Kennedy Forum Illinois

Kennedy Forum Illinois The Kennedy Forum Illinois is a broad-based, united campaign to advance mental health and addiction policy, improve access to services, and combat stigma.
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Just as President Kennedy rallied the nation to dream big and set audacious goals 50 years ago, The Kennedy Forum in Illinois is working toward lasting change in the way mental health and addictions are considered and treated. OUR VISION: A future where all persons are treated with dignity and receive the person-centered mental and physical care and support they need to thrive and achieve their goals; with a health system that fully recognizes that the brain is part of the body. OUR MISSION: End stigma against mental health and substance use disorders. We are focused on changing both attitudes and practice. OUR WORK • Elevate and improve the quality of the public discourse and mass media coverage of mental health and addiction; • Ensure equal access and coverage of mental health and substance use disorder care; • Advance integration and coordination of behavioral health care and prevention into the general primary care medical system; • Leverage innovation and technology to advance and improve mental health/addiction interventions and integration; • Give children the best chance to succeed in life by addressing brain health at an early age.

Mission: End stigma against mental health and substance use disorders. We are focused on changing both attitudes and practice.

Operating as usual

The Kennedy Forum
01/06/2021
The Kennedy Forum

The Kennedy Forum

"Focusing on the basics to get sleep, to eat healthy meals, to move throughout the day, to spend time with pets and loved ones are going to be critically important. Taking care of ourselves and each other should be everybody's focus as we go into 2021."

Save the date. January 18th.  Join our virtual event, Shocking Injustices: Mental Healthcare & Black Americans. More inf...
01/05/2021

Save the date. January 18th. Join our virtual event, Shocking Injustices: Mental Healthcare & Black Americans. More information coming soon.

ICYMI: The Kennedy Forum Illinois was honored and delighted to host State Representative Deb Conroy, State Representativ...
12/15/2020
Telehealth: Access and Equity in Mental Health & Substance Use Disorder (MH/SUD) Care

ICYMI: The Kennedy Forum Illinois was honored and delighted to host State Representative Deb Conroy, State Representative Maurice West, Lia Daniels from the Illinois Health and Hospital Association, and Raul Garza and Dr. Wanda Parker from Aunt Martha's for a conversation on telehealth and access and equity in mental health and substance use disorder care.

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended lives and caused social and economic disruption in communities across Illinois. The strain it has put on people’s mental he...

REMINDER: Join us TOMORROW for a conversation about telehealth and how we can increase access to and equity in mental he...
12/07/2020

REMINDER: Join us TOMORROW for a conversation about telehealth and how we can increase access to and equity in mental health and substance use disorder (MH/SUD) care!

Register>> https://bit.ly/Telehealth120820

Join us this Tuesday, December 8 for a conversation about telehealth and how we can increase access and equity in mental...
12/03/2020
Welcome! You are invited to join a webinar: Telehealth: Access and Equity in Mental Health & Substance Use Disorder (MH/SUD) Care. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email about joining the webinar.

Join us this Tuesday, December 8 for a conversation about telehealth and how we can increase access and equity in mental health and substance use disorder (MH/SUD) care!

Welcome! You are invited to join a webinar: Telehealth: Access and Equity in Mental Health & Substance Use Disorder (MH/SUD) Care. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email about joining the webinar.

UnitedHealth ERISA ruling exposes faults in health coverage - DeBofsky, Sherman, Casciari and Reynolds
11/30/2020
UnitedHealth ERISA ruling exposes faults in health coverage - DeBofsky, Sherman, Casciari and Reynolds

UnitedHealth ERISA ruling exposes faults in health coverage - DeBofsky, Sherman, Casciari and Reynolds

The availability of health insurance coverage for treatment of mental health conditions recently took a huge step forward with the entry of judgment by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in Wit v. United Behavioral Health.[1] After the issuance of a ruling in 2019 findin...

