City Cast

Will Chicago Reopen Mental Health Clinics?

Sidney Madden
Sidney Madden
Posted on July 26
A sign at a closed Logan Square clinic in May 2012

A sign at a closed Logan Square clinic in May 2012. (William DeShazer / Tribune / Getty)

More than a decade after former Mayor Rahm Emanuel closed 12 city mental health clinics, could Chicago’s mental health care infrastructure change? A City Council committee met this week.

What’s Treatment Not Trauma?

Following the 2020 police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, 33rd Ward Ald. Rossana Rodriguez-Sanchez proposed reducing Chicago’s $1.94 billion police budget to fund reopening clinics and alternative 911 responses, according to WTTW.

Now chair of City Council’s Health and Human Relations Committee, Rodriguez-Sanchez oversaw a meeting Monday where alternative policing and mental health experts spoke and recommended:

  • The city have 19 mental health clinics like it did in the ‘80s.
  • Mental health professionals respond to calls instead of police, as is being piloted in some neighborhoods.

Why now?

The Albany Park alder said she hopes to get parts of Treatment Not Trauma in the 2024 budget, which Mayor Brandon Johnson is set to share Oct. 11, Block Club reported.

Where is Johnson landing?

The first-term mayor made campaign promises to reopen the shuttered clinics. He reaffirmed his support at a summit over the weekend.

“People talk about how much it will cost to reopen Chicago’s mental health clinics, but think of the cost of not opening them,” he said Saturday.

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