From the Clinics to the Jail: The Mental Health Care Crisis in Chicago

Story by Penny Yi Wang and Rachel White for Social Justice News Nexus blog

Three years ago, Chicago closed half its public mental health clinics, a crucial source of care for low-income people, Blacks and Latinos. With a lack of other options, the Cook County Jail is known as the region’s biggest mental health care provider. Thousands of people with mental illness are housed there, often because of crimes of survival related to their illness. Jail officials and advocates struggle to address the problem.

Advertisements
Read more "From the Clinics to the Jail: The Mental Health Care Crisis in Chicago"

Mentally ill behind bars

This heat map shows a snapshot of home addresses, by ZIP code, of Cook County Jail detainees who self-identified as living with mental illness on Jan. 29, 2015. The map is created in collaboration with Christine Watcher from the Chicago Reporter and published  on the Reporter.

Sheet 1

Notes: The darker the color red on the map, the higher the number of detainees who reported having a mental illness. Some ZIP codes on the edges of Cook County spill into adjacent counties.

Source: Cook County Sheriff’s Office

Read more "Mentally ill behind bars"

Chicago public mental Health clinics by the numbers

In 2012 the Chicago Department of Public Health closed six of its 12 public mental health clinics, generating massive outcry and the occupation of one clinic. The public clinics have continued to be a prominent issue, including in the 2015 mayoral race.

Client Loads and Staffing levels at Chicago’s Public Mental Health Clinics (January 2011 and present).

Screenshot 2015-04-29 15.37.08

Click each point for more information. Regarding staffing, CT refers to Clinical Therapist and AA refers to Administrative Assistant. Map is based on data obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests by the Social Justice News Nexus (SJNN) at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

More on this map, please visit SJNN blog. Map by Penny Yi Wang. Text by Kari Lydersen. Also published April 27, 2015 on Chicago Reporter.

Read more "Chicago public mental Health clinics by the numbers"