Lifelong Journey - 5:15
Kim Perez, The Cradle
Posted Oct 23, 2018
As the forefront leader for over 95 years in child welfare and adoption, The Cradle focuses on building and strengthening families with lifelong support services and programs. The Cradle’s mission-focused support of families through the delivery of innovative, high-quality educational programs and compassionate, inclusive family-building services are at the core of this longstanding and beloved nonprofit organization. The Cradle has helped to place nearly 16,000 children with their forever families since Founder, Florence Walrath, opened its doors in 1923. A foundational component of The Cradle’s history is its on-site Nursery that is staffed and operated by licensed nurses to care for newborns trusted to the agency’s care. This special place is the only one of its kind in the nation. Throughout the years, it has been the first home for many Cradle alumni, including the four babies that were adopted by Delores & Bob Hope and a few other well-known Cradle parents that have included George Burns & Gracie Allen, Pearl Buck, Donna Reed, Ardythe & Gale Sayers, as well as local parents Candace & Phil Rogers. Alumni reach out well into their adult years to revisit their first home in the Cradle Nursery or in an effort to find more information about their birthparents or relatives. No matter what age or stage of life someone might be facing, The Cradle is here to support them in their journey. From the very beginning, expectant parents and adoptive parents are met by caring counselors who prepare and walk alongside
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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