Accessible Mental Health Clinics are key to stopping the violence in Chicago. Some people are psychotic, delusional, and / or depressed. Many people are walking the streets in a haze. They are in need of treatment or medication. We must make a commitment to treat Mental Illness just as we commit to the treatment of other illnesses and diseases.
During the Daley Administration, I stood with STOP and fought against the proposed closure of Chicago’s mental health clinics. I helped to handcraft posters and to develop chants to galvanize protesters. In 2011 and 2012, I joined with STOP in the repeated protests and press conferences outside of the various mental health clinics; on the second floor of City Hall - outside of the City Council meetings, and on the fifth floor of City Hall outside of the Mayor’s office. I attended meetings and voiced opposition to the closure of the mental health clinics at CDPH board meetings. In appreciation, at its 2012 Luncheon, STOP presented to me a community advocate award. Consistent with my longstanding, time-honored commitment to proper access to mental health clinics. rahm Emanuel closed 6 of the 12 City of Chicago Mental Health Clinics.
I will support an addition of $2.71 million to the CDPH budget each year over four years to open (or reopen) two mental health clinics each year.
The City of Chicago has an absolute responsibility to make residents, their family and members of their support structures aware of their options relating to mental health service. Thus, I would support an educational effort to increase public awareness concerning the importance of seeking mental health services. As mayor, I would agree to target the communities surrounding the existing six clinics. However, such a campaign would not be limited to residents of those specific areas.
The Affordable Care Act is designed to provide Americans with better health security by putting in place comprehensive health insurance reforms that will, Expand coverage, Hold insurance companies accountable, Lower healthcare costs, Guarantee more choice, and Enhance the quality of care for all Americans. The city of Chicago Department of Public Health has a responsibility to avail itself to full use of all reasonable health services programs. Joining the various managed care networks would enable the CDPH to increase services to city residents, without overburdening the budgets for existing programs. Furthermore, this would enable the city to service the mental and physical needs of residents without increasing the burden on taxpayers.
I would support an open admissions policy at CDPH mental health facilities. Our primary responsibility is to provide all residents with the mental health services necessary to ensure a stable quality of life. We can utilize funding from Federal and State sources to expand the level and amount of services to those in need of long-term care services and support in their home.
I would support a program for billing various insurance companies and outside agencies for services rendered by CDPH.