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Town hall meeting slated on mental health issues

Tuesday, February 07, 2012
Chicago Sun-Times

Turning Point Behavioral Health Care Center will sponsor a town hall meeting to focus on mental health challenges and solutions from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Friday at the Skokie Public Library, 5215 Oakton St.

Expected to attend are State Sen. Jeff Schoenberg, D-9th, State Reps. Daniel Biss, D-17th, and Robyn Gabel, D-18th, and staffers from the office of U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-9th.

They will join Turning Point staff, clients and the public to discuss mental health services in an era of financial constraints and opportunities. This is the 11th town hall meeting sponsored by Turning Point.

Also expected to take part in the discussion 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 Illinois.

Turning Point officials said that the past year has provided significant challenges. Some facilities in the metro area and statewide have been threatened with closure or significant service reductions.

Turning Point remains on solid financial footing, officials say, but many area clients and residents are 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.

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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