AJ French: Half of Chicago’s Mental Health Clinics Close

This appeared in the first edition of the newsletter of Sacred Creations
http://www.sacredcreations.org, reprinted by permission of AJ French.

Chicago, Illinois – Six of 12 Chicago mental health clinics have closed. This impacts 40 percent of clinic population,.  Iraq Veterans are among the 3,100 lives disrupted by closings.

Individuals with Medicaid and Medicare are forced to end relationships with treatment providers of their choice, and seek mental health services elsewhere.

Movement Hopes to Re-Open Mental Health Clinics

The Mental Health Movement is a collaborative effort to reopen the mental health clinics. It is driven by peers within the mental health system, though not exclusive to persons with mental health conditions.

The group has captured global attention from NATO and Nobel Peace Priz Laureates, as well as media coverage on National Public Radio.


Rally to Re-Open Mental Health Clinics, Aprll 30

Rally to Re-Open Mental Health Clinics, Aprll 30

Closing the mental health clinics comes during a time when mental health agencies contracted by the State of Illinois are struggling to stay operational, on the eve of closing the Counseling Center of Lakeview.

Media Coverage of Closing Mental Health Clinics

In addition to advocacy groups like Sacred Creations, closing mental health clinics has received close coverage in Chicago media since the idea was first mentioned in 2011.

In April 2012, a series of protest rallies led to several arrests around the city.  WGN News in Chicago filed this report:

On April 30, mental health advocates intensified their opposition to the city’s plan to close six mental health clinics by occupying the lobby outside Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office – even as the city confirmed that they would go forward today with the last four clinic closings.

Also April 30, the Mental Health Movement coalition of clients and advocates asked President Barack Obama and Gov. Pat Quinn to step in, holding a rally outside Obama’s re-election campaign headquarters in downtown Chicago and Quinn’s office in the city’s Thompson Center.

A month of protests and demonstrations leading up to April 30 led to several arrests, WGN News of Chicago reported April 30.

Representatives of the president and governor both silently listened to the ‘Stay of Execution’ letter for the mental health clinics, which was read to them by Mental Health Movement organizer N’Dana Carter.

Visit www.stopchicago.org for updates and advocacy opportunity.

 What would you do if half the mental health clinics in your area closed?

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