Coalition pushes for Mayor Lori Lightfoot to expand city budget for mental health response, resources in Chicago

Coalition pushes for Mayor Lori Lightfoot to expand city budget for mental health response, resources in Chicago

CHICAGO (TOC) — There’s a push to develop funding for psychological well being response and sources in Chicago as well being professionals and group organizations name for changes to town’s funds to assist folks in disaster.

A small group of native psychological well being professionals and their supporters are as soon as once more urging Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot to re-think town’s care pilot program.

It is the one which has cops skilled in disaster prevention as part of psychological well being disaster response groups.

“You can’t reply to disaster and comply with a code of ethics if the individual subsequent to you has a gun and the authorization to make use of lethal power,” stated Elena Gormley, a social employee.

Town’s present pilot program is called “disaster help response and engagement.” There may be additionally a psychological well being clinician and a paramedic on the response crew.

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The coalition’s effort is the newest in its “Therapy, Not Trauma” marketing campaign, which is pushing for the passage of an ordinance of the identical identify. It’s also sponsored by thirty third Alderwoman Rossana Rodriguez.

Modeled after applications in different cities, Ald. Rodriguez’s thought requires a non-police response to psychological well being crises.

“It is apparent to me that this can be a actual resolution, an actual means to make use of the instruments which are wanted to handle the psychological well being disaster in our metropolis,” she stated.

The push for help comes as metropolis officers put together to debate Lightfoot’s $6.4 billion funds for 2023; $100 million of that’s slated for public security.

Advocates of the brand new plan say $15 million generated from unfilled positions on the Chicago Police Division must be used to fund their thought.

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Additionally they need Lightfoot to reopen six of the 12 public psychological well being clinics that have been closed by former Mayor Rahm Emanuel in 2012 due to a funds shortfall.

“I can not vote for this funds if it doesn’t embrace remedy, not trauma. I can not vote for this funds if it doesn’t fulfill the mayor’s promise to spend money on our metropolis’s public psychological well being clinics,” stated thirty fifth Ward Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa.

In an emailed assertion from the mayor’s workplace, a spokesperson stated partly, “Since Mayor Lightfoot has taken workplace, town’s psychological well being funds has elevated greater than 7-fold from $12m in 2019 to $86m in 2022. This yr’s funds proposes to proceed this historic stage of dedication.”

Metropolis officers stated they’re on the lookout for higher methods to supply entry to psychological well being providers by making an attempt to divert people from the legal court docket system and supply psychological well being providers to people at homeless shelters and outreach to people utilizing public transit.

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