Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  

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.

  Cook County was created on January 15, 1831 and named after Daniel P. Cook, Member of Congress and the first Attorney from the State of Illinois.

Local legislators tout efforts to help those facing mental health issues

Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Pioneer Press
by Genevieve Bookwalter

Local legislators tout efforts to help those facing mental health issues
Turning Point Town Hall

Genevieve Bookwalter/Pioneer Press

Legislators representing the near north suburbs gathered for a town hall to talk about how political and economic factors impact local mental health services on Feb. 15, 2019, at Skokie Public Library.

Legislators representing the near north suburbs gathered for a town hall to talk about how political and economic factors impact local mental health services on Feb. 15, 2019, at Skokie Public Library. (Genevieve Bookwalter/Pioneer Press)

Citing a new Democratic governor and a new Democratic majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, elected officials around Skokie, Evanston and the near north suburbs say they’re optimistic that treatment and access will improve for those who need mental health care.

The comments came at an annual town hall meeting Feb. 15 hosted by Turning Turning Point Behavioral Health Care Center, a nonprofit, outpatient mental health care center in Skokie that serves children, adults and families. The meeting was held at Skokie Public Library.

“There will be no more votes to end the Affordable Care Act. This is a good thing,” said Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Evanston.

In addition, Schakowsky said, the 21st Century Cures Act, passed Dec. 31, 2016, promised $1 billion to help fight opioid addiction in the United States.

“We are going to ramp up” attention on mental health, Schakowsky said.

Schakowsky was one of a handful of panelists who spoke at the town hall. The focus of the meeting was to discuss the impact of the current political and economic climate on residents’ access to mental health services.

State Sen. Laura Fine touted the state’s recent decision to allow opioid patients to instead be prescribed medical marijuana to treat pain. Fine’s 9th District includes Wilmette, Winnetka, Evanston Glenview, and parts of Skokie, Northbrook and Morton Grove.

“This is one tool in the toolbox,” Fine said, to “start chipping away at opioid addiction.”

Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin said federal laws and the Affordable Care Act have forced Cook County to include mental health care as part of its public health services.

But the sudden demand to provide services has led to another challenge.

“We are scrambling to expand staffing,” Suffredin said.

New state Sen. Ram Villivalam shared the same concern at the state level.

“If we don’t have the workforce to provide these services,” we have a problem, he said. Villivalam represents the state’s 8th District, which includes parts of Morton Grove, Skokie, Niles and Lincolnwood.

Jane Grubser, who oversees all jail programming for the Cook County Department of Corrections, said she too is seeing increased demand for mental health services in Cook County’s inmate population. Of the more than 5,700 people in custody, the percentage of those with mental health issues has stayed the same or grown. She expects that trend to continue.

While no one had specific answers to meet the growing need for providers, Schakowsky said federal legislation introduced Jan. 30 should help ease the demand. Schakowsky co-sponsored the Medicare Mental Health Access Act, which she said would define psychologists as physicians and thus allow them to see Medicare patients independently and without the physician oversight, as is now required.

If passed, the bill would help “make sure a whole range of providers are reimbursed for what they do,” Schakowsky said.
Twitter @GenevieveBook

Recent Headlines

Nearly a century after a brutal murder, Chicago’s only lynching victim gets memorial
Thursday, March 21, 2019
The Grio

Recovery Behind Bars: Cook County Jail’s Opioid Treatment Program
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Medill Reports

Judge: Labor unions don't owe non-union state workers refunds, despite unconstitutional fees
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Cook County record

The language of justice: Court interpreters fight for client rights and their rights in Cook County
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Medill Reports

Cook County General Hospital's $90-Million Redevelopment Saves a Chicago Icon
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Engineering News Rec ord

Preckwinkle sends out harassment survey to staff after harassment controversy in her office
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Illinois Land Title Association Granted Summary Judgment in Case against Cook County Recorder of Deeds
Sunday, March 17, 2019
Illinois State Bar Association

Grand Jury Indicts Debt Collector of Bribing Cook County Clerk Dorothy Brown
Friday, March 15, 2019
WBBM Chicago

Indictment: Cook County's hired debt collector charged with bribing county officials to secure county contract
Friday, March 15, 2019
Cook County record

Karen Chavers Honored as 2019 Unsung Heroine
Thursday, March 14, 2019
Special to

Pappas to announce deadline for Cook County property owners to pay late taxes
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Courts Cause Confusion For Woman Trying To Resolve Her Case
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
CBS Chicago

Census changes raise fears of Illinois undercounting
Monday, March 11, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Sheriff Warns of Apple Phone Scam
Monday, March 11, 2019

Caller poses as Apple to get victims personal info in scam targeting Cook County residents
Monday, March 11, 2019
WGN Chicago

Should Young Adults Be Sent To Juvenile Courts?
Sunday, March 10, 2019
NPR Radio

Cook County Jail hires 2nd consecutive mental health professional as warden
Wednesday, March 06, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Lawsuit: Sheriff jailed dozens because of faulty electronic monitoring devices
Monday, March 04, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Woman dies while in custody at Cook County Jail
Sunday, March 03, 2019
Fox 32

City considers landmarking old Cook County Hospital
Friday, March 01, 2019
Gazette Chicago

all news items

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