The Kennedy Forum
11/20/2020

The Kennedy Forum

Untreated mental health and substance use disorders contribute to historic rates of suicides and overdoses, in addition to homelessness and violent encounters with the criminal justice system. The recent Wit v. UBH ruling will help pave the way for better access to desperately needed mental health and addiction treatment. Find out how in our free webinar, 11/23 at 12pm ET. Register: https://bit.ly/35p6e5p

Patrick J. Kennedy  joins Treatment Advocacy Center 's John Snook in calling for an overhaul of policies that perpetuate...
11/19/2020
We must decriminalize mental illness to save lives

Patrick J. Kennedy joins Treatment Advocacy Center 's John Snook in calling for an overhaul of policies that perpetuate the criminalization of mental illness, including the Institutions for Mental Disease (IMD) exclusion, which prohibits Medicaid from reimbursing facilities with more than 16 beds. “As a consequence of decades of discrimination, underfunding and marginalization of those with mental health and substance use disorders, our nation has largely ceded its responsibility for caring for the most seriously ill to the criminal justice system.”

There are vast, systemic problems at play, and our response must be commensurate.

The Kennedy Forum
11/18/2020
The Kennedy Forum

The Kennedy Forum

Powerful piece from Rep. Katie Porter and #SB855 author Sen. Scott Wiener: "The failure to bring mental health equity to this system has had devastating, even deadly, consequences in our communities. The coronavirus pandemic, and the opioid epidemic before it, have laid bare the severe shortcomings in our mental health care system."

REMINDER: Register for The Kennedy Forum 's FREE WEBINAR this coming Monday 11/23! The recent Wit ruling, calling for th...
11/18/2020
Game Changer: Implications of the Wit v. United Behavioral Health Ruling | The Kennedy Forum

REMINDER: Register for The Kennedy Forum 's FREE WEBINAR this coming Monday 11/23!

The recent Wit ruling, calling for the largest managed behavioral health care company in the country to reprocess nearly 67,000 originally denied mental health and substance use disorder benefit claims, sets a powerful new precedent in mental health care. How can we ensure the lessons of Wit extend beyond the courtroom into policy, coverage, and more? Find out in our free webinar on 11/23. Register here: https://bit.ly/35p6e5p

A federal court recently ruled that United Behavioral Health (UBH), the largest managed behavioral health care company in the country, must reprocess nearly 67,000 originally denied mental health and substance use disorder benefit claims using medical necessity criteria developed by nonprofit clinic...

The Kennedy Forum
11/16/2020
The Kennedy Forum

The Kennedy Forum

"For now, the pandemic has induced regulators to ease [telehealth] restrictions, but the question remains as to what happens once Covid-19 has been contained. States will probably need to tread a careful path so as not to reintroduce barriers to care."

The Kennedy Forum
11/12/2020

The Kennedy Forum

The recent Wit ruling, calling for the largest managed behavioral health care company in the country to reprocess nearly 67,000 originally denied mental health and substance use disorder benefit claims, sets a powerful new precedent in mental health care. How can we ensure the lessons of Wit extend beyond the courtroom into policy, coverage, and more? Find out in our free webinar on 11/23. Register here: https://bit.ly/35p6e5p

“When insurers are allowed to use these flawed criteria that are inconsistent with generally accepted standards of care ...
11/10/2020
NY and CA Actions Put Health Plans on Notice | The Kennedy Forum

“When insurers are allowed to use these flawed criteria that are inconsistent with generally accepted standards of care developed by non-profit clinical specialty associations, patients are often denied coverage of medically necessary services.”

New York is taking important steps to ensure health plans are following generally accepted standards of care when making coverage determinations for the treatment of mental health and substance use…

11/09/2020
Toni Preckwinkle

Toni Preckwinkle

Join Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, the Kennedy Forum and local organizations providing assistance for veterans in honor of Veterans Day 2020.

We are proud to announce a virtual town hall in partnership with Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle this Monda...
11/07/2020

We are proud to announce a virtual town hall in partnership with Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle this Monday, November 9, from 3:00 - 4:30pm, in honor of Veterans Day. See the flyer below for details.

