But really, I thought the PTSD-focused mental health initiative I wrote about in Joplin, MO was super interesting, and why does CPS not have this? My new piece up at the Chicago Bureau:

“Increased behavior problems, decreased attendance—every indicator following a disaster goes the wrong way,” Huff said.

To soften the blow, the district implemented an aggressive mental health intervention strategy, hiring extra counseling staff to help students deal with the pain of the disaster and return to normal life.

That kind of support would be more than welcome in large parts of Chicago, where many students are dealing with their own traumas related to street violence, poverty, or drugs, and there are incidents of one counselor carrying a caseload of some 2,400 students.

Also, here is a Google Trends search for “Chicago most dangerous” that my wonderful girlfriend linked me to while I was working on my next piece:

Picture 2

Huh, January 2008. What could have happened in January 2008 that would make people so interested in portraying Chicago as a hopeless war zone? I can’t think of anything…