“Cease Chicago” neighborhood activists are asking Mayor Lori Lightfoot to spend money on city-run psychological well being clinics throughout the town because the nation’s psychological well being disaster is compounded by the coronavirus pandemic.
9 years in the past, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration closed 50% of the town’s clinics, forcing a number of the most crucial sufferers to drive greater than an hour to get the care they want.
That’s the case for Horace Washington Howard who says his bipolar dysfunction led to a number of run-ins with police through the years.
He lived two blocks from the Woodlawn psychological well being clinic, however it closed in 2012.
“I catch the 63rd Road bus after which the El. Takes me roughly an hour and a half,” mentioned Howard. “Right here, it solely took me 5 minutes to stroll.”
A latest city-wide survey by Collaborative for Neighborhood Wellness confirmed greater than half of the town is affected by nervousness and/or melancholy.
The examine confirmed that of the 378 respondents, a mixed 90% expressed curiosity in free providers at a city-run psychological well being clinic.
Dr. Arturo Carrillo, who helped conduct the survey, says the timing it important.
“We’re in the midst of a pandemic, neighborhood violence has continued to spiral, and what we’ve seen is that the implications of individuals experiencing trauma has been untreated this complete time,” mentioned Carrillo. “Because of this, we have now an awesome demand for psychological well being providers.”
Dr. Saloumeh Bozorgzadeh of the Sufi Psychology Affiliation highlighted that individuals have fallen on onerous instances throughout the pandemic which might add to the psychological well being disaster.
“Remedy and psychological well being can’t be one thing that’s solely accessible to the privileged,” mentioned Bozorgzadeh.
In a press release, Lightfoot’s workplace doubled down on psychological well being fairness saying the town has funded 32 trauma-informed facilities of care and is incorporating psychological well being professionals into the 911 response system.
Her workplace additionally highlighted continued funding efforts with the present 5 city-run psychological well being clinics.