we are accurately characterizing problems with stigma through our reporting and wanted to find out more about the problems you and others in the area are having trying to find care. Sean Powers, and I learned a lot

1) Finding funding to pay people to provide services is a huge issue for care providers. @HarryWolin, who joined us during the Twitterchat and was a guest on Focus Friday, says he could expand the services at his hospital if Medicaid reimbursements were higher. He also told us that recruiting doctors and qualified care providers to work for the hospital is hard, in part due in part to misconceptions about rural life. 

@HarryWolin: "#willchat #rural life is awesome! Lack of familiarity leaves some fearful, plus there are so many options providers have"

2) There are people aware of the problem in central Illinois, and they are trying to help. @StrongMindsCU looks like a resource for anyone who is new to working through the mental health care system. They’re a new organization currently reaching out to people in East Urbana. In trying to confront stigma, they are aiming to make mental health part of a bigger conversation about health and wellness.

@strongmindcu: "The key to reducing stigma is to promote ongoing mental health for all instead of focusing on those w/diagnosed mental illness"

@ReIUnrelated: "I think that's a great focus area, as debilitating forms of mental illness make it hard to remain employed. #WILLchat"

3) We all have questions about how to talk about mental illness.

@WordyDiva: "I never know exactly the right, correct terminology when talking about mental illness. I don't want to offend. #mentalillness#WILLchat"

@ReIUnrelated: "Another Twitter friend just remarked that her therapist hates it when she calls herself "crazy."  #WILLchat"