Member Groups

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

December 2017, vol. 4, no. 2

Editor’s note

In February of this year, I read an article in Kane County Connects, a daily online newsletter, announcing that the Aurora Public Art Commission was collaborating with The Awakenings Project for the current Art at City Hall exhibit. Artwork from The Awakenings Project, which is an exhibit featuring the work of artists who are living with mental illness, was to be on display until August 11, 2017, at Aurora City Hall, 44 E. Downer Place. Being the procrastinator that I am, I was able to visit the exhibit in its last weeks. What a privilege to have been able to see it!

Aside from the amazing display of talent, I was deeply moved by what I saw in so many of the works. A large portion of my practice is defending recipients against involuntary treatment or admissions. In that capacity, I frequently hear psychiatrists explain the symptoms of certain mental illnesses, and have had clients try to explain their conditions, but the imagination only goes so far. The works at this exhibit allowed me to truly understand. Photos of several are included in this publication, but they cannot do justice to the in-color and in-real-life works. I encourage Mental Health Matters subscribers to read the article on The Awakenings Project and take in an exhibit or enjoy one of the many other demonstrations of talent by Awakenings artists.

Readers will also enjoy the article on the Kane County TAC Court, a successful program that implements a team effort to help criminal defendants with mental illness to achieve psychiatric stability, achieve positive behavioral changes and reduce criminal recidivism.