Member Groups

Mental Health Matters
The newsletter of the ISBA’s Mental Health Law Section

October 2016, vol. 3, no. 1

Journalist speaks with Mental Health Section Council members

Pulitzer Prize winning journalist David Jackson addressed the Mental Health Section Council’s members at its September meeting. Jackson, who is a 25-year Chicago Tribune reporter, has shined the light on the stigma, mistreatment and systemic issues faced by persons with mental illness. He is credited with uncovering an environment of fear and violence at a children’s behavioral health hospital and later at residential treatment facilities throughout Illinois. In addition, in a series of articles, he brought to light conditions in nursing homes housing persons with mental illness, offenders and seniors.

After a series of articles about the violence, runaways, and lack of appropriate oversight of residential treatment centers for children, DCFS announced that it would stop some of the centers from receiving new residents and launched a series of inspections. DCFS and the Department of Public Health have since changed the way the two agencies interact in order to serve children in state care more effectively.

Jackson spoke to the group about his approach to stories and highlighted some key differences between journalism and advocacy.

Patti Werner is Associate General Counsel for Presence Health.