Footprints to Recovery - 4:35
Melissa Rocchi, Footprints to Recovery
Posted Aug 22, 2019
Melissa Rocchi is the Chief Operations Officer for Footprints to Recovery, a collection of regional drug and alcohol treatment centers with locations throughout the US. They provide customized treatment planning, individual and group therapy, diagnosis care and group therapy as well as supplementary and alternative services such as pet and equine therapy, writing workshops and yoga. They are a rising leader in the addiction in the addiction recovery world. Their message? ‘There are better days ahead.’ Melissa and her team of female clinicians and executives are leading the charge against the opioid epidemic. They most recently opened a state-of-the-art treatment center in Elgin, a center unlike any in the Chicago and Milwaukee area. As the United States faces the continued challenges of a growing opioid epidemic, the women clinicians, executives and executive directors of Footprints to Recovery refuse to back down. With over 80 years of combined experience spanning substance abuse, eating disorders and mental health, these women are paving the way when it comes to modernizing and adapting the approach to drug and alcohol treatment. Through their unique approach to substance abuse treatment and backed by $12 million in program scholarships to-date, the clinicians, executives and executive directors of Footprints to Recovery are making effective treatment accessible to all.
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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