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Tue Jan 22, 2019, 08:04 PM

Chicago has a mental health crisis. Reopening 6 clinics isn't enough.

This is a public health challenge we cannot afford to ignore. Mental health conditions are more common than breast cancer or diabetes. Just 50 percent of adults experiencing severe psychological distress received any treatment in 2017. Those statistics don’t take into consideration the thousands of people — our neighbors — who are suffering from trauma and grief, violence, drugs, and food and housing insecurity. It affects residents from West Ridge to Roseland and from Austin to the Loop. It affects older adults, office workers and, in growing numbers, our children.

Ignoring their common struggle is morally unacceptable. It is also costly. Many people who are living with mental illness end up in emergency rooms and interacting with law enforcement. How desperate is it? Our 911 system is effectively the central intake line for mental health needs.

The burden is felt by their relatives, who are forced to navigate a byzantine system looking for help, but also by first responders, teachers, Chicago Park District and CTA employees who are called on regularly to go far beyond their scope of work. This is the system we’ve paid for.

It doesn’t work.


we are on the verge of a bit of a wave here in chi.
this is very much an issue.
it will be interesting to watch.

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Reply Chicago has a mental health crisis. Reopening 6 clinics isn't enough. (Original post)
mopinko Jan 2019 OP
tulipsandroses Jan 2019 #1
mopinko Jan 2019 #2

Response to mopinko (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2019, 08:25 PM

1. Shameful

Its atrocious how we deal with mental health in this country. Many of my clients are frequent fliers due to lack of resources. The ones that have family support, I know the families well, speak to them by phone or see them when they visit during yet another hospitalization. They need support and resources too. They are often so burned out dealing with their loved ones' illness.

Most of my peers are leaving bedside psych nursing due to being overwhelmed with having to work short staffed and in dangerous conditions. All due to how mental health is funded.

I hope the people of Chicago are successful in getting their needs met. This is a real crisis we have in America. Not the manufactured one Trump made up.

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Response to mopinko (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2019, 11:04 PM

2. i do have to say in our defense, tho- on the county level,

we have done a better job.
a year before the aca, the county formed it's own hmo, which was free if you qualified. the made sure to include as much access to mental health care as they could, giving it full parity.
the sheriff went to great lengths to get the frequent fliers, at least, out of the county jail and into care.

and i believe the stats show that more patients were seen after the clinics closed. they expanded and concentrated services in the remaining clinics, which is something i could appreciate, myself.
the clinics that closed did little more than hand out mental bandaids, imho.


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