Tuesday, July 7, 2009


By Mark Heyrman and N’Dana Carter

The Illinois legislature recently called for a special session after Governor Quinn vetoed the proposed “doomsday budget” passed by the House and Senate. This budget would have drastically cut mental health services. State legislators now have the chance to reconsider their priorities and should pass a fair budget. Last year over 700,000 people in Illinois suffered from a serious mental disorder and any cuts to these programs will harm not only those using these services, but also their family and friends.

One of those 700,000 people is Ms. Carter, long-time resident of Chicago’s south side. She excelled professionally with a career spanning over 20 years and was heavily involved in local civic organizations. She developed depression after suffering extreme setbacks. She could not take a promotion due to the interference and anxiety and eventually had to stop working. She utilizes mental health services in order to gradually regain her life back.

People with mental disorders face a variety of challenges. They are made to feel ashamed and have few places they can go to for help.