October 7, 2016

City of Chicago Partners with Cook County Health to Expand Mental Health Services for Residents in 2017

An expansion of services at Roseland will create new specialized programs to serve children and youth on Far South Side and expand overall citywide capacity

As part of its ongoing commitment to expanding mental health services, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) today announced a new partnership with Cook County Health and Hospitals System (CCHHS) and Centers. To increase service options for residents, CCHHS will assume management of mental health services at CDPH’s Roseland Neighborhood Health Center in early 2017. The partnership not only increases service options in Roseland, but also provides more opportunities for CDPH to expand mental health services at other locations across Chicago.

Specifically, the new partnership will provide mental health services to children and youth at the Roseland Neighborhood Health Center location, populations not currently served there. Additionally, all clients at this site will now have direct access to CCHHS’s comprehensive healthcare network, providing access to an array of quality mental and physical health care providers, clinics and hospitals across Cook County.

“This expansion will provide a wider range of services to more Chicagoans and increase access in more of our city’s neighborhoods,” said CDPH Commissioner Julie Morita, M.D. “Through this renewed partnership with Cook County, our residents will soon have more opportunities to access the care they need to live a safe and healthy life.”

To ensure a seamless transition for clients at the Roseland location, CDPH staff will be in contact with them in the coming weeks to discuss the new opportunities available through the partnership. CCHHS will continue to see CDPH’s current clients, regardless of their ability to pay. As part of the partnership agreement, CDPH will continue to cover any costs for mental health services for those clients ineligible for insurance.

“A person’s physical and mental health are interdependent,” said CCHHS CEO, Jay Shannon, M.D. “With CCHHS taking on these mental health outpatient services, we will be able to provide patients receiving mental health services seamless connectivity to health care providers within our system to address any physical health needs they may have, supporting their overall health and wellness.”

Earlier this year, CCHHS opened its Community Triage Center (CTC), providing evaluation, crisis stabilization and treatment for patients presenting with psychiatric and/or substance-related crises. The CTC is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is located in the same building as the Roseland Neighborhood Health Center.

“I’m pleased that today’s announcement will help more families and individuals receive quality, affordable mental health services right here in the Roseland community,” said 9th Ward Alderman Anthony Beale. “I look forward to continuing to work with the Chicago Department of Public Health and Cook County Health and Hospital Systems to expand access to quality mental health services across the city.”

The partnership at the Roseland Neighborhood Center is an expansion of service, and CDPH will maintain current funding and staffing levels for its mental health clinical services program. Thanks to the new partnership, CDPH can now redeploy its Roseland staff, allowing the city to increase the number of visits and services for residents in 2017. CDPH will have providers on site at select Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) Service Centers, providing direct care to residents at those sites also in need of mental health services. CDPH will also expand group therapy programming and increase case management for its current clients, providing more comprehensive services for those most in need. The increase in services will result in 500 additional visits for residents per year.

“By having CDPH providers on site, we expand the services we offer our residents,” said DFSS Commissioner Lisa Morrison Butler. “We know that good mental health is essential to thriving, and we are glad to offer our clients more opportunities to get the care they need.”

Today’s announcements follow a series of other investments made by CDPH over the past several years to expand mental health services to residents, with a particular focus on those most in need.

  • In August 2016, CDPH partnered with Cook County Jail to place a counselor at CDPH’s West Town clinic location to provide mental health linkage-to-care services to residents recently released from the jail. This follows a program launched in 2015 to provide linkage to care services to residents from Cook County Jail upon exiting. This program will have the capacity to provide 250 visits per year.
  • In 2015, CDPH launched its Crisis Intervention Program, providing mental health triage through community partners for residents in crises who are interfacing with CPD. Since September 2015, 381 residents have been served citywide.
  • Recognizing the connections between mental health issues and substance use disorder, CDPH hired its first-ever Medical Director of Behavioral Health in September 2016. Under her direction, CDPH will further expand efforts to provide technical assistance and education for community health centers as they expand pharmaceutical treatment and behavioral support for residents dealing with substance use disorder.
  • CDPH was also recently awarded $5 million over five years from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to expand training for first responders and community service providers in identifying and responding to individuals dealing with mental illness. The award will be used to expand this and other evidence-based strategies to reduce violence and increase the capacity of mental health providers.

Overall, through increased coordination with community-based service providers and targeted investments made over the past five years, the City of Chicago has made significant improvements to its overall mental health infrastructure. This includes provision of new services for the most vulnerable residents, including uninsured residents, homeless residents and individuals leaving Cook County Jail. This commitment to a strong network of mental health and trauma informed services is reflected in the Healthy Chicago 2.0 citywide roadmap to increase health of residents across all communities.

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