Suffredin- Changing County Government  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
  Last year more people used the County's forest preserves than visited Yellowstone National Park.
   
     
     
     



'Devastating' closure of mental health centers to hit 10,000 patients next month

Friday, April 24, 2015
Chicago Sun-Times
by Tina Sfondeles and Diana Novak Jones

One of the largest providers of mental health services to poor North Siders is closing — just as the state braces for massive mental health care cuts.

And Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart’s office is warning that means there will soon be more mentally ill people in jail.

Community Counseling Centers of Chicago — which cares for more than 10,000 patients, including children — is closing its doors May 31 in a move mental health care experts say will be devastating for its patients.

The center was founded in 1972 to help people released from psychiatric hospitals into Edgewater and Uptown. Over the years it expanded to five locations, all of which will now close, the organization’s CEO Eileen Durkin confirmed Friday.

C4’s closure comes as lawmakers debate Gov. Bruce Rauner’s proposals to slash $82 million from mental health programs.

Durkin acknowledged the cuts would have affected C4. But she blamed a billing issue as the reason for closure. After the center upgraded their medical records system as required by the Affordable Care Act, a glitch in the way the records and billing systems were linked prevented C4 from sending out bills last fall, she said.

“We went for six weeks without being able to get a bill out the door,” Durkin said. That all but cut off C4’s cash flow, she said.

“Like a lot of nonprofits, we don’t have a diversified revenue stream,” she added.

“We pretty much live and die by our billing.”

According to the center’s 2013 annual report and tax records, however, the center received $12.8 million in federal funding, $3.9 million from the state’s Department of Public Aid and $1.06 million in Medicaid and Medicare client fees. It also received $388,000 in contributions and $179,000 in public grants.

Durkin said she is working with the state to place clients with other mental health programs.

Children and adolescents receive half of the center’s services, adults with mental health needs get another third and the remainder are treated for substance-abuse problems, according to the center’s annual report.

Ads by ZINC

Mental health care in Chicago was already limited. The closure in 2012 of six city-run mental health clinics sent many mentally ill patients to the Cook County Jail, critics say.

“People are sad and angry and frustrated,” Durkin said. “It’s horrible.”

Brian Richardson, deputy commissioner of the city’s Department of Public Health, said on Friday that the department is trying to make sure clients get the help they need.

“The closing of C4 is very concerning as the organization plays a valuable role in Chicago’s mental health system,” Richardson said.

The transition of C4 patients isn’t going to be easy, according to Amy Watson, associate professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Jane Addams College of Social Work.

“The other agencies don’t really have the capacity to absorb anymore clients and for some people that means going outside of their community,” said Watson. “It means developing new relationships. It’s not realistic. There are going to be a lot of people that aren’t able to reconnect to a provider, at least not in a smooth transition.”

Watson said C4 served many Hispanic patients, who will have a hard time finding bilingual services elsewhere. She called C4’s closure “devastating.”

“People are going to be stacked up in the emergency rooms. You may have some people that end up in the jail . . . because there’s nowhere else to bring them,” Watson said. “Some people may die. It’s just devastating all around and it’s not really going to save money. It’s probably going to overall cost more money.”

That increased cost would come from emergency room visits, police and jail responses, she said.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart has long called the jail the “largest mental health hospital” where patients are “criminalized.”

“This closure will dramatically exacerbate the crisis felt by those suffering from mental illness who cannot access care,” sheriff’s office spokesman Ben Breit said. “We expect to immediately feel the impact of these cuts on our jail population.”

 

 
 
 

 

 



Recent Headlines

Illinois Supreme Court sets civil, criminal fee schedule
Thursday, February 14, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Seniors: Are your Cook County property taxes delinquent? Your home could be at risk
Thursday, February 14, 2019
WLS Abc 7 Chicago

Editorial: Look out, taxpayers: When governments have more pensioners than employees
Thursday, February 14, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Hundreds of accused criminals on electronic monitoring are missing
Wednesday, February 13, 2019
ABC Channel 7

Glenview adopts Cook County minimum wage and sick leave ordinances, effective July 1
Tuesday, February 12, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Lawsuit over property tax assessments survives challenge
Monday, February 11, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

EXPERIENCE THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF THE FOREST PRESERVES THROUGHOUT WINTER
Thursday, February 07, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County Jail detainee dies at Stroger Hospital
Thursday, February 07, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office Says Its Gang Database Is on Lockdown, but Questions Remain
Thursday, February 07, 2019
Pro Publica

Charges dismissed against man accused of threatening judge
Thursday, February 07, 2019
Daily Herald

Double Down: Twin Brothers Rehabbing Chicago
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Chicago Defender

Slowik: Residents, officials celebrate rehab work at public housing sites
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Daily Southtown

Class action: Evanston can't charge 'convenience fees' to people paying tickets online
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Cook County Rercord

390 arrested in nationwide prostitution sting, including 38 in Cook County
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

As we build a road, we will protect the forest preserves
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Campaign to weed out European buckthorn across the suburbs
Tuesday, February 05, 2019
Northwest Herald

Airbnb hosts in Cook County earned $109 million last year: report
Monday, February 04, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County senior exemption deadline extended
Monday, February 04, 2019
Daily Herald

Decadelong legal battle over Barrington Hills horse farm — eyed as huge forest preserve — may be nearing resolution
Monday, February 04, 2019
Chicago Tribune

EDITORIAL: Protect iconic forest preserve from concrete overkill
Sunday, February 03, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP