Chicago Department of Public Health Weekly Media Brief, 5/26/2023

May 26, 2023
For Immediate Release
May 26, 2023
Chicago Department of Public Health 
Weekly Media Brief 
Jump Ahead


Seeking Volunteers to Aid New Arrivals

The City of Chicago and the Chicago Department of Public Health continue to work with other government and community partners to respond to the ongoing influx of migrant asylum seekers to Chicago. CDPH stresses that while this is a challenging situation, this is not currently considered a public health crisis, and reports that migrants may be the source of disease spread in Chicago are inaccurate and can fuel xenophobia.  

Dr. Arwady went into detail during her May 23 weekly Facebook Live on the ongoing efforts by CDPH and the City to ensure that all people experiencing homelessness in Chicago, including asylum seekers, have access to needed healthcare and wellness resources. 

The Chicago Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is being prepared to supplement and aid in the work of the various providers operating in intermediary spaces, like police districts, to address the health needs of migrants who have not yet been placed into a shelter or respite center. If you have a medical or health background and would like to volunteer to help respond to this ongoing humanitarian emergency, you can register with the MRC at or email for more information. 

CDPH will continue to assist in the efforts of the Office of Emergency Management and Communications and the Department of Family and Support Services in their unified command over the declared emergency by continuing to help connect new arrivals to healthcare and refer individuals for urgent care as needed. For more information on how you can help, check in with your alderman’s ward office on community efforts in your area, and for shelter information, call 311. 


Social Media, Youth & Mental Health

As we close out Mental Health Awareness Month, the U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy issued a warning about the risks social media poses to young people. The advisory notes that up to 95% of youth ages 13-17 report using social media and that while there are benefits, there are many indicators that social media can harm the mental health and well-being of adolescents. The report includes action items for adolescents, parents and families, tech companies, and policy makers. Read the full advisory here

CDPH’s CHAT – Chicago Healthy Adolescent and Teens – is a service that provides teens with confidential one-on-one counseling, links to health care services and more. The program serves many Chicago high schools, colleges, and community-based organizations, is a partnership with Chicago Public Schools and is operated by Planned Parenthood of Illinois. Learn more about CHAT here

CDPH also offers mental health services to all Chicago youth, regardless of immigration status, insurance status, or ability to pay. Find services here


Violence Prevention and Summer 2023

At a press conference on Thursday, May 25, Mayor Brandon Johnson announced a comprehensive public safety and engagement plan for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend and the summer of 2023, including a $2.5 million investment from the Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communities’ 8th annual Chicago Fund. The public-private investment will support violence prevention and youth outreach efforts across the city by funding the work of 253 grassroots organizations working across 24 communities on the South and West sides.  

The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) has also made significant investments to implement a public health approach to community safety: 

  • Expansion of victim services and trauma informed care 

  • Increased funding for street outreach organizations in 25 communities 

  • Community Safety Coordination Center providing supports for community events and safe space activations, and coordinating across departments to improve the physical infrastructure and increase access to city services and resources in areas most impacted by violence.