All posts by laurenrobinson2019

How to beat the winter blues

By Lauren Robinson
Medill Reports

Vanessa Ford is a psychotherapist based in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago. She treats clients with anxiety, depression, PTSD, addiction and other mental health issues.

Early Sunday, Chicagoans will set their clocks back. They’ll bid farewell to that last sliver of daylight at the tail end of the 5 o’clock hour. Temperatures will drop, and winter will hit, bringing cold, dark and overcast days.

Short, sunless days can prove debilitating for millions of Americans, especially women and young adults. As seasonal depression or seasonal affective disorder (SAD) sets in, those afflicted may encounter symptoms such as energy loss, weight gain or social withdrawal. Fortunately, people who are prone to seasonal depression can take steps now to improve their wellbeing in the depths of winter, says Ford, a licensed clinical social worker since 2000 who has owned her own psychotherapy practice since 2007.

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In Chicago suburb, candidates’ environment message easy on climate change

By Lauren Robinson
Medill Reports

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. — Calling for a stronger focus on renewable energy and protection of the Great Lakes, the Illinois chapter of the Sierra Club hosted a day of action on a recent Saturday in support of two pro-environment Democrats campaigning for the state legislature.

The Democrats – Sen. Julie Morrison and House hopeful Bob Morgan – spoke of specific ways to safeguard the environment in the Midwest, where temperatures are forecast to increase as a result of climate change. But, facing a polarized electorate, they avoided invoking the issue of climate change.

“Unfortunately, I think the phrase ‘climate change’ has been politicized too much by the right,” said Anthony Vega, a Sierra Club Illinois organizer. “What we’ve seen is candidates from across Lake County and the state of Illinois say that they are 100 percent for clean energy or sustainable transportation. It’s talking about climate change in another way, so it doesn’t trigger the partisan clique.”
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‘Renaissance Woman’ embraces new phase of life and gender identity at 75

By Lauren Robinson
Medill Reports

Stefanie Clark describes her regular stints volunteering at the Art Institute of Chicago as a way she can give back to the community that kept her moving forward during a tumultuous time in her life.

“This is one of my things I look forward to the most,” said Clark, 75, her gray hair swept into a small bun as she greets people at the doors of the museum. Indeed, the former financier, whose business card and email signature bear her self-ascribed moniker “Renaissance Woman,” wears many hats.
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Duckworth: Administration ‘stonewalling’ efforts to visit shelter for immigrant children

By Lauren Robinson
Medill Reports

U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Illinois) said Friday that the federal government is “stonewalling” her attempts to visit a Des Plaines facility that houses immigrant children taken from their families at the U.S. border.

Duckworth, flanked by American Civil Liberties Union staff at a news conference at the John C. Kluczynski Federal Building, also accused President Donald Trump’s administration of missing a Thursday deadline to return those children to their guardians.

“How many court orders does the Trump administration need before it reunites these families?” she asked.
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