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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.

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.
Joey Ramp and her ex-husband in WILL's studios.
Sean Powers/WILL

Unmet Needs: “Folk Wisdom” about health perpetuates stereotypes

Joey Ramp gets uncomfortable in large crowds of people. New places also make her uneasy. It’s her service dog, Theo, and her highly regimented schedule that helps her handle her anxiety and cope with her post-traumatic stress disorder. Theo is always with her, and since her disability isn’t visible, she says people are curious. Sometimes they ask; sometimes they don’t. “Most often, when people ask and I say I have PTSD, people want to thank me for my service.”

That makes it awkward for Ramp to explain that she never served in the military.

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

AP

Unmet Needs: Look onscreen, the doctor will see you now

In many places in Illinois, providers are looking to telemedicine to expand access to psychiatric care. Friday on Focus, we take a look at the nuances of treating patients via a computer screen as a part of our series “Unmet Needs: Living with mental illness in central Illinois.”

Mason District Hospital in Havana, Ill. uses telepsychiatry for both children and adults since the hospital has struggled to recruit psychiatrists to the area.
(Sean Powers/WILL)

Ending The 6 Month Wait To See A Psychiatrist

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. 

Health Care Law Could Cut Down On Incarceration Rates

Tuesday marks the launch of state health insurance exchanges, a major part of the Affordable Care Act. Among the many changes likely after the new health coverage takes effect: Fewer people behind bars.