Mental health advocates marched in the Chicago winter chill on Feb 5th. The organizing team is part of the Mental Health Movement, which works with both mental health service providers and customers to lobby and improve the state of mental health services in Chicago.
Almost three years ago, the city closed six public mental health clinics. The march, which took place while the last mayoral debate was going on at ABC 7 studio downtown, aimed to educate candidates about the value of public mental health clinics to low income and minority communities.
Advocates also proposed their vision for Chicago’s public mental health services in the next years. They urged the city council to open or reopen two clinics each year for four years to establish a safety net for the mentally ill across the city.
“It would only cost each taxpayer 25 cents a month to keep the clinics open,” said N’Dana Carter, an activist with the Movement. “It is affordable and desperately needed service.”
In addition, members of the march demanded greater educational effort from the Public Health Department to let people know that there are accessible resources in their communities when they are feeling depressed or anxious.