Chicago City Council Health Committee to Hold Hearing on Mental Health Clinic Closures Tuesday, August 19

After 3 years demanding voices of those affected be heard, Mental Health Movement gets city to hold hearings

CHICAGO—(ENEWSPF)—August 18, 2014. Since before the City of Chicago close 6 of its 12 public mental health clinics over two years ago, the Mental Health Movement – led by those who access services at Chicago’s mental health clinics – has been demanding hearings by Chicago’s Committee on Health and the Environment about mental health in Chicago. No specific mental health hearings happened in the run-up to or the aftermath of the clinic closures – until now.

On August 19th at 1pm in Council Chambers, people affected by the clinic closures, other mental health consumers, experts, advocates, providers and others, will present testimony to the city of Chicago about the impact of clinic closures, the mental health needs of Chicago and the Mental Health Movement’s demands of the city:

Re-open the closed clinics as a first step towards a real plan to heal Chicago by providing access to quality public community mental health for all Chicagoans 

Join a Medicaid provider network like County Care. The clinics need the revenue and people should be able to use city services regardless of insurance type.

Substantially increase funding and staffing for city mental health clinics in the 2015 budget. 

Testimony will show how many people fell into severe depression, addiction, psychosis, incarceration and general crisis due to losing their clinics and/or therapists. It will show how the City cannot account for thousands of clients that were on its books prior to clinic closure. It will show how the Cook County Jail has become a warehouse for people unable to access mental health care in their communities. It will show how important public safety-net services are. It will show how vast the overall unmet need for mental health services in Chicago is. It will show how the City’s current policies of steering away people with insurance and refusing to join any insurance provider networks is starving remaining city clinics. And it will present the above immediate demands to reverse course so that Chicagoan’s can have the opportunity to heal.