Monday, February 6, 2012

Focusing on Mental Health Challenges and Solutions at Skokie Public Library Feb 10

This in from Turning Point Behavioral Health Care Center...

Elected officials including State Sen. Jeff Schoenberg (D-9th Dist.), Reps. Daniel Biss and Robyn Gabel (D-17th, 18th Dists.) and staffers from the office of U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-9th Dist.) will join Turning Point staff, clients and the public Friday, February 10, to discuss mental health services in an era of financial constraints and opportunities at the 11th annual Turning Point Town Hall Meeting.

The discussion begins at 10 a.m. at the Skokie Public Library. Also expected to take part are Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin, Dan Wasmer of the Illinois Department of Human Services, and Nancy Carstedt of the Cook County North Suburban chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

The past year has challenged social service agencies such as Turning Point to find new solutions. Some facilities in the Chicago metro area and statewide have been threatened with closure or significant service reductions. While Turning Point itself remains on solid financial footing, many area clients and residents are justly concerned about accessing services. Other pertinent issues include the impact of the federal Affordable Care Act, the need for affordable housing and the stigma of mental illness.

Turning Point Behavioral Health Care Center is a non-profit community mental health center that has served the mental health needs of individuals and families in the north Chicago and suburban area for more than 40 years. The agency works with more than 1,300 residents of Skokie and nearby communities annually. Without our services, as many as two-thirds of these residents (871 people) would have no access to mental health care. In September 2011, Turning Point initiated the Living Room, an innovative psychiatric respite care program expected to save taxpayers an estimated $500,000 a year in fewer emergency room visits.

Friday’s Town Hall meeting is the first in a series of events co-sponsored by Turning Point and the Skokie Public Library. The series, “Building Common Ground: Discussions of Community, Civility and Compassion,” has been made possible through a grant from the American Library Association and the Fetzer Institute.

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