Overcoming Poverty - 5:15
Julio Paz, Chicago Commons
Posted Oct 23, 2018
Julio Paz, Chief Development Officer at Chicago Commons, discusses the mission of Chicago Commons, the multi-generational approach Chicago Commons takes to serving its community, and the ways in which families and individuals can get involved. For 124 years, Chicago Commons has partnered with individuals, families and communities to overcome poverty, discrimination and isolation. Today, for Chicago Commons this includes providing high-quality early childhood education, family centered adult education and senior services to 3,000 people annually. For over 25 years, Chicago Commons has run award-winning schools using the Reggio Emilia approach to education. Since the 1980s, Chicago Commons has also grown to become one of Chicago’s largest non-profit providers of senior care. Along with these programs, Chicago Commons adopts a two-generational approach to education, where they work with parents and family members of the children at their four early education schools to help parents set and achieve goals towards financial stability and overall wellness. Chicago Commons is currently gearing up for their large annual fundraising event, Pour Out Your Heart For Commons, and they are recruiting students for the new school year.
Hosted by: Ellee Pai Hong Produced by: Greater Chicago Newsmakers Team

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Digital Mental Health Initiative

The UI Center on Depression and Resilience has launched a new innovative artificial intelligence (AI) and technology based treatment initiative, creating a digital based mental health safety net, to address Illinois' mental health crisis, and treat suicide risk factors. The UICDR has developed numerous digital tools, apps and inventions to reduce mental health disparities and offers these cutting-edge products to the public. This pioneering concept potentially can serve as a blueprint for the cost-effective integration of AI and technology to give greater access to mental health resources to poverty stricken areas and combat the growing national mental health crisis. This initiative is the “Digital Mental Health Initiative” (DMHI). The DMHI is a collaborative, transdisciplinary group of scientist, researchers, engineers and physicians working across 19 labs in at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Psychiatry Department to improve equitable access to mental health treatment with innovative smart, connected technology. The DMHI employs cutting-edge research to develop evidence-based digital tools and other technology based mental health treatments, which have already effectively treated thousands of patients. 1.5 million people in Illinois live with serious mental illness. According to the most recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide in Illinois has risen 23 percent, and is now ranked as the 11th leading cause of death in the state. The prevalence of depression in Illinois has increased, as it has globally, catapulting depression to the number one cause of disability worldwide.

This crisis has come at a staggering cost; estimates place the economic cost of untreated depression/behavioral health in the state to be more than 1.4 billion dollars a year.

Lack of access to treatment, and inefficient models of care, lie at the heart of this crisis. These numbers are a sobering reminder that we as a society have not adequately addressed the core reasons nor put forth the proper solutions to confront this health crisis, and necessitated the creation of UI Center on Depression and Resilience “Digital Mental Health Initiative” (DMHI).

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