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APA Institute
Public Symposium Focuses on MH System Gaps
Psychiatric News
Volume 37 Number 17 page 29-29

The fragmented mental health service system for the underserved/low-income residents of metropolitan Chicago with major mental illnesses is significantly changing, thanks to an innovative effort undertaken by the Bureau of Chicago Network Operations within the Illinois Department of Human Services, Office of Mental Health.

The bureau, in collaboration with the Chicago State University, has developed the Consortium for Urban Mental Health Policy to guide research and influence the policymaking process with a focus on the development and implementation of strategies to bridge the gaps that exist in the delivery of mental health services. Consortium members will present their findings, seek dialogue, and propose solutions during the public symposium at APA’s 2002 Institute on Psychiatric Services in Chicago. The symposium, titled: "Eliminating Barriers to Access Mental Health Services for Underserved Consumers," will be held Saturday, October 12, at the Palmer House Hilton Hotel.

The public symposium will unite key stakeholders within the mental health service system, underserved/low-income populations, community-based providers in both private and public settings (to include faith-based organizations), and consumers throughout the Metropolitan Chicago area.

There will be two sessions as part of this public symposium. The morning session, scheduled from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the Adams Ballroom, sixth floor, will follow a format similar to a town-hall meeting to encourage discussion and audience participation. Audience members will have the opportunity to converse with expert clinicians who will be available to answer questions on issues facing mental health care and treatment.

The afternoon session, scheduled from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., also in the Adams Ballroom, will feature a lively discussion with a distinguished panel of representatives from the Consortium for Urban Mental Health Policy. A formal presentation by the panelists will be followed by a question and answer session.

Public Symposium Panelists

Thomas A. Simpatico, M.D.: Bureau Chief, Illinois Department of Human Services, Office of Mental Health, Bureau of Chicago Network Operations

Rachel Washington Lindsay, Ph.D.: Professor of Psychology and Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, Chicago State University

Marion G. Sleet: Senior Vice President, Human Resources Development Institute, Chicago

Abha Pand: Executive Director, Asian Human Services, Chicago

Edwin Silverman: Bureau Chief, Illinois Department of Human Services, Bureau of Refugee and Immigrant Services, Chicago

Francisco Cisneros: Executive Director, Pilsen Little Village, Chicago

Carl Alaimo: Chief Psychologist, Cook County Department of Corrections, Cermack Health Services of Cook County, Chicago

Jan Holcomb: Executive Director, Mental Health Association of Illinois, Chicago ▪

Dr. Simpatico is advocacy consultant for the Scientific Program Committee of the 2002 Institute on Psychiatric Services, and a symposium moderator.

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