June 13, 2022

Mayor Lightfoot and the Chicago Department of Public Health Announce Expansion of Citywide Mental Health Network

Mental health services available to all Chicagoans regardless of insurance, immigration status, or ability to pay

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

CHICAGO — Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced today that the City of Chicago is awarding $3.1 million in new grants to expand City-funded outpatient mental health services across Chicago. A total of 12 new providers will join 38 existing providers in the City’s Trauma-Informed Centers of Care (TICC) network. Together this represents $11.5 million of funding to the network annually.

Providers include Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs), Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), and Community-Based Organizations (CBOs), along with CDPH’s directly operated mental health centers. This clinical network provides a range of behavioral health services to adults, youth, and families in their communities. Organizations in the TICC network provide access to high-quality, trauma-informed services for all Chicagoans regardless of health insurance, immigration status, or ability to pay.

"Serving the mental health needs of our communities is an important step forward to creating a more equitable, safe city," said Mayor Lightfoot. "With this expansion of trusted community clinics, we are substantially increasing the reach of much-needed services across our entire city. I look forward to continued investments in the mental and physical health of our residents with a focus on equity."

In 2019, Mayor Lightfoot released the Framework for Mental Health Equity, a detailed action plan for building a comprehensive, integrated network of mental health services across every neighborhood in Chicago. This transformative approach includes four pillars:

  • Expand publicly-funded outpatient mental health clinical services in every neighborhood
  • Bring care out of clinics: coordinate trauma-informed services for persons impacted by violence
  • Bring care out of clinics: create and expand crisis prevention and response programs for people living with serious mental illness and substance use disorders
  • Build and support a coordinated mental health service system across the city

The Framework was accompanied by a seven-fold increase in funding for mental health services, from $12 million in 2019 to $89 million in 2022. As a result, an estimated 60,000 Chicagoans will receive behavioral health services through the City network in 2022, a 1,500% increase over the 3,651 people who received such services in 2019.

“With the expansion of our TICC mental health network, we now have the foundation of a comprehensive system of community-based behavioral health supports for all Chicagoans,” said Matt Richards, CDPH Deputy Commissioner of Behavioral Health. “We are partnering with trusted health providers and community organizations, frequently staffed by people who live in the neighborhoods they serve and understand the challenges their neighbors face. These partners enable us to massively ramp up capacity to serve tens of thousands more Chicagoans every year, reaching outside of clinic walls to approach and care for residents in settings where they feel most comfortable.”

In addition to growing the TICC network, CDPH continues to invest in its five directly operated Mental Health Centers. Recent investments include physically renovating all sites; launching telehealth services; expanding evening hours; launching a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Program; and hiring a new team of Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners and Clinical Therapists.

The TICC expansion is the latest in a series of new mental health programs, services, and trainings that the City has announced in recent weeks. Most recently, the Mayor announced the expansion of its Crisis Assistance Response & Engagement (CARE) Program, which integrates mental health professionals into the 911 response system for those experiencing a behavioral health emergency, as well as expansion of the Narcotics Arrest Diversion Program. Last month, in conjunction with the State of Illinois, CDPH announced a new program to offer immediately available medication to Chicagoans to treat opioid use disorder. Additionally, CDPH and the Community Safety Coordination Center (CSCC) announced a series of trainings to support community stakeholders in strengthening their trauma-informed mental health skills.

“Having been on the frontlines of community health care for over 30 years, Access Community Health Network (ACCESS) has seen firsthand how the past few years have seriously escalated the challenges confronting Chicago youth. By using a trauma-informed approach with critical funding from the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), ACCESS is able to expand our support for pediatric patients and their families by providing behavioral health care and psychiatry integrated into our primary care model to address issues ranging from anxiety to bullying to exposure to violence in all its forms. ACCESS is committed to addressing this public health crisis, and with the support of CDPH, is continuing our journey to become a trauma-informed organization to further support our communities’ total health care needs,” said Donna Thompson, Chief Executive Officer, Access Community Health Network.

