Finding A Chicago Psychiatrist Is About To Get Easier

Mental health initiatives are making it easier than ever to find a Chicago psychiatrist. Even though mental illnesses are some of the most common conditions in the US, they are severely under-treated. This is due to a lack of awareness surrounding mental health disorders as well as a lack of funding. The people of Chicago know that they deserve better care, and many are moving mountains to make this possible.

Chicago Psychiatrist: Highlights

  • Mental health treatment is expensive and inaccessible throughout the United States.
  • This is in spite of the fact that tens of millions of Americans suffer from at least one mental illness.
  • Public programs and lawmakers in Chicago are working to improve levels of awareness surrounding mental health, as well as to provide increased access to Chicago psychiatrists and other providers.
  • This involves using the school curriculum to increase knowledge and decrease the taboo, in addition to programs aimed at preventive and remedial care.
  • Non-traditional forms of psychotherapy, including online therapy, are making the task easier by bringing mental health treatments directly to patients.

What’s Happening in The Mental Health Arena of Chicago?

As is the case throughout the country, Chicago residents are struggling to deal with mental health issues and substance abuse. This is particularly so in the wake of the financial crisis and its consequences, in addition to the opioid epidemic.

Nonetheless, funding towards mental health initiatives has dwindled. Six mental health clinics were shut down in 2012, and residents have nowhere to go. Simply getting an appointment with a Chicago psychiatrist is a monumental task, no matter how desperate you are or how much your insurance will pay.

The City of Chicago voted in January to authorize a task-force to study mental health services and how they can be improved. Certain lawmakers are also blazing a trail with important legislation that will improve awareness of mental health and accessibility to providers.

What Needs to be Done to Revive the System?

The mental health system in Chicago is severely underfunded. While the amount of people suffering from mental illnesses is only increasing, access to mental health services is decreasing. This has led activists and volunteers to start a major push towards reviving the system, increasing access to Chicago psychiatrists and other providers.

What’s at Stake?

More than 3.5 million people in the state of Illinois suffer from mental illnesses. Not only are their lives at risk, but those that manage to continue living without treatment suffer at work or at school. The problem is growing, especially when it comes to substance abuse. The opioid epidemic has led to many new addicts in Chicago, and many of them don’t know where to turn.

Mental Health Obstacles

Obstacles to mental health treatments in Chicago include a lack of funding or prioritizing by authorities. Six clinics were shut down in 2012, and politicians are reluctant to release money to improve treatment. This is due mainly to a misunderstanding of mental illness and who it impacts. Finding a Chicago psychiatrist is therefore not an easy matter.

Solutions for Improving Mental Health Services

There are a number of proposed solutions for improving mental health and psychiatric services in Chicago. Preventative measures are incredibly important. These include education about mental illness in schools, so that students understand when they may be suffering from a mental illness. They can tell their teachers or parents and get care before it becomes debilitating.

This will also help them to recognize others suffering from mental health problems and react with empathy towards them, possibly alerting teachers to the issue.

Further solutions include increasing access to Chicago psychiatrists. Currently, finding a psychiatrist is very difficult. Databases are not up-to-date and providers don’t follow up on promises to call patients back. Most of them are overloaded with patients and cannot take on any more.

More college-age youths need to be encouraged to study psychiatry. The industry needs more providers, and a career in psychiatry needs to offer ample rewards.

Lawmakers and Game-Changers

There are lawmakers in Chicago trying to change the game when it comes to mental health. One such example is State Rep. Karina Villa, a 40-year-old Democrat representing West Chicago. She is new to politics and got into the game in order to improve mental health services. Villa has already introduced legislation that would require schools to discuss mental health with students.

In addition, a task force has been organized to investigate solutions for mental health problems in Chicago. Furthermore, CHECK, run by the University of Illinois, has employed thirty community health workers to build a “medical neighborhood” which will address a lack of access to care.

Can Online Therapy Help?

Online therapy is a modern approach to traditional therapy. Instead of going in person to a therapist’s office, patients can log into a session from the comfort of their home or office. It is far easier to get a session than through traditional means, and could increase access for millions who have struggled to find someone to help in Chicago.

Making Mental Health A Priority

Lawmakers and programs in Chicago are making mental health a priority. Finding a Chicago psychiatrist should not be as difficult as it is. Anyone who is struggling deserves to have access to immediate, high-quality care.

The mental health crisis in America is impacting Chicago. While funding for mental health initiatives has dwindled over the past few years, innovative ideas are making it easier to get help. If you’d like to know more about the various projects being run in Chicago, take a look at the following links:

author avatar
Angel Rivera
I am a Bilingual (Spanish) Psychiatrist with a mixture of strong clinical skills including Emergency Psychiatry, Consultation Liaison, Forensic Psychiatry, Telepsychiatry and Geriatric Psychiatry training in treatment of the elderly. I have training in EMR records thus very comfortable in working with computers. I served the difficult to treat patients in challenging environments in outpatient and inpatient settings
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