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Community Centers Get $8 Million Boost To Expand Trauma-Informed Mental Health Services On South, West Sides

"I hope one of the longterm outcomes from COVID is that we bring the stigma around mental health down and that we talk about it just like we talk about physical health."

The Lawndale Christian Health Center is receiving additional funding for trauma-informed mental health services.
Lawndale Christian Health Center
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CHICAGO — The city is giving $8 million in grants to 32 community-based organizations to expand mental health care in parts of Chicago where it’s needed most.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Dr. Allison Arwady, head of the Chicago Department of Public Health, announced the annual grants during a Tuesday news conference, saying the 32 centers getting the funding will work with city clinics to expand care to uninsured people and create more trauma-informed programs.

The city will also launch its first mental health campaign to spread word of the health care options that are available to Chicagoans, to build awareness of mental health care and to combat stigma, Lightfoot said.

“I don’t know any family, including my own, who doesn’t have a relative … who faces some kind of trauma or depression or more serious mental health [issue],” Lightfoot said at the news conference. “It’s time — frankly, it’s past time — that we bring that out of the shadows and we provide the kind of support that our people need in their time of need.”

The centers will expand care into areas of highest need, with a focus on areas that have disproportionate numbers of people who lack insurance and are facing trauma, among other things, officials said.

The money will allow the centers to hire more employees, expand their services and create programs, officials said. That will result in “tens of thousands more patients” being served, according to a Mayor’s Office news release.

Lightfoot and Arwady said such investments are particularly needed as the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated mental health issues. People are dealing with increased depression, feelings of isolation and anxiety about their health and finances, they said.

The city will also invest $1.6 million into providing health care services — including mental health — to people at homeless shelters and encampments.

That investment will allow the city to bring care “outside of clinic walls” to people in need, Lightfoot said.

“I would encourage everybody to talk about mental health,” Arwady said. “I hope one of the longterm outcomes from COVID is that we bring the stigma around mental health down and that we talk about it just like we talk about physical health.

“If you live in Chicago, there is mental health support for you, there is care for you.”

Chicagoans looking for information about mental health resources can call 311, Lightfoot said.

The following organizations will receive city funds for trauma-informed mental healthcare:

Access Community Health Network 

Advocate Illinois Masonic 

Alivio Medical Center 

Alternatives, Inc. 

Apna Ghar, Inc. 

Asian Human Services, Inc. 

Bobby E. Wright Comprehensive Behavioral Health 

BUILD, Inc. 

Community Counseling Centers of Chicago (C4) 

Catholic Charities 

Chicago Family Health Center 

Christian Community Health Center 

Enlace Chicago 

Erie Family Health Center 

Erie Neighborhood House 

Esperanza Health Centers 

Habilitative Systems, Inc.  

Healthcare Alternative Systems, Inc. 

Heartland Alliance 

Howard Brown Health 

Lakeview Pantry 

Lawndale Christian Health Center 

Lutheran Social Services Illinois 

Midwest Asian Health Association 

PCC Community Wellness 

Prime Care Health 

Sinai Health System 

St. Bernard Hospital 

TCA Health 

Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare 

UIC Mile Square Health Center 

YWCA Metropolitan Chicago 

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