Register here>> http://cookcountyveteranstownhall.eventbrite.com/

A major step forward for stopping discrimination in mental health/addiction coverage! Court orders United Behavioral Hea...
11/06/2020
Federal Court Orders UnitedHealth To Fix 67,000 Behavioral Health Denials

A major step forward for stopping discrimination in mental health/addiction coverage!
Court orders United Behavioral Health to use medical necessity criteria from nonprofit clinical specialty associations and reprocess 67k denied claims.

A federal court is requiring the behavioral health division of UnitedHealth Group to decide claims using less restrictive criteria.

"Practicing patience is especially difficult when the stakes are high, and the US presidential election is no exception....
11/05/2020
Not knowing who will win the presidential election requires patience in the face of stress. Here's how

"Practicing patience is especially difficult when the stakes are high, and the US presidential election is no exception. Unlike many past elections, no winner was announced on election night." Find how you can practice patience during this waiting period>>

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/11/04/health/practice-patience-election-wellness/index.html

A surge of mail-in ballots has slowed down election results. Here's how to be patient and keep calm.

Every Day is Mental Health Day.  People of color face significant barriers to mental health services. Racism and stigma ...
10/29/2020
World Mental Health Day: The mental health disparities faced by people of color

Every Day is Mental Health Day. People of color face significant barriers to mental health services. Racism and stigma make it harder for people of color to get services, and it’s gotten worse during the coronavirus pandemic. Read this article to gain further insight: https://www.cnn.com/interactive/2020/10/health/mental-health-people-of-color-wellness/

People of color face higher rates of mental health disorders, but myriad barriers stand in the way. And the pandemic, as we see on World Mental Health Day, has only worsened the stress.

The Kennedy Forum
10/14/2020
The Kennedy Forum

The Kennedy Forum

“All employers should be planning *now* for a re-entry strategy that includes better mental healthcare provision before the inevitable costs triggered by a rise in mental health issues exacerbated by the pandemic comes due.”

Join Chicago Beyond, and two former guests of The Kennedy Forum's Annuel Meeting, David Axelrod and Liz Dozier, together...
09/18/2020
Unpacking Race, Wealth, and Individual Power

Join Chicago Beyond, and two former guests of The Kennedy Forum's Annuel Meeting, David Axelrod and Liz Dozier, together with Dr. Andre Perry, for a conversation on Unpacking Race, Wealth, and Individual Power on 9/23 at 1pm CT. Register: https://bit.ly/2ZvkUg3

A conversation to explore race, wealth, individual power and how the decisions of our nation’s past allowed for the unjust polices of today.

"For far too long, our health care system has put mental health and addiction on the back burner, only addressing them w...
09/16/2020
Now is not the time for silence | The Kennedy Forum

"For far too long, our health care system has put mental health and addiction on the back burner, only addressing them when people are in crisis...It’s time to change the narrative and demand action from our government, our insurers, and our health care systems. Your voice can make a difference." Patrick J. Kennedy

Each year, mental health advocates mark September as a national month of recognition for suicide prevention and addiction recovery.

Crisis hotlines, and the people who answer them, help save lives every day.  By increasing access to care and visibility...
09/15/2020
Help 9-8-8 get over the finish line

Crisis hotlines, and the people who answer them, help save lives every day. By increasing access to care and visibility by passing the Hotline Designation Act and supporting 988 as a national number for crisis, more people in crisis can find help and hope. #988cantwait #suicideprevention

Urge your U.S. Rep. to pass S. 2661, the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act

The overall suicide rate in the U.S. has increased by 31% since 2001. We must reverse this trend. Tell Congress that #98...
09/15/2020

The overall suicide rate in the U.S. has increased by 31% since 2001. We must reverse this trend. Tell Congress that #988CantWait https://nami.quorum.us/campaign/28680/
#suicideprevention

Dallas Cowboy Quarterback Dak Prescott received help for anxiety and depression following the loss of his brother to sui...
09/14/2020
Cowboys' Prescott: Dealt with anxiety, depression

Dallas Cowboy Quarterback Dak Prescott received help for anxiety and depression following the loss of his brother to suicide. Mental health is a part of who we are and it is with us every day. It doesn't matter who you are, mental health and substance use conditions can impact your life. If you need help, get help - it's a sign of strength!!

https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/29854487/cowboys-prescott-got-help-anxiety-depression-offseason

Dak Prescott said he discussed his feelings about the death of his brother and the social limitations caused by the pandemic to close friends, teammates and a sports psychologist this offseason.

