Mental Health Awareness Month
With my background as a psychologist, it was important to recognize the stigma behind mental health and create ways to end the stigma, and educate the people in Cook County on the importance of recognizing mental health issues and addressing them. This Legislation Recognizes May as Mental health Awareness Month in Cook County and May 19th as Mental Health Awareness Day.
A Public Health Crisis
In Cook County, we see disparities in health outcomes based on zip code. There is a 30-year life span difference between individuals who live in an affluent community such as Streeterville vs a community like Englewood or North Lawndale. This legislation created an office of Health and Equity within the Cook County Department of Public Health, that will address issues of inequality and inequities in Cook County.
Resolution: Mental Health as a Public Crisis
The Pandemic has exacerbated the need for mental health services. In Cook County Health we have seen a significant increase in mental health diagnoses and the need for services. This legislation not only brought attention to the mental issues in Cook County but also provided an avenue for the increase in mental health services through Cook County Health.
Resolution: Gun Violence a Public Health Crisis
Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have seen a significant increase in gun violence. Cook County Health spends $35 million dollars on trauma for gunshot wounds and as Chair of Health and Hospitals, it was imperative that we address this issue. This resolution created $1 million dollars in the Cook County Health budget to address the issues of gun violence in our communities.