Cook County Health Hosts First Behavioral Health Summit

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

On February 15, Cook County Health held its first Behavioral Health Summit, bringing together health care and social service providers, mental health advocates, community leaders and elected officials to discuss how to improve access and care in Cook County. The all-day summit, held at the UIC Dorin Forum, was led by the Cook County Health Office of Behavioral Health, which was established last year to support the transformation of the behavioral health ecosystem across Cook County through community partnerships, systems alignment, innovation, and equity-driven funding. More than 700 people from 300 organizations attended the event, which included addresses from Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson and Michael Cabonargi, Regional Director, US Department of Health and Human Services, as well as video-taped messages from Illinois Governor JB Pritzker and Cook County Commissioner Dennis Deer, who also serves as Vice Chair of the Cook County Health Board of Directors and Chair of the Cook County Health & Hospitals Committee. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 in 5 U.S. adults experienced mental illness in 2021 while 1 in 6 U.S. youth ages 6-17 experience a disorder. Despite the prevalence of mental health conditions, less than half of adult individuals (47.2 percent) received treatment, including 39.4 percent of African Americans and 36.1 percent of Hispanics. For more information about the Cook County Behavioral Health Summit, visit

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