September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day. Every day we work to promote mental health and eliminate stigma and discri...
09/10/2020

September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day. Every day we work to promote mental health and eliminate stigma and discrimination, but today is important because it is an opportunity to discuss suicide and mental health with your family and friends.

We are hosting two separate trainings today that will reach hundreds of people, from community stakeholder to a Fortune 500 company. Our message is clear: we can prevent suicide and mental health conditions by normalizing the way we talk about and treat ourselves and each other.

Share this graphic to spread the word about readily available resources and use it to start a conversation.

"Calls to the U.S. government-funded Disaster Distress Helpline, which offers counseling and emotional support, surged 3...
09/09/2020
Depression, anxiety spike amid outbreak and turbulent times

"Calls to the U.S. government-funded Disaster Distress Helpline, which offers counseling and emotional support, surged 335% from March through July."

Mental health therapists' caseloads are bulging. Waiting lists for appointments are growing. And research suggests that anxiety and depression are rising among Americans amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Suicide is the third leading cause of death for ages 10-24. Suicide Prevention Month helps us bring light to this heart-...
09/03/2020

Suicide is the third leading cause of death for ages 10-24. Suicide Prevention Month helps us bring light to this heart-breaking fact. Together we can normalize that mental health is a part of our overall health. If you or someone you know is in need of support, call 1-800-273-8255 for English or Spanish. Want to text instead? Text TALK or HABLAR to 552020. AFSP Illinois Chapter

Incredible moment for all the people and organizations who worked for this and for the people who are sure to benefit fr...
09/01/2020
California Legislature Passes Mental Health Parity Law

Incredible moment for all the people and organizations who worked for this and for the people who are sure to benefit from this law.

California lawmakers cleared a bill for one of the country's strongest mental health parity laws. If signed, it would improve insurance coverage for substance use disorders and addiction.

We need to eliminate the stigma associated with mental health and substance use. September is Suicide Prevention Month, ...
09/01/2020

We need to eliminate the stigma associated with mental health and substance use. September is Suicide Prevention Month, and it is important to understand the impact of suicide, not just on the people, families, and communities, but society at-large. With your help, we can eliminate stigma in this lifetime.

"The idea that what this country is going through shouldn't have any effect on us—that we all should just feel OK all th...
08/08/2020
Michelle Obama says she's suffering from 'low-grade depression'

"The idea that what this country is going through shouldn't have any effect on us—that we all should just feel OK all the time—that just doesn't feel real to me. So I hope you all are allowing yourselves to feel whatever it is you're feeling."

https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/06/us/michelle-obama-coronavirus-depression-trnd/index.html

Former First Lady Michelle Obama says she's suffering from a "low-grade depression." The reasons? The pandemic, race relations in the US and the political strife surrounding it all, she says.

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1541 N Wells Street
Chicago, IL
60610

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For more information, please contact Kelly O'Brien at [email protected] http://thekennedyforumillinois.org/

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There were many many proud moments during 2018 - and dozens more to come, we are sure. Thanks to everyone who has contributed to such a huge undertaking!
Answers for Mental pleas like and be a voice,
Hi all! My family and I run a non-profit foundation called the Jordan Michael Filler Foundation that established in memory of my brother, who passed away from a heroin overdose in January 2014. We raise money to combat Substance Abuse in the Chicago area. Most recently, we made a $1 Million donation to Lurie Children's Hospital to open a Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment Center, which will be the first of its kind and extremely needed in this area. On August 26th, we will be holding a bowling night at the Diversey River Bowl in Chicago to raise money to establish a fund to send kids and young adults to the Lurie Center that cannot afford it. We are hoping to save MANY lives through this event. We would love for you all to be there, and to bring your family and friends along! It's going to be an awesome night for an even better cause. All info and tickets can be found at www.jmffbowl.org. Thanks and we hope to see you there!