John Hinckley, Who Shot President Reagan, Wins Unconditional Release

WASHINGTON — A federal judge has approved the unconditional release next year of John Hinckley Jr., who wounded President Ronald Reagan and three others outside a Washington, D.C., hotel in a failed assassination attempt in 1981. Hinckley is now 66 years old and has been living outside a mental health facility for the past several […]

Amid Rising COVID-19 Hospitalizations, Nurses Face Increasing Risk Of Burnout

IOWA CITY — Bridget Otto has been dreading watching her hospital COVID unit fill up once again. “The last shift that I was there, we lost several people that were very young,” Otto said. “There were multiple times on our shifts that we just bawled. Like, we just gave each other hugs and cried.” […]

Pandemic Exacerbates Lack of Mental And Emotional Support For Teachers

URBANA – Since March 2020, when regular classroom teaching was curtailed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, teachers have been juggling transitions between remote, hybrid, and in-person learning; changing class schedules; students with a wide variety of technical needs; and their own mental and physical health. Some Champaign-Urbana teachers say trying to help their students through […]

Bills Expanding Access To Mental Health Care Are Among Several Signed Into Law

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois residents will soon have greater access to mental health services under measures Gov. JB Pritzker signed into law Friday. Starting Jan. 1, most insurance companies doing business in Illinois will be required to provide their beneficiaries with timely and proximate access to treatment for mental, emotional, nervous or substance abuse disorders. That […]

While Waiting For Mental Health Care, Children Suffer

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Family pictures and religious art cover the walls in Meg Hartz’s home in South Bend, Indiana. She’s sitting on the end of a sofa, with a notepad to her left and a crochet kit to her right. In this spot — what she calls her command center — she’s spent hours […]

Mental Health Crisis: Children At Breaking Point During COVID

On a tree-lined street, behind a welcoming front porch with an American flag and cushioned furniture, a mother tries to calm her teenage son. At the moment, the boy is jamming a dog toy at the throat of his chihuahua mix. “Don’t force it, don’t force it,” she says, as the boy shoves harder, pushing […]

Pandemic Anxiety Looms Large For Some, Even After Getting Vaccinated

ST. LOUIS — For some, being vaccinated against COVID-19 has provided a dizzying sense of freedom after a year of isolation — opening the door to everything from baseball games to haircuts. But not everyone is ready for the transition. As life gradually inches back to normal, many are struggling with anxiety about resuming certain […]

Schools Bring Therapy Dogs To Focus On Post-COVID Student Mental Health

MORRIS — Boomer wanders the halls at Immaculate Conception School in Morris wearing a red vest that reads “therapy dog in training.” He’s a Great Pyrenees. So even at just a year old, he already clocks in at over 100 pounds and sits nose-to-nose with kindergartners. Listen to this story here. Boomer’s owner, school […]

U Of I Police Department Hiring Social Workers To Handle Mental Health Crisis Calls

URBANA – The University of Illinois Police Department is planning to increase the number of mental health professionals on staff to help officers respond to crisis calls.  Lieutenant Aaron Landers leads UIPD’s community outreach efforts, including the new mental health pilot program, known as Response, Evaluation and Crisis Health, or, REACH. He says the plan […]

Champaign Clinic Aims to Spread Awareness of LGBTQ Mental Health

CHAMPAIGN – Many LGBTQ individuals experience issues such as prejudice and healthcare barriers, contributing to higher rates of mental illness among this community than the general population, according to nurse practitioner Kate Srikant. Individuals often feel isolated, or that healthcare providers don’t understand their struggles, Srikant says. Data from the advocacy group Mental Health America […]

As Pandemic Weighs On Children’s Mental Health, Some Iowans Struggle To Find Help

DES MOINES, Ia. — Janette Lems said the trouble for her kids really began when they started school last fall. Her 7-year-old daughter struggled with being limited to interacting with just several kids who didn’t include her friends, and her 5-year-old son was displaying a lot of anger and aggression. Listen to this story […]

General Assembly Action: Seclusion And Restraint Ban Will Go To Governor

SPRINGFIELD – A bill to phase out the use of isolated timeouts and prone physical restraint in public schools will soon be sent to Gov. JB Pritzker. The Illinois House on Sunday voted unanimously to concur in changes the Senate made to House Bill 219, which include putting a virtual halt to the practices starting in […]

New Resource Helps Farmers Navigate Mental Health Needs

URBANA — A lot of people work tough jobs where they don’t have much control. But instead of merely being annoyed by a Lumberghian boss, imagine your livelihood was at the mercy of the weather and global trade wars. That’s farming. And it’s stressful. Listen to this story here. A new online resource,, […]

Young Adults Face Roadblocks To Access Mental Health Care

INDIANAPOLIS — Noelle Broughton is an accomplished student. She’s in a graduate program at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and is headed for a PhD. Listen to this story here. She also struggles with anxiety and self-doubt. As a child, she had a few therapy sessions, but they didn’t last. Now, at 25, she wants to […]