CPS needs to use federal relief funds to increase mental health services for students | Letters

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As Chicago Public Colleges officers determine find out how to spend $1.8 billion in federal help from the American Rescue Plan Act, it’s necessary they take heed to their college students and considers their wants.

As a scholar at a CPS college, I imagine the district ought to use this cash to extend the psychological well being companies for college kids. This may imply including extra counselors, college psychologists and social staff.

For the time being, the social and emotional wants of scholars should not being met due to a excessive student-to-counselor ratio. The ratio must be decrease. Among the many advantages can be a extra productive studying setting and a safer setting.

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There are different methods CPS may spend this cash, comparable to on housing vouchers and to rent further nurses; however among the funding actually ought to go towards bettering psychological well being assets. I’ve watched mates and classmates wrestle to care about college due to their worsening psychological well being.

College students ought to have somebody to speak to. CPS ought to make psychological well being a precedence.

Maia Downes, Outdated Irving Park

Well being can’t wait, go see a physician

The COVID-19 pandemic has uncovered inequities all through our financial and healthcare methods that disproportionately influence individuals of coloration — inequities which were obvious to many people in Black and Brown communities for generations.

Knowledge exhibits us that counties with a predominantly Black inhabitants are extra closely impacted by COVID-19 — in charges of analysis, extra critical sickness and even loss of life. We’re additionally studying that Black and Brown Individuals have been delaying essential healthcare at increased charges in order to keep away from COVID publicity, which means the oblique results of the pandemic might be much more critical.

The Illinois Home Legislative Black Caucus, of which I’m the chair, and Gov. J.B. Pritzker have handed historic reforms round healthcare fairness and entry that may instantly enhance the lives of Illinoisans, particularly these hit hardest by the pandemic. However these reforms imply nothing if individuals aren’t conscious of them and don’t use them.

With COVID circumstances usually trending downward and vaccination charges rising, it’s important that these of us in these communities now not defer our healthcare wants. It’s safer now — greater than ever — to go to a physician, clinic or hospital in order that underlying circumstances like coronary heart illness and diabetes are detected and correctly handled. Illinois has assets to make sure entry is on the market to those that want it most.

If this pandemic has proven us something, it’s that our well being can’t wait. I implore all Illinoisans to go see their physician.

Illinois State Rep. Kam Buckner, D-Chicago

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