Mental Health | WGLT

Mental Health

Earnest Bell
Illinois Department of Corrections

A Bloomington man who missed his trial on drug charges because he was involved in an apparent suicide attempt is entitled to a new trial, a judge has ruled.

The continuing COVID pandemic, and the challenges facing the health department because of it, were the focus of Wednesday’s McLean County Board of Health meeting. 

Earnest Bell
Illinois Department of Corrections

Earnest Bell refused to attend his September 2015 bench trial on drug charges, opting instead to stay in a holding cell, where he wrapped a shirt around his neck in an apparent suicide attempt.

WGLT file photo

More than half of District 87’s teens have opted for remote learning through May, Superintendent Barry Reilly told the school board Wednesday night.

Staff / WGLT

Heartland Community College in Normal is adding a certification program with an eye on the area’s growing need for mental health support professionals. 

Behavioral health continues to be one of the top three issues in McLean County’s Community Health Improvement Plan through 2022.

The new certificate program will allow students to advance into the workplace directly from Heartland.

Woman practicing yoga
Carmen Champion

If your business is stress management, then 2020 is your year.

Prison bars

The Illinois Department of Corrections had adopted its first standardized policy for inmates held in segregation, with a focus on limiting the number of prisoners removed from general population for years at a time.

VA Outpatient Clinic in Bloomington
Eric Stock / WGLT

The head of Bloomington's Veterans Affairs clinic says the pandemic has made caring for veterans more challenging and more critical at the same time.

(left to right, clockwise) Darron Cummings, Lawrence Jackson, Jae C. Hong, Chris Pizzello (Invision) / AP

The Black community has suffered many losses in the past year.

With the deaths of role models like Kobe Bryant and Chadwick Boseman, historical figures like Elijah Cummings and John Lewis, in addition to those at the hands of police, the effects from such events on mental health have come into focus.

prison cell
Miss_millions / Creative Commons

There have been multiple lockdowns in a Pekin federal prison to reduce the spread of the coronavirus in the facility, with many inmates losing contact with families during the times they are confined to their cells.

And the family of one inmate said the impact on the family and the inmate is high.

The Carle BroMenn Medical Center

Carle BroMenn Medical Center in Normal has opened a newly renovated space for inpatient mental health and addiction recovery.

“Illinois, throughout the state, we have a need for inpatient mental health. Over time some of the state facilities have closed down, which has increased the need for local mental health facilities,” said Carle psychiatrist Dr. Girishkumar Dhorajia.

Students standing in front of Ames Library
Illinois Wesleyan University

Illinois Wesleyan University athletics coaches and administrators want to remove the stigma that mental health issues often have in sports.

PATH headquarters
Staff / WGLT

The McLean County coroner and the head of a crisis hotline and information center in central and other parts of Illinois sounded a warning note about people in mental crisis on Friday.

Coroner Kathy Yoder and Providing Access To Help (PATH) Director Karen Zangerle said four recent suicides in central Illinois highlight the need to raise awareness that there are resources for those in crisis.

karen from PATH
Ryan Denham / WGLT

A crisis hotline in Bloomington is handling a sharp increase in calls as anxiety grows due to the pandemic.

McLean County Health Department sign
Staff / WGLT

UPDATED 4 p.m. | A second person from McLean County has died after contracting COVID-19, the county's health department said Tuesday.

Trisha speaks
Ryan Denham / WGLT

As many as 50 high-risk youth with mental illness or substance abuse issues in McLean County will benefit from a new team approach to serving them, funded in part by a new grant.

Holly Ambuehl and Sue Grant
Eric Stock / WGLT

A Bloomington-based health care trust was able to fund more than half of the agencies that applied for funding in its first ever grant cycle this year.

Housing conference in Bloomington
Eric Stock / WGLT

Editor's note: This is part of a five-story series reported at the Housing Action Illinois conference in Bloomington on Oct. 24-25. The stories ran Wednesday, Oct. 30, on WGLT's Sound Ideas.

McLean County

Trauma and the behavioral health concerns that come as a result must be addressed.

Susan Schafer speaking at McLean County Board.
Eric Stock / WGLT

McLean County Board member Susan Schafer has announced she intends to seek a fourth term on the board next year.

The Republican Schafer has served District 9 on the County Board since she was first elected to a two-year term in 2010. She was re-elected in 2012 and 2016.

District 9 includes parts of southeast and southwest Bloomington.

beam scale
Patrick Sison / AP

A coalition of health advocates in McLean County has produced a study which said the most pressing health needs in the county are similar to what they were in 2016 when the group produced its first report.

Empty classroom
Steven Brewer (CC BY-SA 2.0)

A new state law directs the Illinois Department of Human Services to create an online database with mental health resources that parents and school staff can use to help students.

Holly Ambuehl talks
Mary Cullen / WGLT

The John M. Scott Health Care Commission announced it will award up to $450,000 in grants to health service agencies this fiscal year.

Normal West signage
Staff / WGLT

The Unit 5 school board Wednesday voted to expand a collaborative agreement with Chestnut Health Systems to bring a full-time mental health counselor to Normal West high school.

Man hunched over, looking depressed
flickr/findrehabcenters (CC BY 2.0)

The new state budget awaiting Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s signature includes what advocates say is a much-needed $80 million increase in funding for mental health and addiction treatment.

McLean County Executive Committee
Eric Stock / WGLT

One of McLean County's new programs aimed to address mental health is a step closer to reality.

Students sit in classroom and talk.
Ryan Denham / WGLT

When a community is struggling with a social issue, theatre can be a place to explore it. Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” tackled the obsession with success the American Dream instills in Willy Loman. Joseph Stein’s “Fiddler on the Roof” shows the power of community tradition as a glue that can keep people together in tough times.

Mike, Mark, and John
Mary Cullen / WGLT

Every year leaders across McLean County gather to discuss the State of the County. This year, the county celebrated Rivian and Brandt Industries for providing continued economic development.

Rob and Karen
Willis Kern / WGLT

When trauma impacts young children, the long-term effects can be detrimental to society, in addition to the individual traumatized.

Three county officials seated at a table in the county government complex.
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

A mental health triage center is on pace to open this spring in the building housing the McLean County Health Department on West Front Street in downtown Bloomington.