The newest members of the TICC network include Ada S. McKinley Community Services Inc., Asian Human Services, Carolina Therapeutic Services Inc., Chinese American Service League, Envision Unlimited, Friend Health, Gads Hill Center, Infant Welfare Society, Inner-City Muslim Action Network, Metropolitan Family Services, Pilsen Wellness Center, and Saint Anthony Hospital. These new partners bring the TICC network to a total of 50 providers. CDPH plans to work through these partners to support mental health services in all 77 Chicago community areas by early Fall.

“As a result of our funding from CDPH, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago has been able to provide therapy, care coordination, and/or psychiatric services to 139 clients living in Englewood, Roseland, and South Chicago who we wouldn't have been able to serve without this funding. The majority of our clients are dealing with Trauma and Stressor Related Disorders, so they desperately needed the services we are able to provide as a result of this funding! Additionally, the partnership our Agency has had with CDPH staff has been exceptional. It has really allowed us to provide this programming in a way that works best for the clients we are serving,” said Catholic Charities.

“The intentional funding of Trauma-Informed Mental Health Services has increased our ability to provide prevention education, mental health supports, and expand our impact as we continue to serve our most vulnerable neighbors. We have been able to increase mental health services for families within Chicago Public Schools and provide critical mental health support to those under-insured and experiencing complex trauma. When we, as society, focus on mental health prevention and treatment, we all collectively benefit,” said Cathryn Savino, LCPC, Director, Behavioral Health, Asian Human Services.

“For the Belmont Cragin community, there is a long wait for trauma therapy in the community. The funding through the City helped PrimeCare Health start a long-term trauma-informed therapy program at our primary care clinic, which has been instrumental in increasing access for our most at-risk patients,” said Bharathi Jayaram, LCSW, Director of Behavioral Health, PrimeCare Health.

“The funding has allowed Apna Ghar to further our mission of providing more comprehensive services by helping us expand our community health outreach, counseling, and medical advocacy services to ensure that survivors of gender-based violence are aware of the resources available to them and are connected to culturally competent mental health, behavioral health, and physical services during this critical time. We are grateful also to be able to enhance our partnership with Hamdard Health and other healthcare providers,” said Neha Gill, Executive Director, Apna Ghar, Inc.

"At Nourishing Hope, we've expanded our mental wellness team during the pandemic to provide free, multilingual, trauma-informed counseling to anyone in need. During these therapy sessions, we're able to work with clients to help break the cycle of generational trauma. We couldn't have scaled up this critical work without the support of the Chicago Department of Public Health," said Kellie O'Connell, CEO, Nourishing Hope.

“The CDPH TICC funding has allowed CCHC to expand our services in the communities we support in various ways. It has allowed us to provide evidenced-based resources for staff in the provision of trauma-informed care to our patients, including children and their families. Further, it has allowed staff to engage in trauma-informed training that is being directly applied to patients’ treatment, intervention, and coordination of integrative care. Lastly, the TICC grant has also helped staff better serve in crisis interventions and patient outreach. It (TICC training) reminds me that treatment interventions for trauma are broad but can be applied to individual needs, reaching all patient demographics within our community,” said Christian Community Health Center.

“Chicago Department of Public Health’s TICC network funding has been catalytic in allowing Esperanza to expand and deepen our behavioral health services. CDPH’s multi-year grant not only made it possible for us to bring on three additional mental health counselors — at a critical moment when the COVID-19 pandemic was traumatizing our communities — but it gave us breathing room to plan longer term. We have since capitalized on our TICC funding to secure other support for our behavioral health program, allowing us to add additional counselors and additional sites to provide Southwest side residents even more access to bilingual mental health care,” said Dan Fulwiler, President & CEO, Esperanza Health Centers.

"As a result of the CDPH TICC grant, TCA Health has increased access to much needed mental health care to the Altgeld and Chatham communities," said Roslyn Johnson, Behavioral Health Manager, TCA Health.

To get connected to mental health services, please visit mentalhealth.chicago.gov, call 311, or call the CDPH Mental Health Clinic Intake Line at 312-747-1020.

To learn more about CDPH’s Mental Health Equity initiative, click here.