Chicago expands support for mental health services
The city of Chicago will spend $1.2 million to expand mental health services for those with serious mental illness, one of several steps Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the city is taking to address anxiety and depression caused by the new coronavirus.
The funds will be distributed to four community mental health organizations: Friend Health, Healthcare Alternative Systems, Thresholds and Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare. The groups will use that money to expand access for people living with serious illnesses like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
The city has also purchased a new telemedicine platform to deliver digital behavioral health services at its mental health centers in the Bronzeville, Englewood, West Elsdon, Lawndale and North River neighborhoods.
The Chicago Department of Public Health will also provide technical assistance to partner organizations to scale their telemedicine capabilities, said Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady. She said organizations serving communities most acutely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic will be prioritized.
Lightfoot said the plan is part of the city’s larger efforts to improve mental health services, regardless of the pandemic.
“The issues we’re addressing now weren’t started with COVID, and they’re not going to go away afterward,” she said.
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